First stop on this Spain journey is Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia. It is an important cultural center, renowned especially for its architecture, particularly the works of Antoni Gaudí and Montaner, both of whose works have been designated World Heritage Sites. The people are friendly, the food is spectacular, and the beaches are bustling with activity. And, it seems, everyone is an art lover (or at least a lover!).
MOVING right along…we took the train to Pamplona (Iruña, in Basque), a wonderful little city in its own right, first stop in the Basque Country and home of the famous Iruña Café–in what’s known as Hemingway Corner–and the ancient Citadel with walls spread throughout. I believe it’s most widely known as the location of the “Running of the Bulls”, which takes place every July. Oops, missed it this time around!
Then, we boarded another train to the NEXT best city in the world…San Sebastián/Donostia (in Basque) ! This is truly my favorite place. It is close to the region which my husband’s family hails from, which is another reason that we are here. And I’m enjoying seeing familial similarities in the people here.
Honestly, San Sebastián seems to have it all. Beautiful weather, beaches, ocean bay, picturesque marina, little mountains, a super clean and interesting old city. The Basque museum is fabulous: San Telmo Museum, contains everything you need to know about Basque culture. It was here I learned about the “Construcción Vacía” (Empty Construction) movement and fell in love with its form, substance and simplicity. I’ve got two examples below, one by Eduardo Chillida, the other by Jorge Oteiza (both Basque artists).
Lastly, folks here are really into fitness, they run, bike, swim, hike–we would fit right in. Maybe we will come back and stay someday…