Pilgrimage in Spain

September, 2013

Hola fellow travelers,

            Jet lag is slowly fading from the latest trip to the hinterlands, this time meeting Pat in Bilbao, Spain to see the sights and test our endurance on a portion of the trek known as the Camino de Santiago. We played tourist in the land of great architecture, history and food and were never disappointed. Bilbao was put on the map with the Guggenheim museum, but the building is far more impressive than the modern art inside, although well worth the admission to see how tons of titanium was fit together to form an image of sails along the river. We then spent a little time in Pamplona, famous for the madness known as the running of the bulls in July,  but we were too late to see any stampedes or goring, so settled on flavorful wine and tapas, known as pintxes in the Basque region.

            Then the real fun began as we hit the trail for the Camino, logging in 50 miles over 5 days, which was child’s play for many of the people we met along the way, but enough to build up some sore muscles and relish in the thought of a hot shower and a nap at the end of each afternoon. Life was simplified to eating, walking and sleeping, with some of the toughest decisions being whether to have a deliciously fresh butter or chocolate croissant at the morning break in some quaint town along the trail. We got an official pilgrim passport which gave us access to the hostels, or Auberges along the way, and shared bunk beds with dozens of new found friends in the communal bedrooms that seemed to encourage competitive snoring all night long. We ended our journey back in Bilbao, refreshed and encouraged to return someday to do more of the 474 mile trail.

            I missed the Colorado floods while I was gone, but am drying out the carpet in the basement bedroom as a reminder of the blessing and curse that rain can deliver to this part of the country. Hope you’re all dry and ready for winter, since the temps are dipping down in the 40’s here at night and it’s only a matter of time before the first snow makes an appearance.

            Cheers,

             Bilbao Bob

The Guggenheim Museum is a tribute to titanium

The Guggenheim Museum is a tribute to titanium

Spider sculpture outside the museum

Spider sculpture outside the museum

Flower dog guarding the museum

Flower dog guarding the museum

 

Bedtime with 100 bunks in an old hospital building on the church grounds

Bedtime with 100 bunks in an old hospital building on the church grounds

The Camino winding its way to the next town

The Camino winding its way to the next town

Mid-morning break for croissants and tea

Mid-morning break for croissants and tea