This was a 'grand tour' by car of Northern Spain organised by Thomas, Birgitta, May and me. We revisted many old hunting grounds as we travelled through Catalunya, Zaragoza, Huesca, Navarra, Vizcaya, Cantabria and Asturias.
In Arnuero we came across a fabulous house which had been built too close to the shore. The place was condemned by the council and the owners lost millions.
The Parador of Olite was as we remembered it, the town a medieval treasure. Santa Engracia was odd to say the least: an Hotel in the middle of nowhere with a swimming pool and an honesty bar.
Mundaka would have been quite forgettable if it hadn't been for a rather nondescript restaurant that served us the best char grilled steak we have ever eaten. How do these Basques do it?
Castelldefels was pure nostalgia. May and I lived in Els Nius for 5 years. Over that time we must have bought quite a few litres of wine from Bodega Termes.
Barcelona was as exciting as ever, the Derby superb, the visit to the Palau a special treat. We met Ramon and Lola at Santillana and eat at the Parador. Later we met in Villanueva and watched Spain playing football on the TV.
The Hostal in Lecina was a peace itself. The owner told us that his brother had just gone to China to open a Spanish restaurant. Where, we asked. Oh, in some small village of about 8 million people, he said.
The vultures at Los Mallos were extraordinary as was the sheer Moorishness of Alquezar, built in the form of a crescent. Donamaria was as neat and as tidy as only Navarra can be. The Guggenheim was memorable and Deba invigorating. A great all round trip.