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Old August 26th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #1
Giri
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Giri's 2011 road trip aka "Giri en España" / Day 1 : from Hendaye to Santander (Cantabria)

"Giri en España" : (insert translation in the many official languages, such as Santanderian Eastern Cantabrian, Davean Guipuzcoan and other unknown dialects).

Summertime ! No money ! No vacations !
Well actually no : Spain is right here, on the other side of the Pyrenees ! 5 days : the goal is to see as many things as possible. This is the way Giri tours a country. That's also why he doesn't have a girlfriend as stopping every 100m to take a picture of a desolated landscape is not ideal when thinking of holidays. But Giri has seen many monuments ! Lucky guy ...


The first day is about me crossing the Basque Country from the border in France to Muskiz in Biscay then entering Cantabria. Night in Santander.

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Let's go ! We are in Hendaye (Hendaia in Basque) just on the border : in the background are the Peñas de Haya, the iconic tooth-shaped mount of Guipuzcoa in the Spanish Basque Country.

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The first part of the trip was not ideal : harsh rain in my home Béarn, metallic grey sky in French Basque lands which was not erased when entering Spain. Let's bypass San Sebastian :

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A funny futuristic neo-neo-Basque house : it could be from a Japanese manga.

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Hopefully enough road indications are also in Spanish : I did not think of taking my Basque-speaking female friend with me.

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Towards Bilbao !

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The hamlet of Oikia as seen from the highway :

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It was time to eat. Let's leave the highway for some moment in Itziar.

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The cliff road from Itziar to Deva (Deba in Basque) is rather impressive :

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We eventually reach Deba one of the last coastal towns in Guipuzcoa before Biscay. The contrast between the Spanish Basque Country and the French Basque Country is amazing : on one side a vibrant industrial region, on the other side a rural Eden.

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After eating some sandwiches which will constitute the basis of my alimentation for the coming 5 days, I leave the town to get back on the nearby highway.

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Here we are : the mighty AP8 !

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Biscay is right here. Its impressive capital - Bilbao - as well.

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Bypassing Bilbao is long and tedious : that's an urban mess even more impressive than Paris IMO.

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Mount Serantes somehow materializes the end of the metropolis. In ancient times, the Basque language ceased here as well as the left bank of the Nervion river was part of the Encartaciones area of Biscay where Castillian was the vernacular language.

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We get to see the Ocean one more time : it is the last beach in Basque lands named "Playa de la Arena" (how original !), next step is Cantabria.

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Here we are : Cantabria ! Well, that's the Basque Country without funny placenames in k and x.

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In my back are Basque lands.

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Spain is the country where everything is possible : they destroyed a whole mountain in Santullán.

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I get to have a glimpse of Castro-Urdiales from the highway but I won't visit the town.

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The highway is next to the sea.

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Hazas : notice that Cantabrian architecture doesn't differ a bit from Basque architecture.

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We reach the Bay of Santoña made of marshes and the estuary of the Asón river : we'll visit Santoña.

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Santoña probably takes its name from the other name of Mount Buciero : "Peña Santa Antoña".

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Laredo as seen from Santoña :

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Get out you punk ! You're destroying my pic !

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Next : Santander and its bay.
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France : Brittany (Nantes) ; Normandy ; Champagne-Ardennes ; Picardy ; Paris
SW France : Béarn ; Bordeaux ; The Basque Country (new! Soule); Bigorre ; Landes
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Old August 26th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #2
ExcellentALWAYS
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An amazing journey. Can't wait to see more...
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:14 AM   #3
DWest
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nice shots.......thanks for the photo tour.
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Old August 27th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #4
Giri
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Santoña is not bad but the goal is to reach Santander before night eating a paella : that's a bit like ordering cassoulet in Lisieux ... I'm a tourist, I do what pleases me !

The suburbs of Santoña smell like a mixture of seafood and gas :

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Suddenly, a spatiotemporal rift : I find myself in Normandy ! Well a Normandy fused with the French Basque Country ...

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Bareyo :

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Ajo :

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After what can be labelled as a pass (you may have noticed it thanks to the pics), the horizon allows us to see the Bay of Santander.

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Galizano (let's be pedantic ! From Latin (fundum) gallicianum i.e. the domain of Gallicius) : I find the similarity with the French Basque Country up to corn fields astonishing.

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Suesa :

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Loredo :

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Here we are ! The bay ! From Pedreña on the left bank, one can have great views on Santander.

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"Aupa Pedreña" tells one poster :

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Santander :

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That panorama is an epic failure : click on it to have it at full size.

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Still we're not yet in Santander : the whole bay has to be "circumnavigated" by car.

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Elechas :

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Pontejos :

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We eventually reach the suburbs of Santander : El Astillero.

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New York City !

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Parking in Santander is just impossible : from the hotel room next to the Port, the game is to admire the ballet of cars and get down when a parking lot is eventually freed !

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After a bit of rest, time to have a walk in the town.

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I'm situated not far from the Port then. The easiest way to go into the centre-town is through "Avienida de Castilla" :

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The central bus station : a bottle of Coca Cola is ruining the chromatic composition of this pic, find it !

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Around the Cathedral :

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Let's ascend the town : "Calle de Santa Clara".

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"Plaza de la Leña" :

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As one gets to walk in the higher portions of the town, one realizes the town is mostly a product of the 20th century : it's massive, impressive but it lacks the historic appeal of other Spanish towns.

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Let's admit it : we people taking pics love such childish contrasts.

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BTW time to eat a paella as promised. That's so lame I love it. As we (I'm not alone !) leave the restaurant - with Spanish people still drinking aperitif drinks - the sky got metallic once more just like in Basque lands.

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Pedreña as seen from Santader in a mercury sea.

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Day 2 : I will depart from Santander, will discover that the town actually had a whole beach area and will join Gijón that I'll visit.
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France : Brittany (Nantes) ; Normandy ; Champagne-Ardennes ; Picardy ; Paris
SW France : Béarn ; Bordeaux ; The Basque Country (new! Soule); Bigorre ; Landes
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Old August 27th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #5
capricorn2000
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wow! this is one great journey, senor.
driving from one town to the next with great sceneries.
thanks for sharing your photos.
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Old August 27th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #6
garcia.calavera
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this is a very nice tour of northen spain , i dont think anybody showed pictures of the basque region so far , keep them coming
ps: this region is so green compared to other parts of spain , love it
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Old August 27th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #7
willo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giri View Post
As one gets to walk in the higher portions of the town, one realizes the town is mostly a product of the 20th century : it's massive, impressive but it lacks the historic appeal of other Spanish towns.


that's ''thanks'' to a big fire in 1941

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incendi...tander_de_1941

BTW great photos of beautiful regions. keep them coming
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Old August 27th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #8
runi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giri View Post
Day 2 : I will depart from Santander, will discover that the town actually had a whole beach area and will join Gijón that I'll visit.
You mean El Sardinero area... that's the most beautiful place in the city, with the casino, really nice avenues, wonderful beaches and El Palacio de la Magdalena with gardens and a small zoo... that's fantastic! The football stadium is also situated near there!
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Old September 10th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #9
StoneRose
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Great thread. Love the steep road.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #10
Bristol Mike
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Great photo tour. Santander was one of the choices for me for a year abroad but I'm leaning more towards Madrid or Barcelona or Valencia. Very nice pictures.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #11
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great thread, thanks!!
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