We had a wonderful visit of a few days this past week with our youngest daughter, Ally and her husband John Poulton. They live in Allen, Texas with their two darling sons and a baby girl on the way. They came to us by way of Paris. They took a train down which proved to be a fun and enjoyable thing to do. We picked them up at the Irun train station just outside of San Sebastian and for the next 2 1/2 days we were on the run.
The day was nice enough to go up to the mountains for a view of the Pyrennes and then it was off to beautiful San Sebastian.
What a beautiful late winter day. The temperature was very mild and we enjoyed our promenade on the beach followed by a late lunch.
I just thought everyone should see this beautiful beach. The only way to know that this is winter is the lack of leaves on some of the trees and the lack of people at the beach. This is a beautiful city that is enjoyed by many people from all over the world.
We had on a map a circle around a must see cathedral. We put in the name on our g.p.s. and off we went . We were surprised at the "must see" place. We were up a small road at the end of the road. We decided that it wasn't so must see, although the drive was beautiful. On the way down back to the mission home we came upon.....
This! This was the must see cathedral. This is the basilica in Loiola. Or in English, Loyola. This is where St Ignatious, the founder of the Jesuit order in the Catholic Church, lived and is buried. He lived from 1491-1556. There is a school here for men to become Jesuit Priests. It was beautiful!
We took a picture in front of the massive doors. There were priests singing in the distance. It was a "must see" cathedral for sure.
The next day we took a p-day and went to the Picos de Europa. It was sunny in Bilbao but when we went to a place called Fuente De, it was windy and a little cloudy, but we were able to see the snow capped peaks. Ally and John are trying to see where the gondola would take us up the mountain. I think John has found it.
If you look on the top left side, you will see a small shack where the gondola goes to. It wasn't running this day due to the wind. We are sure the view would be fantastic, but at least we could see the top.
On our way down we snapped this picture. These are beautiful mountains.
This quaint village was just below the stop for the Gondola.
We stopped to eat in Potes. This was a quaint town with lots of charm. Ally liked the view.
The small charming streets ran throughout the little town. We enjoyed a nice lunch and drove back to Mungia.
Our last day was spent in Las Arenas and Bilbao. We went to the mission office to have everyone meet Ally and John. This is the Puente Colgante which crosses traffic from Las Arenas to Portugalete. Notice how the ferry doesn't touch the water. It is all supported by the bridge. For a fee, you can walk across the top, or for 1/2 a Euro, you can ride it across. It is constantly crossing all day.
Portugalete is a beautiful city across from Las Arenas.
The ayudantes caught up with us and we walked a little further along the pier. It was a mild February day.
A fun thing that is found in a lot of parks in Spain are workout sections. These permanent pieces of equipment are there for the public to use. We had fun trying them out. This one was for twisting and strenghtening the core muscles.
Presidente and Elder Dredge are testing their flexibility. "Look mom, no hands!"
We took off to see the Guggenheim. It is definitely a different and unique museum. You will find all sorts of modern art inside. The building itself is spectacular. We had to take a picture of our pregnant Ally under the spider who's egg sack is also full of baby spiders!
This is a symbol of Bilbao and we love to walk around it. It was a mild day again, so we enjoyed seeing the sights.
For the last part of our time together we went to Gernica. This is a city with a lot of history. The tree stump you see behind the fence has a lot of significance to the Basque people. It is petrified now but for centuries the leaders of the Basque people met here under the oak tree. It symbolizes the ancient roots of the Basque people. It is over 400 years old.
This repilca of Pablo Picasso's "Gernica" was originally painted by the artist as an anti-war piece of art. Gernica was bombed during the Civil War in Spain in 1937. Franco allowed Hiltler's Lutfwafle Condor Legion and the Italian Fascist Aviazione Legionaria to bomb the town for practice and at the same time inflict damage to the Basque people. We enjoyed visiting the town and learning more about the Basque culture. They are an amazing group of people. Our visit was too short, but also we were so thankful to be able to see them for a few days. Quedense nuestros hijos!