Thursday, July 4, 2013

Circle Tour 13--on to Vitoria

What a beautiful sunny day! All the locals told us they had not seen the sun in months.
Morning group meeting became one of our favorite times with stories from the road, a devotional led by Pastor Dave, and a lesson about Basque culture from Jeff who has lived and worked in Euskadi for 20+ years. 

Group Meeting; Jeff Shadowen; Dave Berry
Then it was time to  pack up the vans and bid the cyclists goodbye.

Ready for another day of cycling; taking off; vans passing the cyclists on way out of Bilbao
We noticed all the village churches as we drove by and went into them at any opportunity.


We constantly exclaimed at the beauty of the countryside and often quoted the first line of the Italian sonnet by Gerard Manley Hopkins that we copied down line by line each day:
"The world is charged with the grandeur of God."

I looked up as we passed a sign to Ollerías. That made me so happy and hopeful that I would see the pottery museum we visited three years ago. It must have been a ways off the main highway. You can read about our memorable visit here.

Between 2 and 4 pm we tried to find a place to eat that served a reasonably priced Menú del Día, around 10-12 euros, the best deal for your money. On this day we stopped in a delightful village, Legutiano, walked around and chatted with people and then found the one restaurant.

Gorka (George) and grandma; a gentleman who was born and lived all his life in that town.


My choices: ensalada mixta; lubina (white bass); flan de cuajada; café cortado (expresso with a little bit of milk).

In Vitoria-Gasteiz, we found our rooms, explored the lovely park across the street, and waited for the cyclists to arrive.


Do you recognize the musician or any of the names on the bench?

We also strolled the walkway near the hotel where the government buildings are (not allowed to take pictures of the official sites).

Pedestrian Walkway; Art Museum

The arrival of the cyclists amidst much cheering!
After the cyclists got cleaned up it was time to walk downtown and find them some food. 


In the old city, I noticed with special interest that the thirteenth-century cathedral was still being restored, a huge project which has earned the city highest awards. 


We were privileged to be given a tour three years ago and I never did get around to blogging about that experience.

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I am writing this on the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, and as I look over my notes I realize that the day I am describing was exactly a month ago. That day Jeff mentioned in his talk that John Adams traveled to the Basque Country to study their fueros (code of laws) and applied some of their principles to the Declaration of Independence.

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I thought I'd be able to pick a favorite photo for each day. Ha! Impossible!

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