Sadly the picture I took of her sitting at her desk was so blurry I cannot use it. I'm borrowing this farewell group photo and don't know who to credit. María Isabel is standing next to me.
The last send off for the cyclists:
María Isabel highly recommended adding a few kilometers to our route so we could see the most beautiful sights yet. It was a beautiful day, so we did just that and went on to famous Elantxobe.
In addition to the port area and the magnificent views of the Atlantic coast, we were fascinated by the historic church downtown.
I enjoy reading all the plaques and inscriptions that tell the story of this ancient structure, like when the bell tower was added, where each piece came from and when it was added.
I was really looking forward to our next stopping place, the famous Gernika--the focal point of Basque history. We had been there three years earlier. Our host, Alberto, gave us a wonderful and very informative tour. In fact I wrote four blog posts to cover that experience: Gernika-Lumo; Gernikako Arbola; Plaza de los Fueros; Paseo por Gernika.
On that occasion, however, we were unable to go into the Assembly Hall as it was temporarily closed to the public. This time we were privileged to tour the historic building. Unfortunately I have so few decent photos of the many sights. Suzi, one of our team members who was very committed to documenting the experience photographically, has a wonderful collection for that day, June 14, that you will really enjoy.
I think I was caught up reading everything I could. So I would have been looking down at the table display of the large stained glass ceiling overhead.
The vans had trouble finding a parking spot in the city, so could not linger and go to other important sites.
The cyclists, however, did not have that problem and were able to view the mosaic replica of Picasso's Guernica, which depicts the horrors of the bombing of the city on market day on April 26, 1937.
The circle was completed that afternoon when the cyclists arrived at the Holiday Inn in Derio, near the Bilbao airport.
Charlie's van had trouble finding the place.
Sara's friends, Ana's family, rode around in circles as well trying to locate the hotel's strange access arrangement. It was a happy reunion, nevertheless.
|Ana, Hemmick's Basque daughter, and her parents|
This post took longer to put together, because life has been so full and also because there was a lot to process, I had fewer notes (and my memory is fading perhaps?).