Friday, June 18, 2010

Home again!

Top 10 Memories 
Impossible, try again!

Random list of highlights of our European adventure

--The Big Cycling Event: the guys conquered the terrible Tourmalet (2100 m, 30 Km climb) on its 100 year anniversary of inclusion in the Tour de France! However, they were in the last 10 out of 1000 riders.

(Check out the website for more info and photos.)

--Finding my way in a French city, i.e. lost and wandering for three hours.

--Travel by car across Northern Spain through varied terrain.

--Visit in Galicia with dear friends from our years on the ship Doulos.

--Learning about el Camino de Santiago, a centuries old famous pilgrimage, celebrating its jubilee year in 2010.

--Festive day in Oñati, quaint and beautiful town: guided tour of the oldest university in Basque Country and the Church of San Miguel; sports competitions; typical dances and music; and a very good visit with Irati and her mother.

--Mondragón Cooperative Movement success! The story of one quiet priest and his influence to bring people together, educate and effect the prosperity of a region with socioeconomic values and practices that have spread throughout the world.

--Seeing the stunning scenery of the Basque Country. The self proclaimed "marco incomparable" (unrivaled, unequaled, incomparable setting) of San Sebastian's Bahía de la Concha, was only one among many.

--Farm country, family run agricultural projects--vineyards; scientifically engineered tomato growing enterprises; dairy, beef, sheep farms...

--Our visit coincided with two town festivals, a very anticipated soccer game, Amaia's band concert (she plays accordion) and more.

--A very interesting and informative tour of a pottery workshop and museum, Ollerías, where one woman is attempting to bring back a long lost craft and art.

--Art, architecture, historic monuments everywhere you turn. Fascinating stuff!

--Huge, ginormous,ornate church buildings and cathedrals, some centuries-old and built over hundreds of years as the donations came in. I began to appreciate much of the imagery, which served to instruct and remind the vast illiterate majority in the Middle Ages.

--Alberto, our host, took vacation days, planned each day's outing, drove us all around and taught us so much.

--Fabulous food and great fellowship around the table. Men cook.

--Meeting Amaia's family and their friends was number ONE highlight! Such wonderful people! We have so much to learn from them and their way of life!

The list could go on, but for now this was enough to help me get started. I was feeling overwhelmed, almost paralyzed by ALL that I wanted to share. Like Anne Lamott suggests in her book titled, Bird By Bird, we ought to go about it one thing at a time. So, what item do you want to hear more about?


sara said...

I can't wait to hear the expanded version of each one of those!! especially being lost in Paris..ha!

Sounds like an amazing time! I know how you feel about feeling overwhelmed with what to share...that's how I felt when I went to Italy with my mom. EVERY part was wonderful and I wanted to share it ALL.

Lhoyt said...

Describe the scenery. I remember driving through San Sebastian, but it was just a drive through on the way from Zaventem to Madrid.
Meals. The meals I remember in Spain involved long periods--2-3 hrs. and much 'sobremesa' Is it still the same?

Kim said...

Write your memories in whatever order you want, and we'll enjoy reading them :D It ALL sounds wonderful fascinating! I'll click on the link once we're home with faster internet.

P.S. Water tank installation not going as planned :( Ivan is having to tear out some of the old pipes -- HARD work because of all the cement! -- and we are in day three of the project. Supposed to leave tomorrow morning but may have to put that off since it's pretty important he get it done! Pray for him!

SmallTownRunner said...

Because I know Amaia, I want to hear more about her family. I also want to hear more about Mike's ride. Yes, do them ALL, but maybe our comments will help you decide which to do first!