It had been six years since Donna and Norbert last
visited Spain, so when they learned that Isidro, Norbert's son-in-law and husband
of Sarah, was going to have a retrospective exhibition of his art in Madrid,
they seized the opportunity to plan a trip to attend.
As usual they waited until a week before the planned arrival
date to purchase tickets and make hotel reservations in Madrid.
Day 1: Donna and
Norbert arrive at the Madrid airport in the mid-morning where Sarah and the
grandchildren, Olivia and Sidney, were waiting.
Sarah had invited Donna and Norbert to spend two days with her
"family" where 21 years ago she had been made an honorary member as a
student living abroad to learn the language.
This reunion was an almost annual event.
The five drove south in a rented car and arrived in time for
after 8PM) at the home of Mari (her "cousin") and Gallego. They live in Sabiote, a town of less than 10,000
in the midst of miles and miles of olive tree groves that boasts an ancient
church, a medieval castle (under renovation) and an olive oil factory.
Lodging was at Mari's rental house which was unoccupied at
Day 2: Visited the olive oil factory before the fiesta in honor of Sarah's visit.
Eating, drinking, talking
and card-playing. Norbert and Donna were treated like family.
Day 3: It was Sunday
and a pre-Semana Santa at the town church.
Breakfast at Juanita's and a drive down to
Übeda. Back to Mari and Gallego for a
Day 4: Drive to
Majadahonda to drop off Sarah and kids and then to Madrid and check in to Hotel
Senator Spa with time for wandering around Plaza
de España area.
Day 5: Touristing and
Isidro's show in
the evening. This retrospective was a major event
in the art world of Madrid.
Day 6: More walking around
Plaza de la Punta del Sol and Plaza Mayor.
Ended the evening with Zarzuela "Doña Francesquita".
Day 7: To the north
with a stop at Burgos visiting the cathedral which has the tomb of El Cid. And then a romantic evening at Posada Santa
Maria la Real in Aguilar de Campó.
Day 8: Back to Burgos
to recover the famous Yankees cap that had been left at the church
mercado. After driving around Santander
bedded down at Posada Sobosque in a not-on-the map town Mortera just to the
Day 9: Along the
coast of Bay of Biscay with a stop at Roman ruins and a secluded beach. Finally arrive at Bilbao and with the help
of tourist information get lodgings at
Gran Hotel just across from the Guggenheim Museum.
Day 10: The
Guggenheim in Bilbao is of highly imaginative design and is the repository of
grand and outrageous installation art. A
puppystatue planted with blooming flowers guards the entrance. Then a ride up the tram and a snack in the "old
Day 11: A drive along
the coast with a stop at Ondarroa then south
ending at Tarazona and the Hotel de las Brujas (Wiches).
Day 12: On the way to
the airport a quick stop at Guadalajara.
...and these are Google Picasa links to the rest of the pictures