Spanish Adventure #1: Coast of Bizkaia

I plan on using this as a way to let you all at home know some of the hot spots and places to visit throughout the north of Spain and wherever else I visit!

Hey Rebel Nation! I have gone on a few trips to other places in the north of Spain so far this semester, and I plan on keeping you all in the loop. My first day trip of the semester was to the northern region and coastline of Bizkaia.

Here’s some quick background info regarding where I am. Spain is broken up into 17 different autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. Bilbao is in the Basque Country, or Bizkaia, in Basque. Bilbao is not the capital of Bizkaia, but it is the largest city.

For this trip, we traveled about 45 minutes north of Bilbao for a few stops. The first stop we made was to the Castillo de Butrón. The castle dates back to the Middle Ages, but its general appearance was changed by a Spanish architect and politician in 1878. Since then it has been shut down and reopened time and time again. It is currently under the protection of the Spanish government as a historical building.

IMG_8689George Ruggiero IV : El Castillo de Butrón

Our second stop was the main attraction of the day. We went from Butrón to a small islet off of the northern coast in the Bay of Biscay, called San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. The Game of Thrones fans out there will quickly recognize this landscape as Dragonstone. Surrounded by a large park on one side and the crashing waves of the bay on the other, Gaztelugatxe is a natural fortress, and it was used as such in the 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th centuries. While it was absolutely beautiful, it was a ton of walking, as one of the most well recognized parts of the islet is the 231 stairs that lead up the side of the isle to the chapel at the top.

IMG_8701George Ruggiero IV: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Our next to last stop was in the port town of Bermeo. The small town is regarded as one of the oldest in the Basque Country, founded in 1236. It is still an important port city, and its most import source of income is still its fishing revenue. I would stick a picture of the city here, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t get much. I got a quick glance at the port, but after all of those stairs, I needed a bite to eat, and took the opportunity.

Our final stop of the day was to the Vizcaya Bridge, a suspension bridge that connects a small town outside of Bilbao and Getxo, another Basque city. It’s the oldest transporter bridge in the world and is still in use today.

IMG_8721George Ruggiero IV: Vizcaya Bridge

For my first trip outside of Bilbao, it was a great way to connect with some of the Basque culture. It is so important to find a way to connect with your new living space when you go abroad, and there are so many different ways to do that. Luckily, the Basque Country is a tightly knit and beautiful region, with so much to see everywhere you look.

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