And messin' about on the river.
Before I was born, Nazi aircraft, at Franco's request, bombed and machine-gunned the small Basque town of Gernika-Lomo, better known to me and many more as Guernica, mainly because of Picasso's painted tribute to the hundreds and hundreds of dead and injured.
For centuries before that, Basque leaders assembled under an oak on a hillside near the town. It was over 300 years old when it caught fire in 1860. Now the petrified truck stands in a guarded place of honour. A place to be visited and I'm glad that I did even, if I had only a few minutes as the security had to go off to lunch at 2.00pm and wouldn't be back 'til four.
The town itself, with a population of about 16,000, is a busy spot. Must say, I have never seen so much double parking as I saw here!
More pics here
After the visit to Gernika, we headed up the twisty high roads and then down at the other side to the beautiful coastal town of Lekeitio (7,500). It has a lovely harbour and a beach alongside with an island, San Nicolas, that may be walked to when the tide is out. The Gothic church of Basilica de la Asuncion de Santa Maria overlooks the harbour.
We were entertained here for a while by a group of children being taught how to handle canoes in the harbour. They had two adults in charge but showed great confidence on and in the water as they went through their exercises. Seemed to be quite a lot of sports training going on at both sides of the border, to an extent not seen in Ireland.
The last coastal call we made was to the town of Ondarroa. Don't know if we caught it on a bad day or a bad year or if we came in on the wrong side but this wasn't a pretty place. Pretty grim really, with too many high rises. Still the kids played and the dogs ran.
But the camera didn't come out until we were about to depart when a big women's bike race came in. Traffic was stopped but there seemed little local interest as the riders flashed by.
After that, it was back to the motorway and, after a fill of cheap petrol, back to France.