When we were on the Camino de Santiago Frances 3 years ago, we met a few pilgrims from the Basque region of Spain. They were very lively and said we had to visit their 'country' someday. Well today we did.
We took the train from Deba, a small basque village to Bilbao the capital of Paye Vasco/Paye Basque. Wow, hemmed in by the steep green hills on one side and the Atlantic on the other, we were treated to an Alice in Wonderland experience.
Town after town full of 10 story apartment buildings all joined together looking out at the steep hills. Bilbao is this magical place filled with a winding river, cobblestone streets, stairways to heaven and pintxos, those tiny little seafood tapas delicacies.
Well we fell in love with this magical place. Turns out Paye Vasco/Paye Basque is the wealthiest region of Spain with GDP/person 40 per cent higher than the rest of Spain due to iron ore and other resources. They are one of the 17 independently managed communities of Spain. And yes they have perhaps the best food in the world as we hope to confirm in Donastia/San Sebastian starting tomorrow. Ciau! A few more Bilbao pics to follow.