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France and Spain

July 7, 2016

Wonderful time in Paris and San Sebastian at the end of June.  Paris had Euro fever, with fans of all nations wandering around in their gear (including Eliot, after buying a French national team jersey).  Since E still isn’t too keen on museums and since Shelly and I have been to the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and others already, we decided to skip those in favor of Paris’ underground catacombs, where millions of Parisians are buried in a former limestone quarry that became a kind of art installation (in addition to a massive mausoleum).  Amazing experience.Listening to audio in Les Catacombes

Otherwise, we didn’t do much except walk and eat our way around the town.  Anyone who knows us knows that food occupies most of our daily thoughts, so of course we put much more thought into where we would eat than anything else. Toasting our first meal with l'eau gazeuse

And I think, for a half day and one full day in Paris, it was perfect.  Spending more time seeing (thanks to lovely weather) and eating in the city more than being shut inside somewhere.

On a bridge, avec le tour eiffel

Then, on to beautiful San Sebastian.  We had heard (thanks Eric) and read that this was a town for eating and laying on the beach, and it was.  Quickly fell into a routine: wake up around 9:30-10 am, breakfast in the apartment, walk around/see the sights/go to the beach, lunch at 2 or 3, siesta until 6, walk around some more until dinner at 9 – 9:30pm, bedtime around midnight.  We took a bike tour of the city and its renowned pintxos bars, and a separate walking tour of different bars in the old town.  Rented a car for a day and toured two wineries in the Rioja region.  Fantastic time all around.La Concha beach from Monte Urgull

E watching futvolley, la playa de ZurriolaGomez Cruzado winery, Haro, La Rioja

Old Town, San SebastianHotel Marques De Riscal, Elciego, La Rioja

Last stop was Bilbao for day, where we visited the Guggenheim.  A whole floor was dedicated to the works of Louise Bourgeois, whom I’d sadly never heard of.  But wow, tremendous body of work from a period of something like 70 years in different mediums – painting, traditional sculpture, mixed material sculptures, large installations – that left me wondering why she isn’t more revered.  Such a talented individual.

E and Shelly at Guggenheim, Bilbao

Flower PuppyFinally, home to Jersey.

 

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