Monte Urgull vs Monte Igueldo San Sebastian

If you follow me on instagram you might have seen we were back at the Basque coast.

Last year I completly fell in love with San Sebastian or Donostia as it is called here. This says a lot as I am not a city girl at all.

So ofcourse I couldn’t come here without visiting San Sebastian again and eat my way around the city.

So last year we took the cable car up to Monte Igueldo, but this year we decided to go up Monte Urgull. Since that was something we didn’t get around to last year.

So which one do we prefer?

Monte Igueldo vs Monte Urgull

If you only can do one of the two I would go up Monte Igueldo. The view over the city there is incredible.

Our never ending wanderlust San Sebastian-7021

The view of Monte Urgull is beautiful to, but it really can’t beat the view from Monte Igueldo.

Our never ending wanderlust San Sebastian-1569
Our never ending wanderlust San Sebastian-1559

Even when you get to the top of Monte Urgull you won’t have a completly clear view with all the trees blocking the view.

It is also easier to get to the top of Monte Igueldo then to the top of Monte Urgull.

So for us the view on Monte Igueldo is the one you should go for if you only want to do one of the two. Besides the old cable car going up the mountain is also worth the visit. If you don’t want to take the cable car you can also hike to the top.

Our never ending wanderlust San Sebastian-6980

Have you visited either one of the Montes in San Sebastian and which one did you prefer?

The painted forest of Oma

For some reason after we left the Basque coast last year I saw pictures popping up on my instagram feed of the forest of Oma and I made the mental note that if I returned to the Basque coast I would go visit.

So this April we did go back to the Basque coast and we headed out to the painted forest of Oma. Ofcourse I hadn’t done my research beforehand, because we decided to go back to the Basque coast at the last second. So when we got there we decided to first head over to the information centre and ask where we had to go.

If you aren’t a local you can’t get close to the forest by car. You have to park your car 3,5 kilometers away. They made a hiking loop to visit the forest, which will past through the forest and through the valley of Oma.
Ourneverending wanderlust Oma Forest-1787Luckily we picked a fairly cold day, ahum, defenitly not and we headed onto the trail at the hottest part of the day. The total trail is 7 kilometers and it is actually quite a climb as the forest is situated in the valley.

The forest was painted back in 1984 as a project by Agustin Ibarrola. Who used the trees as his canvas.

When you get to the forest you will find little direction markers with numbers on it on the forest floor. They point you to where you should look. Multiple trees will form different shapes and you can use your imagination in full force in this forest.

Game of Thrones series part 2

When we stayed at the Basque coast in Spain we litteraly hadn’t done any research beforehand. Luckily we had WIFI at the campsite so I did some research on what we should do while we were there.

When I saw pictures from San Juan de Gaztelugatxe I knew this was one of the places I wanted to visit while we had the chance.
Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7818
It is a church, that dates of the 10th century, that is build on an island and you can only reach it by climbing the men made stairs that lead to the top of the island. There are 231 steps total on these stairs!

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7908

So on a cloudy day we drove down there and when we got to the parking lot you could seriously not see a thing. The entire place was covered in fog! People were already not bothering to take the hike down.

So we discussed what we were going to do, either risk hiking down and still not being able to see a thing or just hike down and hope for the best.

We decided to go with the second choice and I can tell you it was the best descission we could make. When we got down to the foot of the stairs there were seriously only a handful of people there and the fog stayed on top of the shore.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7828

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7862

We hiked to the top of the island and hung out at the top for a while. When we were there the little church at the top was closed, but since we were the only people up there I decided to ring the church bells. I hope that doesn’t mean bad luck!

Besides the little church there isn’t anything else on top of this island. But this place seems to be taken right out of a fairytale, which makes it an amazing place to visit in my book. I can see why they chose this place to film Dragonstone in the Game of Thrones. They did add in the castle though on top of the island, so don’t expect a huge castle when you visit.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7885

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7906

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7883

When you head back you will find a restaurant at the top of the trail. Where you can grab a bite to eat or something to drink after your hike.

If you travel with little ones you can also take a trail to a vantage point, where you can just take in the sight, without having to hike up and down the cliff.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7888

 

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7950

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7900

 

A day in Bilbao

I have still so much to tell you about our time in Basque Country. So today I will tell you more about our day trip to Bilbao. Since we were so close by, we decided we couldn’t pass on visiting this city.

We hadn’t planned anything on this trip, so visiting Bilbao wasn’t planned either. We were lucky to come across a lady at the campsite which had visited Bilbao that week and she was so kind to borrow us her guidebook to the city.

So the day before we looked into what the sights where in Bilbao and we asked some tips from the owners of the campsite.

One of the tips they gave us was not to take the train there, because it would take very long, but to drive up and park at the Bilbao Expedition Centre on the outskirts of the city. There is a metro station right there and when you take the metro into the city and you return to the parking lot, which is huge by the way, you insert your parking ticket along with your metro ticket in the meter and you will park an entire day for a couple of cents!

We bought metro tickets to Casco Viejo, Old Town. In Casco Viejo we started our walk around the city. First we strolled along the streets of Casco Viejo, where you will find lots of little restaurants and shops.

We continued our walk past the river towards the Guggenheim Museum, which is one of the 3 Guggenheim Museums around the world.

Bilbao is also famous for it’s bridges, which you will pass on your way to the Guggenheim.
Our neverending wanderlust Bilbao-7495
We didn’t visit the Guggenheim museum itself, but we did wander around the outside of the building. Where you will find the famous Maman from Bourgeois. Maman is a 9 meter high sculpture of a spider. You can stand underneath the spider, since it is situated on the sidewalk in front of the museum.

Along with the art you will find on the outside of the building, the building itself is also a piece of art, because the Guggenheim is an incredible piece of architecture.

If you love to read, Dan Browns new book, Origin, takes place inside the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

After the Guggenheim we continued our walk through Bilbao Centro, which is the new area of Bilbao, where you will find lots of shops and restaurants.

As always there comes an end to the day, so we took the metro back to the parking lot. There are a lot of metro stations situated thorough Bilbao.

We liked Bilbao, but unlike Donostia/San Sebastian we didn’t fall in love with the city. Have you ever been to Bilbao?

 

 

2017 a review

Since 2017 has almost come to an end, I decided it was time to look back on our year. It has been a crazy year, that is for sure, but an amazing one.

2017 was the year that we sold our house and bought a piece of land to build our own home.

It has also been the year were we had to cut back on travel due to work, but even though we had to cut back on travel we did get out and travel as much as we possibly could. Even if that meant staying closer to home.

It was also the year that I decided to become a tourist in my own country, The Netherlands, because there are so many places that I had never been and still haven´t  been.

It was the year we fell in love with the Basque coast and in particular with the beautiful city of Zumaia.

So let me tell you about our top 5 moments of 2017.

1. Selling our house
We listed our house for sale in 2016 and we finally sold it at the beginning of 2017. For us it was a huge step, because it was our first home as a couple. We decided to take a leap and buy a piece of land, so we could realise our dream of building our own home.

2. A two week roadtrip to the Basque coast
This year we went on a two week camping trip to the Basque coast. We were planning on moving around, but we fell in love with the area near Ixtaspe so much that we decided to stay there for our entire vacation. It was a choice I haven’t regretted. We enjoyed all the delicious food, went on some of the most incredible hikes, and we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views.

3. A weekend get away to the Speulderbos

The last weekend of September we took a much needed trip to the beautiful Speulderbos in The Netherlands. Where I participated in a photography workshop about forest photography. The first day we were there we did a hike in the Speulderbos and the second day I had my photography workshop. We got so lucky this weekend, because the weather was so incredibly beautiful for the time of the year. We had sunshine, fog and no rain at all.

4. A day trip to Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez in France
In November I went on a day trip to the Cap in France to photograph. The weather was incredible and the views and the food were amazing. I had never been here, even though it is only a two hour drive from where I live. Hence the fact I need to travel more in my own back yard.

 

5. All the trips to the forest
In 2016 I started with photography classes. I have loved to photograph ever since I was a child, but due to study and work I never had the time to take photography classes. After I had finished college in 2015 I decided in 2016 to finally take those photography classes I had always wanted to take.

Since I love to be outdoors and I love to go to the forest, I found my love for forest photography in 2017.  Which leaded to a lot of day trips to the forest in 2017 and even a photography workshop. Pretty much all my spare mornings were spend in the forest and I loved every minute of it. Most of the time I will head out by myself, because I am seriously no fun to go with when I photograph, but I love to be out there by myself, just taking in all the beautiful things the world has to offer.

I hope 2018 will be an equally amazing year as 2017. It will also be a crazy year, since we will start building our home. I hope we get to travel as much as possible, but we already have a three week roadtrip planned. So I can´t wait for all the beautiful things 2018 will bring us.

I hope your year has been as amazing as ours and I wish you a happy new year!