Ocean Pearl Blog

To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux

So we left France bound for Spain. We had a successful overnight to Bilbao, Basque country! A nice combination of sparkling beaches, cutting edge architecture, and proud feisty locals.

Bilbao.

In recent years, Bilbao has undergone a significant transformation from a depressed industrial city to clearing the way for a new convention center and the stunning Guggenheim Museum.

 
 
Me, Beck, Logan and Braun in front of the ultra contemporary Guggenheim Museum

 
 
View of the the Guggenhiem Museum from funicular overlooking the city

 
 
Jeff Koon's ~ The Puppy 

This large floral sculpture of a West Highland terrier is located in front of the Guggenheim. It was part of the opening exhibit in 1997 and then was exhibited in Rockefeller Center, NYC. It stands 43-feet tall and is made of 70,000 fresh flowers. A stainless steel armature holds over 25 tons of soil watered by an internal irrigation system.

When they took it to New York the people of Bilbao went nuts. They thought the pup was permanently theirs. No way, Jose...it belongs to the arteest! So the Bilbaonians scraped together their Euros and bought it. Now it permanently resides in their city.

 
 
We kept reminding the boys that this was a special opportunity to visit one of Europe’s great modern art museums. This was lost on them but the fountain adjacent to the museum was a sure hit!

After Wayne, Logan and Beck left us in Bilbao we were out at night in the Old Town (Casco Viejo) enjoying the city’s narrow streets lined with thriving shops and tapas bars.

 
 
The inviting pintxos/tapas at a bar in the Casco Viejo, Bilbao. Galicia.

Time to move further west to Galicia! We departed Bilbao for two day run along the southern Bay of Biscay, north coast of Spain bound for A’Coruna. This old city is a bit gritty but picturesque with narrow paved streets, houses with characteristic glassed-in balconies and the ubiquitous small restaurants and cafes.

A’Coruna has modern marina facilities that attract visiting yachtsmen. They come from all over, across the Atlantic, Bay of Biscay or from the south with a heading toward northern Europe. It’s also an ideal place for a road trip to visit the nearby ancient cathedral city of Santiago de Compostella which is what we did.

Santiago de Compostella.

Many people will tell you it’s the best destination in the northeastern providence of Galicia. For centuries Santiago de Compostella has had a powerful, mysterious draw on travelers. More than a thousand years’ worth of Christian pilgrims have trekked the desolate trail from France across northern Spain to gaze in awe at the façade of this glorious cathedral and pay homage to the sacred bone relics of St. James.

 
 
Catedral Santiago de Compostella...undergoing renovations

 
 
Posers in front of Catedral Santiago de Compostella

At the end of each day we saw hundreds of pilgrims trekking in, having finished their journey. They were a rough looking crowd after being on the trail for a month or more. I asked one of the rare American trekkers what was the worst part? She told me she got used to the boiling sun, bloody feet, unable to wash, cold food, and masses of smelly people. But she couldn’t stand the all night biting of the bed bugs! One tough cookie!

 
 
An American family of pilgrims!

Some history of El Camino de Santiago: The first person to undertake Camino de Santiago was St. James himself. After the Christ’s death, the apostles scattered to the corners of the known earth to spread the word of God. St. James went on a missionary trip from the Holy Land all the way to the northwest corner of Spain, which at that time was the end of the Western world.

According to legend, St. Jame's remains were discovered in 813 in the town that would soon bear his name. This materialistically put Santiago on the map, attracting pilgrims and spenders to one of the three places – along with Rome and Jerusalem – where relics of apostles are known to be buried.

 
 
On horseback, St James fighting the Islamic Moors

Centuries after St. James’s death, the Spaniards prayed to and beseeched him for aid in reversing the conquests of the Moors. He appeared from heaven and led the Crusaders to victory over the Muslim foes. Since then he has been a symbol of Christian triumph over Islam. Humm...that explains the countless Guardia Civil and Policia around the square and this statue in particular. There is justified concern about attacks by Islamic fundamentalists. Oh well, it used to be a peaceful place.

Today, aided by EU funding, El Camino (the pilgrimage route) has enjoyed a huge renaissance of interest with close to 200,000 pilgrims trekking to Santiago annually.

We made like pilgrims…well, we are in a way and joined in the many lively bars and time warped dives on the streets along the cathedral. Tapas joints are everywhere serving pulpo.

Pulpo (squid) is king here. It’s beaten to tenderize it, then boiled and chopped up and topped with olive oil, paprika and sea salt (Pulpo a la gallega). It goes down nicely with the regional Ribeiro wine!

 
 
Fresh pulpo in restaurant window

Salamanca

. After de Compostella, I convinced Braun that we needed to take a side trip to Salamanca, Spain’s quintessential University town.

I have fond memories of Salamanca. In 1978 as an exchange student I attended two semesters at the Universidad de Salamanca, Europe’s second oldest university and the oldest in Spain (12th century).  The University, its museum and campus grounds have changed little since my student days there.

We enjoyed a romantic walk down to the Roman Bridge, Puente Romano.

 
 
Puente Romano

Then cocktails in the atmospheric and grand Plaza Mayor.

 
 
La Plaza Mayor - Salamanca

 
 
And finally a wonderful serenade just for me by strolling musicians - Las Tunas

I was clueless when the band/Tunas gathered right in front of our café table. They began playing, directing their song and attentions to me. Then a handsome guitar player asked for my hand and led me to a chair and had me step up on it. I glanced at Braun and I saw the all too familiar “it wasn’t me” look and I knew I’d been had. Good thing I'd already had a few tintos!

Earlier I’d made the mistake of telling BJ that I fondly remembered the good looking University guys that would form a band and for tips sing to the plaza crowds and in particular pretty young girls. The Tunas would put the senoritas up on a chair and serenade them with love songs! The crowds love this stuff!

So there I was 37 years later feeling the love with BJ claiming complete ignorance of how the Tunas fixed on me.

Porto.

Leaving Spain bound for Porto, Portugal we continued to enjoy moderate seas and prevailing north easterly winds. The Atlantic coast of Portugal, while a hostile shore, is dramatically scenic, making for a wonderful passage.

Gritty urban second city to Lisbon, Porto offers two high-impact thrills - the picturesque riverfront Ribeira district and the opportunity to learn more about (and taste) the port wines that are aged there.

 
 
The Ribeira side of the Douro River in Porto

Across the Douro River and 10 minutes from the Ribeira district is where the port lodges are. These are warehouse like buildings where the Port is brought to be aged. There are over 50 of them, many open to visitors. Most of them stand on the Gaia hillside with their world-famous names in giant neon signs. Names such as Sandeman, Graham, Taylor's, Calem, and Cockburn – to name a few.

 
 
Where port wine is aged - Vila Nova de Guia at sunset.

 
 
Port tasting at Taylor’s port lodge.

Having tuned up our knowledge of Port and the fabulous Douro Valley wines, it was time to strike out for Lisbon!

Over and Out ~

Tina & Braun

 
 
The boys with the Aduanas de Espana, Customs, Bilbao

Current Blog Article: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux

Comments

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Bravo my dear Tina - truly an amazing and informative synopsis of your travels - felt like I was there, as usual - oh, yes - I WAS there at many of the spots you visited. Love relating to your 2nd debut (or more!) in the plaza with the Tunas - a special tribute (thanks Braun). My long term memory is in tact - when we bid farewell to you at the airport I have the image of our teary faces, concerned if we were doing the right thing sending you off to function on your own in a foreign country, full of advice and anxiety. Well, didn''t that go well! I truly think that ignited a wanderlust spark in you which I really feel was in my genes. So you connected with a dedicated sea captain with the same passion and the rest is recent history. Home news - the Republican debate is on tonight on CNN - I think nonstop blabbing Wolf Blitzer is having a wet dream in anticipation! You''re coming home - YEAH! Loving you, Mom -----Original Message----- From: Ocean Pearl To: maraleeco Sent: Sat, Sep 12, 2015 4:37 am Subject: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux

 MARALEE COSTINO  9/16/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: ADV: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Would squid and port be good combination? An amazing building. Wonder pictures, Thanks Bill On 9/12/2015 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > ------------------------ If you reply, DO NOT type below this line > -------------------------- > > So we left France bound for Spain. We had a successful overnight to > Bilbao, Basque country! A nice combination of sparkling beaches, > cutting edge architecture, and proud feisty locals. > > *Bilbao.* In recent years, Bilbao has undergone a significant > transformation from a depressed industrial city to clearing the way > for a new convention center and the stunning Guggenheim Museum. > > > Me, Beck, Logan and Braun in front of the ultra contemporary > Guggenheim Museum > > > View of the the Guggenhiem Museum from funicular overlooking the city > > > Jeff Koon''s ~ The Puppy > > This large floral sculpture of a West Highland terrier is located in > front of the Guggenheim. It was part of the opening exhibit in 1997 > and then was exhibited in Rockefeller Center, NYC. It stands 43-feet > tall and is made of 70,000 fresh flowers. A stainless steel armature > holds over 25 tons of soil watered by an internal irrigation system. > > When they took it to New York the people of Bilbao went nuts. They > thought the pup was permanently theirs. No way, Jose...it belongs to > the arteest! So the Bilbaonians scraped together their Euros and > bought it. Now it permanently resides in their city. > > > > > We kept reminding the boys that this was a special opportunity to > visit one of Europe’s great modern art museums. This was lost on them > but the fountain adjacent to the museum was a sure hit! > > > After Wayne, Logan and Beck left us in Bilbao we were out at night in > the Old Town (Casco Viejo) enjoying the city’s narrow streets lined > with thriving shops and tapas bars. > > > The inviting pintxos/tapas at a bar in the Casco Viejo, Bilbao. > > * > Galicia.* Time to move further west to Galicia! We departed Bilbao for > two day run along the southern Bay of Biscay, north coast of Spain > bound for A’Coruna. This old city is a bit gritty but picturesque with > narrow paved streets, houses with characteristic glassed-in balconies > and the ubiquitous small restaurants and cafes. > > A’Coruna has modern marina facilities that attract visiting yachtsmen. > They come from all over, across the Atlantic, Bay of Biscay or from > the south with a heading toward northern Europe. It’s also an ideal > place for a road trip to visit the nearby ancient cathedral city of > Santiago de Compostella which is what we did. > > *Santiago de Compostella. *Many people will tell you it’s the best > destination in the northeastern providence of Galicia. For centuries > Santiago de Compostella has had a powerful, mysterious draw on > travelers. More than a thousand years’ worth of Christian pilgrims > have trekked the desolate trail from France across northern Spain to > gaze in awe at the façade of this glorious cathedral and pay homage to > the sacred bone relics of St. James. > > > Catedral Santiago de Compostella...undergoing renovations > > > Posers in front of Catedral Santiago de Compostella > > At the end of each day we saw hundreds of pilgrims trekking in, having > finished their journey. They were a rough looking crowd after being on > the trail for a month or more. I asked one of the rare American > trekkers what was the worst part? She told me she got used to the > boiling sun, bloody feet, unable to wash, cold food, and masses of > smelly people. But she couldn’t stand the all night biting of the bed > bugs! One tough cookie! > > > > An American family of pilgrims! > > Some history of El Camino de Santiago: The first person to undertake > Camino de Santiago was St. James himself. After the Christ’s death, > the apostles scattered to the corners of the known earth to spread the > word of God. St. James went on a missionary trip from the Holy Land > all the way to the northwest corner of Spain, which at that time was > the end of the Western world. > > According to legend, St. Jame''s remains were discovered in 813 in the > town that would soon bear his name. This materialistically put > Santiago on the map, attracting pilgrims and spenders to one of the > three places – along with Rome and Jerusalem – where relics of > apostles are known to be buried. > > > > On horseback, St James fighting the Islamic Moors > > Centuries after St. James’s death, the Spaniards prayed to and > beseeched him for aid in reversing the conquests of the Moors. He > appeared from heaven and led the Crusaders to victory over the Muslim > foes. Since then he has been a symbol of Christian triumph over Islam. > Humm...that explains the countless Guardia Civil and Policia around > the square and this statue in particular. There is justified concern > about attacks by Islamic fundamentalists. Oh well, it used to be a > peaceful place. > > Today, aided by EU funding, El Camino (the pilgrimage route) has > enjoyed a huge renaissance of interest with close to 200,000 pilgrims > trekking to Santiago annually. > > We made like pilgrims…well, we are in a way and joined in the many > lively bars and time warped dives on the streets along the cathedral. > Tapas joints are everywhere serving pulpo. > > Pulpo (squid) is king here. It’s beaten to tenderize it, then boiled > and chopped up and topped with olive oil, paprika and sea salt (Pulpo > a la gallega). It goes down nicely with the regional Ribeiro wine! > > > Fresh pulpo in restaurant window > > *Salamanca*. After de Compostella, I convinced Braun that we needed to > take a side trip to Salamanca, Spain’s quintessential University town. > > I have fond memories of Salamanca. In 1978 as an exchange student I > attended two semesters at the Universidad de Salamanca, Europe’s > second oldest university and the oldest in Spain (12th century). > > The University, its museum and campus grounds have changed little > since my student days there. > We enjoyed a romantic walk down to the Roman Bridge, Puente Romano. > > > Puente Romano > > Then cocktails in the atmospheric and grand Plaza Mayor. > > > La Plaza Mayor - Salamanca > > > > And finally a wonderful serenade just for me by strolling musicians - > Las Tunas > > I was clueless when the band/Tunas gathered right in front of our café > table. They began playing, directing their song and attentions to > /me/. Then a handsome guitar player asked for my hand and led me to a > chair and had me step up on it. I glanced at Braun and I saw the all > too familiar “it wasn’t me” look and I knew I’d been had. Good thing > I''d already had a few tintos! > > Earlier I’d made the mistake of telling BJ that I fondly remembered > the good looking University guys that would form a band and for tips > sing to the plaza crowds and in particular pretty young girls. The > Tunas would put the senoritas up on a chair and serenade them with > love songs! The crowds love this stuff! > So there I was 37 years later feeling the love with BJ claiming > complete ignorance of how the Tunas fixed on me. > > *Porto.* Leaving Spain bound for Porto, Portugal we continued to enjoy > moderate seas and prevailing north easterly winds. The Atlantic coast > of Portugal, while a hostile shore, is dramatically scenic, making for > a wonderful passage. > > Gritty urban second city to Lisbon, Porto offers two high-impact > thrills - the picturesque riverfront Ribeira district and the > opportunity to learn more about (and taste) the port wines that are > aged there. > > > The Ribeira side of the Douro River in Porto > > Across the Douro River and 10 minutes from the Ribeira district is > where the port lodges are. These are warehouse like buildings where > the Port is brought to be aged. There are over 50 of them, many open > to visitors. Most of them stand on the Gaia hillside with their > world-famous names in giant neon signs. Names such as Sandeman, > Graham, Taylor''s, Calem, and Cockburn – to name a few. > > > Where port wine is aged - Vila Nova de Guia at sunset. > > > Port tasting at Taylor’s port lodge. > > Having tuned up our knowledge of Port and the fabulous Douro Valley > wines, it was time to strike out for Lisbon! > > Over and Out ~ > Tina & Braun > > > The boys with the Aduanas de Espana, Customs, Bilbao > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------ > > IMPORTANT: If you wish to post a comment via email, please remove the > original message AND this footer. > > This email was sent to you from *Ocean Pearl > (www.oceanpearlyacht.com)* by: tina@p... > To instantly Unsubscribe: Click here > > or, copy and paste this address into your browser: > http://www.oceanpearlyacht.com/aspx/controls/mail/unsubscribe.aspx/parm/w2cArIItR%40wOtArhfuewJn > > Trusted Email Delivered by TalkSpot Web Services > > Could you use a free website or blog? > > No virus found in this message. > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com > Version: 2015.0.6125 / Virus Database: 4419/10639 - Release Date: 09/14/15 >

 Bill Willis  9/14/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Dear Braun & Tina: Hope this finds you two and "OCEAN PEARL" well! Thanks so much for keeping us updated on your adventures, we are all so envious and happy for you! I''m hoping you are on or near the vessel and could do me a favor and send me some pictures of the Stidd chairs on the flybridge and their Stidd covers as I have started working on a new boat of one of Scott''s friends here in Chicago. Thanks so much, keep living the life of Riley for us! Sincerely: Jay Brown jaybrownr@y... (630) 253-3483 Sent from my iPhone > On Sep 12, 2015, at 4:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Jay  9/14/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Hello and joyous travels to you both. Am going to Turkey now! Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T -----Original Message----- From: Ocean Pearl Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2015 09:37:14 To: Reply-To: Subject: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux

 unknown  9/13/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Wow how beautiful. That octopus looks gross!!! Sent from my iPhone > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 William jones  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux What a great adventure. Thanks for sharing. Best to you and Braun. When are you coming back? I miss the old man :) Paul Villella CEO HireStrategy 202-812-0065 On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl > wrote:

 Paul Villella  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Tina Outstanding narrative and the pictures are terrific as well.Spain is a thrill and you all are doing it right.better to sail than walk no matter ones Religious persuasion Bilbao is a prime example of art saving community, worth every penny of the investment,would that political leaders were paying attention over here. Can''t wait to get more info when you''re back All our best, Bill and Linda williamdunlap.com 786-512-7451 Follow me on Instagram and @billyd_bill on Twitter > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 William Dunlap  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Great blog post. Biboa and that country look wonderful. All the best, Bill & Janet On Sep 12, 2015, at 2:37, Ocean Pearl wrote: >

 Wickman Bill  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: RE: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux I feel like I am traveling the world !! Nice to get your blogs!

 Kay Kendall  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Thanks, Tina. What a fantastic trip, I''m very jealous. Did you stop in Barcelona? Have been seeing some interesting stuff on Frank Gehry lately and am a real fan of the " movement" of the Guggenheim. Assume the "Pearl " has been running flawlessly. Hope you''ll be in town soon to fill in all the details.Best to Braun. Wink Sent from my iPad > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Wink Cline  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Thanks, Tina. What a fantastic trip, I''m very jealous. Did you stop in Barcelona? Have been seeing some interesting stuff on Frank Gehry lately and am a real fan of the " movement" of the Guggenheim. Assume the "Pearl " has been running flawlessly. Hope you''ll be in town soon to fill in all the details.Best to Braun. Wink Sent from my iPad > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Wink Cline  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Thanks, Tina. What a fantastic trip, I''m very jealous. Did you stop in Barcelona? Have been seeing some interesting stuff on Frank Gehry lately and am a real fan of the " movement" of the Guggenheim. Assume the "Pearl " has been running flawlessly. Hope you''ll be in town soon to fill in all the details.Best to Braun. Wink Sent from my iPad > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Wink Cline  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Thanks, Tina. What a fantastic trip, I''m very jealous. Did you stop in Barcelona? Have been seeing some interesting stuff on Frank Gehry lately and am a real fan of the " movement" of the Guggenheim. Assume the "Pearl " has been running flawlessly. Hope you''ll be in town soon to fill in all the details.Wink Sent from my iPad > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Wink Cline  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Wonderful and inspirational as usual. Love to both of you, Christina and Andy On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: >

 Christina Haire  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux Beautiful, as always. Cheers, Lou On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote:

 Lou Coppola  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: REPLY TO;;;;RE: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux HI KEN AND ROBERTA, we had a weekend cruise with P&O before my stroke to bilbao and recognised somethings from your pictures,so thank you. the patiseria you showed hwas a coffee shop when we was there so happy memories.my eldest son''s best friend is from La CUNNA. which was always on my go to list in those daysbut it all brings back memories of cruising from river crouch to Jersey on 26ft SNOWGOOSE,(motor sailer). thank you for the memoriesvisit. regards roy and Leanne in London England. Message Received: Sep 12 2015, 10:37 AM From: "Ocean Pearl" To: snowgoose@f... Cc: Subject: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux

 Roy  9/12/2015

 Reply

SUBJECT: Re: To Spain and Portugal from Bordeaux This looks wonderful-safe travels! Sent from my iPad > On Sep 12, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Ocean Pearl wrote: > >

 Jim Williams  9/12/2015

 Reply