My first stop was in San Sebastian-Donostia, Spain. I wanted to visit a nearby town that is named after my last name. Therefore, it was pretty exciting! Once I got to San Sebastian, I could notice the how enchanted is. It is so beautiful and relaxing. It is a picturesque city. The houses and buildings are with different vibrant colors on the outside and with beautiful flowers baskets, which are hanging on the balcony of each building or on the front porch of the houses. The temperature was ideal to go to the beautiful Bay called “La Concha”. La Concha beach is topless and it’s completely full of people every single day of the week. The locals speak two languages Spanish and Basque. The food is really good and has reasonable prices. That is, you can get a variety of pintxos (tapas) and a delicious wine for lunch or dinner and will get completely satisfied. The places to visit here are various such as the beach (La Concha), The funicular (de Igueldo), various restaurants and, of course, the nightlife is totally unforgettable! Once you get to Monte Igueldo through the funicular railway, you will get speechless due to the amazing and prominent view of the Bay La Concha Beach. In Monte Igueldo, you can buy handcrafted gifts to take home. Overall, I enjoyed so much my stay in San Sebastian because it made me feel at home.
During my stay in the Basque region, I made a must-stop in Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao is a magnificent city. There are always so many things to do around that will entretain you. I got to Bilbao from San Sebastian-Donostia by an express-bus. It is approximately like 1 hour (one way). Once you get to the terminal you can get a local taxi or walk to your destination. I will advise you to walk since this is how you can get the most of this experience. Besides everything is somehow near. The city is very picturesque, colorful and artistic. The day I got to Bilbao, I did the following activities: I visited the Guggenheim museum (yes, I was able to see all the arts), I got on the local train and could see the whole city, and of course I was able to watch a local performance on the streets. This was a memorable day. The most important thing is that, I was able to obtain the most of the Bilbao experience in just one single day.
I decided to visit Lourdes, France because I wanted to visit the Sanctuary Our Lady of Lourdes To get there was very easy. In fact, much than I expected. I just went to the office of the bus terminal in San Sebastian, Spain, and bought the tickets. I had to buy the tickets before the day of departure, so I could secure my seat on the bus. The trip was around 2-3 hours (one way). However, the whole trip was very exciting because I could notice the differences of the houses between San Sebastian and Lourdes. Once I got to Lourdes, it was very easy to get to the Sanctuary. This is because the whole city has the emotional feeling of being so grateful to Our Lady of Lourdes. Therefore, People are nice and so understandable of tourists’ needs. However, I advise you to learn the most useful and common words in French. This is because most of the people in Lourdes cannot speak Spanish or English. Our Lady of Lourdes Sanctuary experience was above and beyond of what I envisioned it to be. You can immediately feel the faith, love, and compassion of the whole sanctuary place. Besides, people are understandable and serviceable to the tourists and people with special needs. They also have personnel that can speak various languages and the pray the rosary in different languages at the Grotte. I would advise you to buy the bottles, so you can get the water of the Grotte of Our Lady of Lourdes. You would have to make lines to experience at first hand the Grotte. Overall, my experience visiting Our Lady of Lourdes, in Lourdes France was the most spiritual experience I have had so far in a foreign country besides the one that I had in Costa Rica when I was 3 years old. But, that is another long spiritual experience that I have to explain in a different blog post. As of right now, I can tell you that if you are planning to obtain any of these Pyrenees adventures, you will not regret it at all and will get more than enchanted with all its natural beauty.
Please comment below, if you have visited any of these cities: San Sebastian and Bilbao, Spain as well as Lourdes, France. How was your experience? Would you go to any of these cities again and why?