Hi everyone! I just got home from my visit to the family in San Sebastian, Spain (Basque Country) where I spent 8 wonderful days catching up with relatives on my mother's side before getting on a cruise ship in Amsterdam which took us along the coastline of the UK, Belgium, and France. I thought I'd share a few pics for those of you who are interested.

We made the decision to explore more of the Basque region while we were there in lieu of sitting around my cousins kitchen table and eating 24/7. The woman can cook, and her favorite pastime is feeding us! Let's just say I have a hard time resisting the familiar dishes she whipped up with hardly any effort so we tried to offset the caloric intake with a lot of walking during the day. 

One of the cities we visited was Pamplona, the town Hemingway made famous in his novel The Sun Also Rises. This is where the bulls make that wild run to the arena through incredibly narrow streets while people from all over the world try and stay out of the way of their deadly horns and hooves. This usually happens the first week of July during the festival of San Fermin. Since we were there in June all I can show are photos of the narrow streets and me faking it with stuffed bulls in a gift shop.  

You have to pay a couple of Euros to get a photo op with the bulls.  
One of the streets on the route to the arena. See the balcony's on the houses? The owners sell a viewing spot for tons of money on bull running days for the crazy tourists willing to pay.

This is so lame but I wanted to show you how big those horns really are!

The next day we went to the town of  Loyola which is about 2 hours away from San Sebastian.  This where St. Ignatius of Loyola was born and raised. He's the founding father of the Jesuits and my sister was interested in visiting his ancestral home and the Basilica raised in his honor.  The scenery is magnificent, as was the inside of the church. His home was four stories high and I climbed every one of those damn steps. Ugh...

One of the many altars inside the church.
Stained glass window depicting the fallen Ignatius during the battle
of Pamplona before he decided to become
a spiritual leader.
A view from the fourth floor window of Ignacio's home.
One of the beaches on the way. We stopped for ice cream.
One of the canals in Holland

Portsmouth England-first stop in the UK. 

This is the area where Ryan's Daughter was filmed. Magnificent scenery.

                                        This is the best I could do to give you an eye view of
                                                            the majestic landscape.  

Chateau Du Breuil in Cheverny France where Calvados wine is distilled.

The original chateau built in the 15th century.

This is where they store the wine caskets. It used to be the stables.

Honfleur-we visited this quaint town after the Calvados wine tasting.

The harbor in Honfleur

Brugge Belgium

Brugge is a gorgeous city.

More of Brugge.
Chocolates anyone? It was mind boggling. 
Our stop in Brugge was the best part of the tour. Unfortunately we were only there 1 day.
The horse drawn carriage added so much charm to the area.
Some beautiful lace. 
The town is famous for lace and chocolates. There were at least 50 chocolate stores within the town limits.  There was so much variety I had a hard time deciding what to buy.

Hope you enjoyed the few pics I had to share. It was a lovely trip but I'm glad to be home. Now I have to save up money for the next one.


  1. Thanks for sharing your photos - it looks like an absolutely amazing trip! :D

    And bonus, you missed out on all the stress of the Stanley Cup Final. I swear the Hawks were trying to kill us all.

  2. Sorry for the long delay in replying. Your comment ended up waiting moderation which is something I hardly ever check! My trip was amazing (for the most part) and I'm so glad the Hawks won! I watched the highlights on YouTube but it's not the same. I was shocked when they traded away some of their best players. I guess in the end it's all about the money.

    1. Yeah, the darn salary cap... :( I swear, the Dallas Stars are going to have to rename themselves to the Starhawks...

    2. I went it and fixed the settings so your comments never fall in the moderation limbo. Sorry again.

      As far as the Hawks go. Let's hope they're not crying next season...


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