|We left Zumaia early the next morning after breakfast at a bakery. We took N633 along the coast. We passed many 3-4 abrest cyclists. A race maybe? In that case should have had a pic of the pelaron but sorry. Much to Gord's delight, we made a wrong turn and found ourselves on the autopista just beyond Deba. We took this to Bilbao. With Rick Steve's directions, we arrived in Bilbao Centre right by the Guggenheim Museum with parking nearby. Great!!
It is a fantastic piece of architecture with its curving facade mixed with square and round parts. Out front is a huge topiary of a puppy covered in colorful floweryto be . There are walks around the building. A huge coppery brown spider sculpture rests in a plaza close by. There is a small park included in the complex. Also a small café were we enjoyed our coffee.
We spent an hour marvelling at this amazing building.
From here it was back on A 8 to Santander with spectacular views of the coast....and mountains. We saw small villages but didn't go through them. We bypassed Santander and stopped for a picnic lunch at a rest area along the way. From Santander we followed the coast to Ribadesella, again a wrong turn found us close to Oviedo. We turned south or so we thought but found ourselves beyond Gijon where we had originally planned to go south to Leon. Still on the autopista, this time A 66, we followed up and over mountains, sometimes through mountains to the Castilian Plain in north central Spain. Bypassing Leon, we turned west to Astorga, once a Roman town.
Here we found a room (a suite due to language difficulties) at the Hotel Gaudi. What a beautiful little city! In the old city there are numerous plazas each with their own unique eglisia. This is a stop on the Camino de Santiago. Gaudi designed the Palacio Espcopal. It is under repair but was right across from our hotel....as were two bell-ringing cathedrals. We did have a quiet night but awakened to a chorus of bells.