Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Central square and fountain in Guernica

Street scene

The International Peace Museum

Guernica church

Museum of Basque Culture

The Basque parliament building; Guernica has been their
gathering place for centuries

Trunk of the old oak tree under which Basque
leaders gathered to elect their leader

The new oak tree

Wednesday morning we departed beautiful San Sebastian and headed west along the coast, but up into the hills briefly to see Guernica, both the capital of Basque country and also the site of the infamous 1937 terror bombing that killed and injured thousands, the subject of Picasso's famous painting. At the time, it was as bad as warfare could be imagined--relentless bombing of civilians on market day--Hitler's first experiment in terror bombing. Ironically, it was so successful that the Germans (Franco's supporters) suspended work on a heavy bomber and decided to rely strictly on the twin-engined medium types. The Battle of Britain would have turned out differently had the Germans long-range heavy-payload bombers in their arsenal.

From Guernica we headed back to the coast, intending to see the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, but we got totally distracted by the fact that our fittings were not compatible with Spanish LPG nozzles (despite assurances otherwise from various authorities).  This plus the fact that we were down to 1/3 tank and historically-cold weather was predicted. So we drove on to the campground at Santillana del Mar, where our new drivers license was to be delivered by DHL. At the campground there we at least had electricity to heat with. It was our first night in a campground in 28 days.

1 comment:

Tawana said...

We were in Guernica also and had a tour of the Basque parliament building. We had seen the painting in Madrid, so it really tied things together. We spent a day in Bilbao, too, and loved the outside of the museum, but were not too impressed with the exhibits.
Stay warm! We have snow flurries predicted for Christmas Eve, and are hoping that Cara can get out of snowy Chicago tonight.
xxxooo tw