Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Spain & Portugal Days 14-16: Moving Onwards

The next day we took it easy around Formigal. We did a small waterfall hike, went back to the municipal pool, and got ourselves packed up for our big travel day ahead.  

We hit the road early on Day 15 with all of our stuff packed into the car. We drove for two hours across the Spanish countryside, through the mountains and foothills, alongside lakes and cool rock formations reminiscent of the hoodoos in the Alberta badlands, and past hilltop farming towns. We stopped in Pamplona for lunch, eating at the famous Cafe Iruna in the Plaza del Castillo, where Hemmingway liked to imbide. 

Cafe Iruna

We also walked down the road that the bulls run through, and we went past the bull-fighting arena. 

Back on the road for another hour and a half and we found ourselves in Bilbao. We had debated spending a few nights in the largest Basque city during our original planning stages but had decided to forgo it. The city actually turned out to be quite lovely down at the river and we would have been happy to have more time there. 

The Guggenheim!
We drove by it twice just to get a good look at it
(not at all because we made a navigational error)


We did a quick stop at the Bilbao Loco Polo (an absolute necessity), then headed to the airport. It was a bit stressful with us running behind schedule (due to how long lunch took in Pamplona - NOT because of the popsicle stop), but we got through security and to our gate with lots of time to spare. 

We took a short flight to Lisbon, cabbed our way to our apartment for the night, and got up early. We were staying close to the heart of downtown, so we made sure to take a few minutes in the morning to walk out to the Arco do Rua Augusta.


This marked Adventure Girl's 11th country so here's a picture of her counting the countries she's visited using all ten fingers and a toe! :)

We grabbed our bags and headed back to the airport to fly onwards over the Atlantic to the Azores! This, ironically, was the cheapest way we found to get home and we loved the fact that it got us two hours closer to mountain time and cut down on our last big travel day. It also felt ritzy to voyage to this archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

Flying into Terceira

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