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Saturday, November 26, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 8, Part 2 - Vizcaya Bridge, Santillana del Mar

"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty." - John Adams

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 7 - 23rd March - Vizcaya Bridge, Santillana del Mar
(Part 2)

Our next destination was the Vizcaya Bridge, a Bridge in Biscay, Spain spanning the Nervion River and linking the cities of Portugalete and Las Arenas. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There was a sign for Madrid and some other place (Alyucia? Ulyucia?) - in English and Arabic. Hah.

When we reached Getzo (one of the cities), we found that for once, we needed to pay for parking. The parking meter was a terminal where it was necessary to enter 0688 GWS, our license plate number. Maybe they have issues with people passing on parking chits.

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Vizcaya bridge

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Cables going behind some houses

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One of the towers. Under renovation unfortunately

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Bust of Alberto de Palacio, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, who designed it.

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Cars and pedestrians getting on to the bridge. Pedestrians can also walk across on top.


Vizcaya Bridge in operation. It was the first transporter bridge I'd seen (and given how many are left, probably will be the last)

Soundtrack:

"It's free right?"
"Your head"
"Hello. Why is he so stupid?"
"It's no free ah?"
"Your stupidity will be recorded forever on YouTube now"

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River and Gondola

This was also my 91st World Heritage Site, which meant I'd hit my 10% target.

There were 2 schoolgirls in uniform who were on the cusp of adolescence and wearing very short skirts. I didn't know the Spanish wore school uniforms - I thought it was a British thing. Anyhow this is one of the less meditated-upon aspects of the Unity of Mankind: teenage rebeliousness.

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Gondola approaching shore

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Ticket booth. Notice the lack of Spanish on the World Heritage text.

After gawking on foot it was time to drive across (as it was on our way!)

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Bridge from afar


Getting on the gondola

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Killing time


Bridge in operation

The town opposite Getxo, Portugalete, was nicer.

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Steep street

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Street

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Rolling hills
Driving through windy mountain roads, it was no surprise to me why the Moors were unable to conquer all of Spain. I'm told Switzerland looks like this.

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"Club"
This sad Club with a flashing neon sign was in La Helguera, a village on the way to Santillana del Mar.

There was a sign about an accident zone and needing to concentrate, then the end of the zone was marked with the same words and a no symbol ( ⃠). Presumably there was no need to concentrate after it.

We finally reached Santillana del Mar at 7+.

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I think I took this to aid navigation.

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My Little Ponies. With shaggy manes. No I'm not a bronie.

Santillana del Mar was a town of hotels, shops and restaurants. Naturally this was very suspicious. Interesting nugget from Wikipedia: "There is an old saying that Santillana del Mar is The Town of Three Lies, since it is neither a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana) and has no sea (Mar) as implied by the town's name".

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Street

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Coach park

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Crest on building

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Square

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The Church of the Colegiata is in the distance

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This set has the most accurate lighting level

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Tourists in street

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Sausages: venison and wild boar

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How to sell lentils - with meat for a stew

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Church of the Colegiata

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Different aspects of an alley

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Hotel

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Hotel's stars and marks of distinction

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This hotel is so atas that you cannot enter

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"Solo clientes alojados" ("Hotel Guests Only")

We then went for dinner.

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The "turistic" menu, where wine and water are interchangeble options; the turning of water into wine is less impressive after considering this cultural context. Also note that kids around the world have the same taste.

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Menu del dia (menu of the day) - the one we ended up having. A lot more sumptious than the "turistic menu", of course.
I don't understand their pricing strategy: a 3 course menu del dia is cheaper than many a la carte dishes.

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A sub-menu just for Fried eggs

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Restaurant panorama

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Restaurant scene

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"Arroz caldoso a la marinera con bogavante (Battery seafood rice)"

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"Cocido Montanes (White bean stew pork and vegetables)"

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"Pastel templado de centollo en sasade cigalas (Spider crab pudding in seafood sauce)"

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"Revoltijo de gulas y gambas (Fried eggs with baby eels, little prawns and chips)"

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"Lechazo asado en su jugo con patata panadera (Roast lamb in sauce and chips)"

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"Lomos de Bacalo en salsa verde (Cod loins in green sauce)"
It wasn't very green. And note the prawn!

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"Natillas Caseras (Home made custards)"

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"Pudding de queso cremoso al caramelo (Cheese pudding)"

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"Trufas de chocolatecon nata (Chocolate truffles and cream)"

The food we had for lunch had been ok and the dessert excellent. For dinner it was the reverse.


The GPS we rented was not very good. It marked non-existent roundabouts, we found roads which weren't marked on the map and one way roads were wrongly marked as two way.

Spanish cyclists are very pro. You can see them biking down country roads.
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