Donastia San Sebastián, Spain to Bordeaux, France

We planned to catch the 9:45 local train this morning to take us across the border into France. We walked the short distance to the train station and caught the train with no problem.

Here we are waiting for our train.

In Hendaye France we changed to the French TGV train which took us to Bordeaux. Tomorrow there will be a train strike in France. I’m not sure why, but somehow that contributed to our train being an hour late arriving in Bordeaux. Before we had even arrived at our hotel Duke had received an email saying we could apply for a partial refund because our train was late.

This is our train from Hendaye to Bordeaux. Those are Duke, Rick and Elaine’s heads you can see on the left. It filled up before we got to Bordeaux.

When we arrived in Bordeaux it was raining quite hard. We took a taxi to the hotel.

Bordeaux Place de la Bourse from our taxi.

After a bit of a rest we went out for a walk. But it was still raining so we found a cafe and ordered mulled wine.

Drinking mulled wine on a rainy day in Bordeaux.

We had dinner at a wonderful little restaurant near our hotel, Les Drôles.

This is the inside of Les Drôles. There was more seating downstairs but it was tiny.
I started with the baked cheese:
This is the Patmentier, it’s kind of like shepherd’s pie
The cheesecake for desert was light and tasty.

When we walked back to the hotel the rain had stopped and the streets were sparkling.

Walking back to the hotel.

Cervera de Pisuerga to Donastia San Sebastián

We woke up to a temperature of 0 Celsius and a beautiful sunrise that we could see from our window. The primary objective today was to get to Donastia San Sebastián by 2 pm to return our rental car.

Here you can see the frost on the grass and the beautiful sunrise this morning.

We got a fairly early start and made stops along our route when we saw something interesting.

I thought the bridges in the town of Pisuerga were pretty.

We headed north through the mountains to the Spanish north coast.

On our way to Donastia San Sebastián
When we got to the coast we stopped to take pictures.

In Donastia San Sebastián we dropped Rick and Elaine and our bags at the hotel and then Duke and I returned the rental car. From the rental car office we walked back to the hotel.

Walking back to the hotel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Donastia San Sebastián.

On the beach

Leon to Cervera de Pisuerga

We had a lazy day today. We left the Parador of Leon about 10:30 and drove to the parador of Cervera de Pisuerga. This will be our last parador of the trip and possibly our last parador for 2023. We have now visited 86 of the 98 Paradors.

The parador in Leon was getting ready for a convention.

The Parador of Cervera de Pisuerga is in the foothills of the Palentina Mountains.

This is view from the balcony in front of the Parador bar where we had our welcome drinks.

Tordesillas to Leon

Today we drove about 100 miles north from the Parador of Tordesillas to the Parador of Leon. Duke and I stayed in the Leon Parador back in 2016. Since then the Parador was closed for a few years while they totally renovated it.

The Parador of Leon today
The grand staircase in 2016
The grand staircase today

This afternoon we had our welcome drinks and played cards in the central Atrium

The bar in the central atrium

Later we walked about a mile to the center of Leon to see the cathedral. It didn’t open until 4 and we got there about 3:30. So we had drinks in the restaurant across from the Cathedral.

Waiting for the cathedral to open.

The stained glass windows make the Leon Cathedral one of my favorites in Spain.

Leon Cathedral
One of the stained glass windows in the Leon Cathedral.
More windows

We had one of the best meals of the trip in the Parador restaurant tonight.

My fish was steamed with vegetables in a cellophane like package. Here the waitress is opening it.
The fish was moist and delicious
The desert was a pyramid of white chocolate yogurt and raspberry ice cream was divine too.

After dinner we went outside to get some night time pictures.

The Parador of Leon.

La Granja to Tordesillas

Before leaving La Granja we toured the Royal Palace of La Granja. The palace was built by Phillip V in the early 1700s and became the royal residence.

We couldn’t take pictures inside.
They were cleaning the fountains and presumably will turn them on soon.

We left La Granja around noon and drove a short distance to see the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia. It was built in the first century and used up until 1973 to carry water from springs 17 kilometers away to the town.

The Segovia Roman Aqueduct
Rich and Duke beside one of the pillars of the aqueduct.

From Segovia we drove to the Parador where we are staying tonight in Tordesillas. On the way we saw trees with large pieces of bark removed. Sap was being collected from pine trees. I don’t know what it is for. Perhaps turpentine?

Collecting sap
Trees being used to collect sap.

For dinner we went to a near by steak house. It was part of a camp ground. We had a fabulous meal. The meat flavorful and tender.

The beef and pork sampler platter that Duke and I shared.
Restaurant Abrasador El Astral