Setting up in Spain – Housing, Part I

In one month we’ll be moving again, which means that I’ve spent the last week poring over announcement after announcement of pisos for rent in Burgos in my free time. Now that we’ve rented together in both Canada and Spain we have become cleverer, as over time we have learnt what we want, need or appreciate having in a flat. We have also learnt what doesn’t work for us and what we really want to avoid. I acknowledge that figuring this out took a lot of time and plenty of mistakes to understand the renting scene in the place where we intended on living. I think that the most important thing is to understand what your needs for a house/room/flat are before you begin the hunt. For this very reason I’ve come up with a list of points to consider when looking for accommodation in Spain, whether it be short-term (studying abroad for a semester, working as a language assistant for an 8 month period) or long(er)-term (indefinite work contract, 1 year working holiday visa, immigration etc.).

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1) Shared or unshared piso

Deciding this in advance will cut down on the amount of time you spend prowling the internet looking for available flats. Naturally, if you’re moving to Spain with your family you’ll be looking for an unshared flat, making it an easy decision for those coming with their partner and children. However, if you’re moving alone or as a couple you will have to make this decision.

Sharing a flat will cut costs (especially in big cities) and I’ve found that it provides instant friends (when I moved to England and France I opted for renting a room in a shared flat for this very reason, providing me with company and plans from day 1). Sharing with Spaniards (or foreigners from different countries who only have Spanish in common) will provide you with an opportunity to speak Spanish on a daily basis, but keep in mind that this could prove problematic if you have a very low level of the language. Shared flats are also quite easy to come across if you live in a big city or one with a university. Living alone, on the other hand, is practical for couples who are ready to live by themselves or for anyone who feels that they can handle the cost or don’t need to rely on flatmates for friendship.

2) The area

It’s likely that when you first move to a new city/town you won’t yet have a good understanding of the layout, so really consider the area where you’d like to look for a flat. If you have already secured work then consider how long it will take you to commute, bike, or walk to work. Will it be worth the hour bus ride every morning? I choose to live close to work, a 5 minute walk actually, meaning that I can get up later and get home faster, and that I’ve also never used (or paid for) public transport in my 8 months here. Next, consider how close it is to amenities that you’ll want access to, like grocery stores, bakeries, gyms, coffee shops/bars or the bus/train station. I’d also stress that while it might seem incredible to live in the very centre of things remember that Spaniards are incredibly talented at staying up all night, so if you are a light sleeper stay away from flats above bars or those on the streets where the best partying takes place!

3) Furnished or unfurnished


Websites dedicated to helping people advertise and search for housing often provide you with the option to filter whether or not you want a furnished apartment (like this one from the Idealista website where you can look for amueblado, meaning furnished, and sólo cocina equipada, the kitchen equipped with the basics, but otherwise unfurnished). Unless you’re eager to drop a few hundred euros at Ikea I’d recommend choosing a furnished flat. Take note that furnished flats are much more common here than they are in North America, so you may be hard pressed to find a bare flat. If you do go with a furnished flat, but find that when you move in it doesn’t quite have all the things you expected, try asking the landlord to provide them before heading to the shops, as some are eager to help our their new tenants.

4) Agency or private owner 

Inmobiliarias, or real estate agents, often advertise flats for rent in Spain, especially in newer buildings or barrios. Depending on your needs agencies can be positive or negative, but from experience we do our best to avoid them. While they do tend to show newer buildings, we found the agents that showed us flats were pushy and rushed, which we didn’t appreciate. Then there’s the commission. Renting from an agency usually means dishing out the first month’s rent, the deposit (equivalent to 1 to 2 month’s rent) and a commission. Let’s say you’ve found a flat through an agency that is €300/month, that would be €900 up front, a high cost for someone who has just arrived from another country. This was definitely the case for Borja and I, so we avoided agencies. The best way to steer clear of agencies is to: 1) use filters on websites, 2) avoid contact numbers that start with 9 (indicating a landline), as it’s likely to be that of an agency (private owners normally list their mobile phone number, which begin with 6). If you do choose to go through an inmobiliaria remember to factor a commission rate into your budget!

5) Contracts

Consider what type of contract you want before arranging to view a flat. If you will only be Spain for 6 months, don’t sign a one year contract. Many landlords- especially those who rent shared accommodation or those who have dealt with students and/or temporary workers (like language assistants) in the past- will be willing to give you a shorter contract or a month-to-month contract if you ask, which will save you a lot of trouble when it comes time to move out!

It’s also important to know that due to the current economic situation a lot of private owners in Spain don’t want to pay taxes on the money they make from renting flats, so they don’t. They rent flats without declaring that they do. If you choose to rent one of these flats know what that means. You won’t get in trouble for living there, but the owner may if they’re found out. Also consider that any contract that you sign with them isn’t going to have the same hold as a contract in a legally rented flat, which may be good or bad for you. I’m not suggesting you avoid them (in fact, we have experience with renting one of these apartments), but to know what it means. For instance, it may be difficult to obtain documents you need if the owner is registered as living there, but doesn’t (such as the certificate of cohabitation, required for obtaining residency through pareja de hecho).

6) Utilities

Unless you’ve decided to rent a room in a shared flat it’s probable that your rent won’t include utilities, so remember that when viewing flats. You should to consider gas vs. electric heating. While back home in Canada I would never have considered renting a flat that used home heating oil, here in Spain a lot of people do their best to avoid electric heating, which is said to be more expensive. So, check it before you sign!

Don’t forget to ask if the monthly rate for maintenance/cleaning of the building is included or if you’ll have to pay extra every month (look for: gastos de comunidad incluidos). In most cases it will be included, but I have seen some ads on housing sites that sneakily add an extra €30 to the monthly cost at the very bottom of the ad, where you’re least likely to notice it.

Buena suerte in your search!

Moving to Spain? Check out these Post-Arrival Tips

Moving to another country is a huge step, even if it’s just for a temporary period (8 months for contracted language assistants, for example) it’s important to feel prepared and know what to do with yourself. After jumping through all the hoops in Canada to get a Spanish visa, I was finally able to check my suitcase onto an overnight flight and make my way to Spain.


The next bit was simple, I had to find myself an apartment and then follow the list of steps I’d been sent from my job (in this case, the regional coordinator of the language assistant program). But, after settling into an apartment equipped with wifi, buying a mobile phone, opening a bank account and starting the process for the NIE/TIE (number and identity card for foreigners in Spain), what’s the next step? Other than starting work there really isn’t a set list of things one must do (which is the beauty of moving to another country, isn’t it?).

So, I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve done since moving to Spain. They aren’t necessarily the next step (it actually took me ages to do most of these), however I found them useful as they helped me to get a sense of what was available to me here in Spain.

1) Hacerte socio at the local library


Ya, that’s right, I just suggested you sign up at the local library. Why, you may ask. First of all, it’s free, so what not take advantage of it! Second, signing up at the local library gives you access to all sorts of resources, like English books (both textbooks and picture books) which can be helpful for private lessons, computers and wifi (it took friends of mine about 3 weeks to finally have internet set up in their apartment, that’s three weeks of searching for free wifi in bars around town you could avoid), Spanish books and DVDs (free Spanish learning tools). While you probably won’t spend very much time on the library computers or browsing the shelves for a new book to read, it doesn’t do any harm to have the possibility to go if the need arises!

2) Get empadronado/a

Empadronarse means to register with the town hall as living in that particular town or city. Most foreigners don’t do this unless they need to- I only did this because it was required to do pareja de hecho– but it can be a useful document to have! In many towns/cities, showing proof of empadronamiento means being entitled to a discount at the polideportivo (sports centre), and who doesn’t like getting a discount.

Compared to other areas of Spanish bureaucracy, registering at Castro’s town hall was so quick and painless I barely remember doing it. All that was required of me was: the form (which they provided), my TIE, my passport and the contract from our apartment, along with copies of each (this is Spain after all). Here are the requirements as given by the town hall in Castro Urdiales (remember to double-check the requirements where you live, just to be sure):

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3) Sign up for classes at an Adult Learning Centre

Towns and cities across Spain have schools dedicated to providing free courses to adult learners. The classes offered at each centre depend on location and demand (a centre in a bigger city will offer more courses or more time slots than in a small town, for example), but they are free. The most important aspect of this is that Español para extranjeros (Spanish for foreigners/immigrants) is a course offered at these schools. There are various levels (usually falling within the básico and intermedio range), which means that even those without any knowledge of Spanish can attend classes! If you’ll be coming to Spain with a very high level of the language then skip the Spanish courses and check out some of the others offered, like history, art or IT.

Classes are divided into the same semesters as primary or high schools, and, in small towns, are often held in the same buildings during the evening. To sign up you must simply show your TIE or passport, fill out a form and pay €3.00 to cover the cost of photocopies for the semester (plus, no books are required!).


I have been attending an upper-intermediate class at Castro’s adult school since October and have really enjoyed myself. We use the class time to brush up on grammar, read poems and extracts from novels, listen to music, converse on a selected topic or ask questions about Spanish culture and customs.

4) Find the nearest videoclub

Another antique tip for you here. You probably haven’t rented a film since 2008, but hear me out! Renting films in Spanish is a fantastic way to train your ear to listening to every day spoken Spanish, they sort you’ll hear on the street or at work. Despite being known for a lucrative dubbing industry Spain also produces some very good films, so take the opportunity not to have to search for and download them at home and pop into a video store to rent one for the evening. If you don’t know where to start, read my post on Spanish-language films for a few suggestions or just rent a film you’ve watched a million times before, just in Spanish this time around.

5) Locate a pharmacy with extended hours

You’ll automatically put this one on the back burner until you wake up one Sunday morning realising that you desperately need X medication. It may be difficult to remember that Spain virtually shuts down on Sunday, this is especially the case in smaller places. It’s good to know, however, that there is often a pharmacy open late and/or at the weekend. The nearest one to my apartment in Castro Urdiales is across town, but Borja’s lucky enough to have one just under his apartment in Burgos. While you may not make use of the extended hours all that often it won’t take very long to scout one out, before you’re desperate.


Or have a glass of tinto. You are in Spain after all.

I could keep extending this list, but I think the most important thing to remember when moving to another country is that after getting settled you should remember your hobbies and what you enjoy doing. Then set out to do your thing in your new country to help you acostumbrar to your new surroundings!

Puente de Vizcaya – A Ride on the World’s Oldest Transporter Bridge


Dating a Spaniard means that 99% of the time Borja is the one who suggests places for us to visit or things for us to see in Spain. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t keep my ears open, in an attempt to be the first one to suggest a new activity to do or place to visit together. Today I suggested we take a ride on the Vizcaya Bridge, known locally as el Puente Colgante, in Portugalete after hearing about it from a friend.

The Vizcaya Bridge was built in 1893 and is the world’s oldest transporter bridge (source). I didn’t know this before going there and, looking back on it now, I certainly didn’t feel like we were on a structure that was was raised over 100 years ago!


This puente was built out of a need to connect the two banks at the mouth of the River Nervión without causing any disruption to shipping. It was declared a UNESCO World Hesitate Site in 2006, making it the first in Basque Country (source). Yay, Basque Country!

The transporter car can carry 6 coches, along with people and bicics!

The gondola can carry 6 coches, along with pedestrians and bicics!

As pedestrians riding the gondola, the trip from the Portugalete side of the river to Getxo on the opposite bank cost us a mere 0.35€ each and lasted about 2 minutes. Taking a car across is an option, but be aware that it is a little pricier and the wait time to access the gondola can be longer than that of pedestrians as it only accommodates six cars.


Looking out the gondola window.

Having imagined what the ride would be like prior to heading there (cramped? dizzyingly high up? pricey?) I was pleasantly surprised when we walked through the gate. It is a short ride, but comfortable, and despite all of the people aboard there was plenty of space for us to check out the river under the bright blue sky.

It was a fun Sunday activity, and we took advantage of the fair weather to dar una vuelta around Getxo and grab a slice of tortilla de patata before riding back across the river.

Ever visited the Puente Colgante? What did you think?

A Look Inside a Spanish Classroom

Seven months in a classroom setting has given me a lot of time to observe the behaviour of my students, even if it is just 12 hours a week that I spend with them. I could be that I’m more likely to notice the subtle (or, in some cases, enormous) differences between their behaviour and that of what I’ve experienced in the past. I’m not speaking about how the students conduct themselves or the student-teacher dynamic, as there is no shortage of discussion on how they greatly differ from the home country of the language assistants who work with them, but about other behaviours that I have picked up on from my time in the classroom.

Being raised in one culture or country and then finding yourself in another to work or live always produces a arm-length list of rarities, differences or facts. Of course, this also works when comparing students who study in different countries, so read on to see some of the things that confuse me or make me laugh about the Spanish students I work with.

Almost without fail, every time that myself or a teacher asks a class to copy something, jot down new vocabulary learnt during a presentation, write a paragraph on a given topic or even do a crossword puzzle (yes, I’ve heard a class moan about having to pick up their pens to do a puzzle for homework) the students will argue. They hate writing. They hate it so much they will do their utmost to get out of the task, even if it means pawning the work off on a classmate.

One day, while in with my 1º ESO bilingual class, the following exchange happened between myself and a student after I’d placed them in partners and asked them to interview one another, pretending one was a celebrity of their choice:

Student: “But, Ashley, which notebook?”

Me: (looking quickly at the teacher) “Oh. Do you have two notebooks for English?”

Student: “No. Only one.”

Me: “Alright, well take out that notebook then.”

It was then that the teacher started to laugh and informed me that what this student really wanted to know was if both students in each pair had to use a notebook or could they choose just one to write. Her response was “only in Spain would this happen!” Since then the students have learned that I expect everyone to participate in writing, at least a little, when doing group work. It did take me a while to catch on to this, but since I have I tell students that they can only hand their writing over their partner if they’ve paid them first! With €5.00 on the line (the rate I always quote as being enough to write for a fellow student) it usually doesn’t take them long to haul their notebooks out of their knapsacks.

Knowing that my students think writing is the most horrible task ever, I often wonder why, when the do set out to answering assigned questions, do they first copy the question from the handout or textbook into their notebook. Rather than writing the page number from the textbook as a from of referral, they copy out the full question from the text into their notebook before attempting the answer. I’ve never asked about it, settling with the answer that it must come from Spanish teaching methods, something that they were taught to do from a young age and still continue to practice. I find it to be an awful waste of time, especially when you consider how long it can take students to get settled into the task, after arguing about it with the teacher first. Perhaps it’s just a way for them to waste time, therefore never really getting around to having to do more than copy a few lines and reserving their brain power for more exciting activities.

Another aspect that I have observed in the Spanish classroom is the well-stocked estuche (pencil case) that may rival only the French in terms of preparedness (the French children I worked with two years ago had multiple pencil cases, all brimming with enough goodies to make Staples jealous). Even high schoolers are decked out with school supplies that I didn’t see past 6th grade: bright mini-scissors, glue sticks, leads (colouring pencils for those of you not from Newfoundland), erasable pens, rulers, the list goes on and on. I am often brought to wonder why a 16-year-old needs a pair of mini-scissors; though I probably only wonder about this is the first place because they have a nasty habit of pulling them out during class and swinging them in wide circles near their friends’ faces. And, recently, the mini-rulers have become trendy to play with: simply glue a mini-ruler (or crack a long one in two if you’re desperate) to the tips of your fingers and slide it around your desktop fingerboard-style! After watching teenage students pull out any and every supply to create a toy or make a personal science experiment (just how many ways are there to transfer ink from a hi-lighter to an empty pen case?) I’ve learned that the pencil case holds no end to possible classroom fun.

Those estuches are also full of pens, pens that have become the staple writing utensil of math class. Just stop for a minute and imagine what happens when you mix a 12-year-old, a pen and the fractions unit. Let’s just say it means a lot of whiteout is used (it really should be available in pint-sized containers). And when they run out, as they often do, they start yell-whispering around the classroom begging for típex. I’m hoping that either their penmanship will improve or that they’ll learn to start using pencils, because it’s astounding just how much whiteout they use in one 50-minute sitting.

I still have another six weeks to go, ample time for learning a little more about Spanish students and their classroom behaviour.

Have you worked in a Spanish classroom? Would you add any other observations to the above list?

Sunshine, Bikes and Burgos

Recently life seems to be moving at a speed that even I can’t keep up with. The last month in particular has brought a whirlwind of changes, leaving me feeling like there aren’t quite enough hours in the day week.

After six months of living in Spain and struggling with the current impossible employment situation in Spain, Borja had a string of interviews. He spent a week or two driving round the surrounding provinces or Skyping to attend them. This really brightened the mood in our piso, as we were just starting to feel like maybe, just maybe we’d made the wrong decision by trading Canada for Spain. Then at the beginning of March he got the phone call we’d been waiting for! The only downside was that Borja had been hired for a position in a company in Burgos, a city 2 hours drive from Castro Urdiales. We had less than a week to celebrate and find an apartment for him in Burgos before he started work. IMG_20150328_185055

So, for the last month we’ve been back to long-distance (though a much shorter version than in the past) and planning our weekends around visiting one another. I’ve spent the last three weeks getting familiar with Burgos, a city that I’ve visited in that past, but that I didn’t know beyond it’s iconic cathedral and the streets surrounding it.

Heading into the old part of Burgos.

Heading into the old part of Burgos.

After one weekend in Burgos I was excited about it. I had enjoyed myself a lot more than I thought I would and one thought kept running around my head: that I needed a bicycle, ASAP. Burgos is flat, and long (running a length of over 20km) making it ideal for cycling. But the best part is that Burgos is equipped with kilometres and kilometres carril-bici (bike lanes), and is full of bicycle-riding people, people who are used to a cycling lifestyle! I’ve wanted to be one of those people who rides their bicycle everywhere for as long as I can remember, and even bought a bike when I lived in France (though it turned out to be a poor purchase, as I lived at the bottom of and worked at the top of a very steep hill…). By my second visit to Burgos I had bought myself a bici de paseo from the local Decathlon and had convinced Borja to bring his bicycle from his parent’s house. IMG-20150411-WA0001

Cycling around the city has given Borja and I an excellent opportunity to explore Burgos. Spring has arrived in Spain and even Burgos (notorious for being chilly, as it sits at about 800m) has seen warm, sunny weather these past few weekends, which means that we’ve been able to take full advantage of touring the city on our bicycles. Pairing a love of outside sport with the eagerness to explore a city without time restraints is intoxicating, and I can’t get enough! Little by little we’ve been able to get familiar with the area of the city that we only knew in fleeting glimpses, as well as, discover new parts. Just before I left this past weekend, Borja remarked that at this rate we’d known Burgos in and out before the month was out, however, I disagree. Taking to the streets on bike is a means to get oriented, after gathering our bearings we’ll have to set out on foot, to explore those nooks and crannies we’ve miss while whizzing along the bicycle lane.

Bike lanes and old churches.

Carril-bici and old churches in Burgos.

Even off the bike s we’ve been having a great time in the city, checking out new cafés and restaurants, visiting the museums and parks. Little by little we’re enjoying our new situation, even if it isn’t what we were expecting. IMG_20150411_105941

Burgos Castle – Panoramic Views and Exploring a Well


Ever been to Burgos? If you have you’ve definitely seen the cathedral, an enormous ivory-coloured Gothic cathedral, and if you haven’t, then you’ve likely heard about it. Chances are though that you haven’t visited or heard about the Burgos Castle. This city’s cathedral is main act, however, the castle is a worthy opener. Located atop a hill above the city, the castle makes for an incredible view of Burgos.


Hello Burgos!

The cathedral looks teeny from way up here.

The cathedral, looking teeny from way up here.

The area around the Burgos Castle, which has archaeological evidence of a human settlement dating back to the Copper Age, has been made into a park (el Parque del Castillo) with well maintained waking trails and a mirador (a lookout, where you can take that quintessential group photo in Burgos). I basically go with the thought that if you’ve walked all the way up to the mirador you may as well walk the other 300 metres to the Castle door and take a look around!

One of many routes that can be taken to reach the castle.

One of the routes that can be taken to the castle.

The Burgos castle was built in 884, however, there is evidence that older fortifications existed prior to this date. The castle was built as a stronghold, a fortified castle rather than a castle built for housing kings and queens, for defensive purposes. The location is extremely strategic and would have allowed the soldiers in the castle to remain protected and give them an edge during potential attacks.


What remains of the castle today is little more than an outer shell, with some remaining bit of towers and stone walls. The castle was majorly damaged during French occupation in the 19th-century. The French, who were located at the castle then, announced that there would be a controlled explosion on an appointed afternoon. In the end, the explosion was much larger than originally announced and took place much earlier, causing the destruction of much of the castle and the death of many French soldiers (who had not been prepared for the explosion at that time).




While, at first, what remains inside of the outer wall might leave a little left to be desired (especially if you’ve visited other castles in Spain, like the Castle of Olite in Navarra), but don’t feel discouraged! The best past of the visit is located below ground. No, I’m not talking about another cave (if you’ve been reading along you’ve learnt that I can’t get enough of exploring caves). The pièce de résistance is the well. That’s right, the well.

Known as the pozo, the well built in this castle is extraordinary. No, seriously, I’m talking about a well. Dating back to mediaeval times this well is 63 metres deep and equipped with six spiral staircases, built for maintenance purposes. These stairs wind around the outside of the well shaft (which was built with tiny windows allowing for daylight to enter an area otherwise void of light) and were built in an ingenious fashion. Some stairs were built clockwise, while others were built counter-clockwise, meant to help those who had descended into the cramped space grasp a sense of direction. Perhaps it’s just me (and the interpreter from the tour), but I find this construction incredible and that is has remained intact after all this time.

Getting to go down into the pozo was a fun experience. After learning all there was to know about the well’s construction and the castle we got to put on blue plastic hardhats and descend into the deep! It’s small and cramped, with a low ceiling, to be expected for something built when the average person was much shorter. Being quite short I didn’t find it too bad, but the men in the group nearly knocked their heads off the low ceiling. Besides walking along the tight corridor and up, and down, the stone stairs we stood over a 27 metre deep trapdoor (terrifying even when fitted with a sturdy metal grate) and got to look into one of the window slits built into the well shaft. Before I knew it I had taken a quick glance into the well and was climbing back up to the surface.

*Currently, the Burgos Castle is only open to visitors during the morning, so plan accordingly! Hours are extended during the summer tourist season though. You can check out the rates (as cheap as a pintxo and a corto with a youth card) here and the schedule here!

Have you visited Burgos Castle? What did you think about the pozo?

My Big Fat Spanish Easter

I’d been looking forward to Semana Santa for ages. First of all because my students were at that point in the semester where they really needed a holiday (they moaned every time I asked them “please open your notebooks” or asked them to pick up a pen for the last month) and, second, because the Easter holiday meant finally spending a weekend in the casa rural. The idea for Borja’s family to spend the Easter weekend together in a rented house in rural Navarra came up during Christmas, and after a few months of planning and preparation it happened!


Our home for the weekend.

I come from a large extended family, but I’ve never spent time with a large group of family members all at once, so it was exciting for me to participate in a weekend-long family get-together with the Spanish family! From Thursday to Sunday we squeezed 11 ( yes, 11) people into 4 bedrooms- two aunts, two uncles, 3 cousins, Borja’s parents, and us.

The house that we rented was straight out of my sueños: an old, yet well cared for, house, styled with more Basque-themed ornaments than I thought possible to pack into one house. It had a fireplace (we lit a fire every morning and we used it as a backup oven), dark wooden ceiling beams and and stone outer walls. The house is found in Madotz, a village 27km from Pamplona and 6km up a steep mountain road. It’s rural and small, real small. In fact, according to Wikipedia the population of Madotz is a staggering 17!


Madotz in (nearly) all of its entirety.

Despite living less than a two hours drive from our weekend home Borja and I were the last to arrive- I still can’t believe we showed up hours after the madrileños. This trip had been primped and planned for ages, and when the day finally rolled around the other family members were eager to get settled in ASAP. After a quick round of besos we were ushered into the house for the grand tour. I was most impressed by the quantity of food. I questioned how we would ever eat all of that food in one weekend (the answer: tiny, foil-wrapped bundles of leftover cheeses, cured meats and crusty bread were sent home with the kids, to stock our fridges). Although it shocked me I had anticipated it, as one of Borja’s uncles is notorious for (and subsequently awesome for) bringing lots of good Spanish food and buying too much bread for family gatherings. Then when mealtimes came round it felt like we were workers at a summer camp, working in teams to prepare giant pots of rice, cut stick after stick of bread, uncork bottles of wine, and toss giant salads.

Gracias for that long table!

Gracias for that long table!

Spanish food may normally be the main event, but I most enjoyed the time we spent doing group activities:

1) Walking the windy mountain road to Astitz and getting gorgeous views


2) Checking out the Nacedero de Larraun (who doesn’t love seeing where a river is ‘born’)


3) Hunting for the house from Ocho Apellidos Vascos in rainy Leitza

Okay, we weren't sure about the house, so I took this photo instead.

Okay, we weren’t sure about which house, so I took this photo instead.

4) Visiting the cave of Mendukilo, where I was reminded of my love for caves,


5) Visiting Peru-Harri – el Parque de la Piedra and getting a sneak peak into Basque sport of stone lifting.




6) Making the long, damp trip to the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar


7) Turning Lekunberri into our own personal backdrop for long series of group photos



I’m already looking forward to next year’s Easter weekend!