(Accommodations, La Rioja)
In the afternoon, time to head north on a scenic drive to the Bay of Biscay, and the coastal city of San Sebastian. The city is famous for its' several Michelin starred restaurants. Seafood of course is prevalent, and one of the most typical Basque dishes of all is bacalao al pil pil, a Spanish fish stew comprised of bacalao (cod), garlic and olive oil. Make sure to try pimientos de piquillo, roasted small bright red peppers, and slabs of fore rib called txuleton, which are grilled over coals and served with nothing more than a sprinkling of good sea salt.
(Breakfast & Lunch, La Rioja, Accommodations, San Sebastian)
(Breakfast & Accommodations, San Sebastian)
At the Guggenheim, its entrance is guarded by an unlikely Cerberus; a 40ft dog made out of flowers. "Puppy" is the creation of kitsch American artist Jeff Koons and has become the unofficial mascot of the city. You may have to wait in line to have a photo taken of with the dog. The exhibitions vary during the year, but Richard Serra's seven-part The Matter of Time alone is worth a visit.
(Breakfast & Lunch, San Sebastian, Accommodations, Bilbao)
(Breakfast, San Sebastian; Accommodations, Oviedo)
(Breakfast, Oviedo; Accommodations, Santiago de Compostela)
Returning to Santiago, make time to visit the majestic cathedral; the end of the Camino and final resting place of St. James. A small church was first built over the tomb of St. James shortly after it was discovered in 819 AD. This was destroyed by Moorish army in 997, though they left the relics of the Apostle undisturbed. They did, however, force Santiago's citizens to carry the bells of the tower to the mosque in Cordoba (they have since been returned). Entrance to the cathedral is through the magnificent Pó rtico de la Gloria, carved in 1188 by Maestro Mateo and considered one of the finest works of medieval art. The spectacular Baroque facade of the cathedral, known as the Obradoiro facade, was added in 1738. Made of granite, it's flanked by the huge bell towers, and adorned everywhere with statues of St. James as the pilgrim, with his staff, broad hat and scallop-shell badge.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Santiago de Compostela)
(Breakfast, Santiago de Compostela)