The Valley of Baztan

The road trip I took with several friends to the north of Navarra took us through the Valley of Baztan twice. The valley, one of Navarra’s seven largest, is named for the river Baztan, called Bidasoa further downstream where it forms the international border between Irun, France and Hondarribia, Spain.

On the way up north, we visited the village of Amaiur-Maya. I saw it on the map and suggested a quick stop as I had seen pictures of its mill in one of the tourism guides. In the end, we didn’t even see the mill – but we strolled down main street (the only street?) and up a hill to a strange monolith, built (as I later found out) to commemorate the a Navarran revolt in 1522.

Night was falling as we headed back south, stopping in Elizondo (the capital of the Valley) and little adjacent Elbete. Elizondo’s church is worth a look (Eliza = Basque for Church) but mostly I just enjoyed the quiet streets with their yellow lamp-lights.

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 16:48  Leave a Comment  

Snow and Studying

One of nine snowman in Plaza Felix Huarte

It’s snowing pretty hard today. First serious exam tomorrow – Cultura Visual.

I made a quick grocery run – bought milk, bread, tomato sauce, and relleno. I could have survived the day with what I had in my cupboard, and shouldn’t have wasted the time with my exam approaching, but then again it only takes ten minutes, and tomorrow I’m busy, and Sunday it’ll be closed, and Monday and Tuesday perhaps too – there’s some sort of holiday. Even today lots of things are closed for Dia de Navarra, but luckily not the grocery store. Besides, I wanted to feel the snow under my own feet – this was an excuse.

Snowball fight in Plaza Felix Huarte

Plaza Felix Huarte has nine new residents as of this morning – very pale and a bit misshapen. I don’t know if they’ll make it to nightfall without melting away entirely- the temperature is only just at freezing, after all.

My room smells like the wet laundry hung up to dry. It’s not unpleasant. There’s enough light bouncing off the snow and coming in through the window that I can leave the electric ones turned off. The air is cool but I’ve got my wool socks and a sweatshirt on as I sit in bed and study with a mug of Colacao. Life is good.

Published in: on December 3, 2010 at 15:57  Leave a Comment