Day Four - More time in the Basque Region

May 6, 2002
  Front of Parador - those are thick walls!

This was one of our favorite spots...Just enter the Parador, and it will seem that you are back in the Middle Ages - thick stone walls, arches, armor and spears... Founded by the Navarrese king Sancho Abarca in the 10th century, this Parador is in a beautiful castle which maintains the structure of a medieval fortress in a monumental, coastal setting. Its has a defensive appearance with thick walls, and an interior recovered with tapestries. There are beautiful views of the French coast and the sea, viewable from terrace or from some bedrooms(like ours!). There are nooks and crannies, spaces adorned with arches, wrought iron and coffered ceilings providing an atmosphere of living in an old castle. Lances, cannons and armor make up the interior decoration. And to top it off, there was a couple from England with a Boxster there while we stayed in this Parador.

Here is an example of the old structure of this 10th century building, site of several sieges throughout the history of Hondarribia. You could have a drink out here, or breakfast, weather permitting, as you can see it was grey and over cast and cool.  within the courtyard of the Parador in Hondarribia - an example of what the building looked like hundreds of years ago
 Puerta de Santa Maria - the entrance to the old town. Walking up the hill you pass an old church and come up to the Parador and the Plaza de Armas. Tiny cobblestone streets, old buildings, and such character made this one of our favorite cities.  This is an old picture of the same street that leads up from Puerta Santa Maria, with the old church in the background. The Parador is adjacent (and out of the picture) to the Church.
 Puerta de Santa Maria - entrance to the old city  This is the road that leads up from Puerta Santa Maria
 The walls were lined with old photographs, armor, banners, art work and other artifacts. The innermost courtyard shows some of the original building and steps that show the real age of the building.  Here is a shot from the downstairs bar area up to the second level and the massive arches, with banners hanging down.
 Excellent workmanship in rebuilding the interior of the Parador  interior shot of Parador
 Great looking buildings like this one were everywhere - fantastic color, flower pots out on the balconies, absolutely stunning.  The old town area has a tremendous amount of character, color, and small cars.
 Very old building under refurbishment - as were many buildings nearby  steep cobbled street lined with colorful old buildings

Below is a panoramic view of the harbor in Hondarribia (Donastia to some)

 Panarama Hondarribia view from our room in the Parador

Day Five - The trek South to Nuevalos

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