Rental car excursion! Only 3-4 hours to the western Pyranees from Bilbao. These villages in the foothills are adorable.
Lunch stop early afternoon. Yes, it took nearly and hour 🙂
Basque cider. I love the label.
Pretty much every small town here is built on a river or straddling a river. Some of the bridges look really old. Some towns have millworks but not many. I suppose you could lumber at high flood, but most of the rivers I saw were low like this. I bet spring snow melt is another story, as these high walls explain.
Pyranees foothills, hiding.


I chose this second mountain valley to drive up for two reasons… An incredible train station and ski hills.

Canfranc station, Wes Anderson movie set?

The renovation and reopening as a hotel is fairly new. There used to be a train tunnel (Somport) to France from this station. (Now there’s a highway tunnel.) Truly amazing building feats in the early 1900s.


The village of Candanchú is a ski resort. It has quaint old hotels, some rather ghastly 70s hotels, and several chair lifts.

I can picture it with many feet of snow.
One of the chair lift mechanisms.
Mountains trying to peek thru the clouds.
This appears to be a military mountain school. The Pyranees don’t feel “Spanish”, they feel Swiss!
Gazillion sheep.
Has not aged gracefully.
It appears there is a Pyranees through hike and a section runs through here. The mountains are dotted with “refuges” for hikers. Serious hiking culture here.
Sheeps. And I think a few goats.


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