Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Back to my trip around Spain.  The first stop in France was the Loire valley.  After driving down from Calais we spent a freezing first night in a campsite outside Tours.  It was late May & the camping season hadn't yet begun so we climbed the fence & pitched our tents out of view of the road.

Next day we visited one of the fairy-tale chateaus of the Loire;  Azay-le-rideau before setting up camp at a great site next to the river in Chinon opposite the impressive old fortress.

After lunch the next day in Angouleme we moved onto Bordeaux.  We explored the city on foot a little then drove around looking for a camp-site.  We didn't have GPS or internet access so looking for camp-sites became pot-luck.  Sometimes it took hours but often we found them by following our noses.  The further south we moved the warmer the nights became but of course that means mosquitoes too. The camp at Bordeaux lac had a huge pond full of croaking frogs, mozzies the size of pigeons, hooting owls & a mooing cow!  That was a restless night.

Onto Biarritz on the Atlantic 'riviera'-choc-full of casinos, sports cars & fab beaches, it's like Nice, St Tropez & Monte Carlo in one.  The campsite didn't measure up however- it was right next to the airport!  The pitch was hard & uncomfortable and we were harassed in the night by rampaging hedge-hogs!  Another tough night.

Next day we crossed the border into Northern Spain-first stop San Sebastian.

The North coast of Spain is really quite beautiful-as we drove onto Bilbao we passed through some stunning landscape.  On the coastal road at Islares we found a great resort campsite with an incredible  beach.

Our next destination was Bilbao . . .

The Guggenheim was our first major museum-the building is remarkable.

 Louis Bourgeois' 'Mother' and Jeff Koons' 'Puppy' are the key installations.

Lots of character in the faces of the Spanish people.


ifrit said...

I love your "travel diaries" with your drawings ;)

The drawing take more time than photo but is ten times more personal ;)

Great job!

Ashley Boddy said...

You got a great balance between the real and the exaggerated...e.g. the tree in the fort at Chinon (top image)...cartoony, but feels right in the environment.

Like the looking down on people quick ones at the Guggenheim too.


Dominic Bugatto said...

Lovely stuff.

Alan said...

Your stuff never fails to knock me out

bazza said...

What a great tour Matt. Did you carry on to Santiago de Campostella?
By the way, if you havn't done it, the whole of the Loire valley is worth seeing right down to the coast.
Your drawings are a great way to see these places!

ifrit said...

Wow! I really would like to see your drawings from my city ;) Maybe next time...

vetya said...

Lovely Observations!

Aritul said...

Those drawings are fantastic. They add so much more character to the diary entry.

Matt J said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!