This shot is taken near the town of Bermeo, the most important fishing village on the northern coast.
The town has a population of about 17,000 and is in the province of Biscay.
The hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. It dates from the 10th century and has survived attacks and fires over the years. Sailors once lit votive candles here in thanksgiving for surviving shipwrecks.
We next headed to the town of Guernica, most famous for the 1937 bombing and destruction of the town by the Nazis during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso memorialized the Guernica bombing in a famous painting that we saw a few days later in Madrid.
In the photo, an early Tree of Guernica is enshrined here.
On a hill in the town, there is a meeting house and an oak tree. By tradition, Basques held community meetings under such a tree. This tradition continued to the 18th century but now meetings are held indoors in the assembly house.
Guernica is considered an early bastion of democracy due to its meeting traditions.
The town is the parliamentary seat of Biscay Province although the executive branch is in Bilbao
Guernica had numerous disputes with the nearby town of Lumo but matters were resolved in 1882 when the two towns merged.
There was minimal security at the assembly house and we sauntered in and were given a quick tour and explanation of Basque culture by our guide.
Guernica has had problems keeping the town's oak tree alive and has replanted more than once in the last few years. Here is the latest version.
Artwork showing shipwrecks in the distant past.
The ceiling memorializes the Tree of Guernica.
A means of casting votes in the assembly—they are sealed in little capsules and forwarded for counting.
Jose Maria Iparragirre, guitarist and author of the hymn Gernikako Arbola. The song is the unofficial anthem of the Basques celebrating their liberty from certain Spanish controls.
There is saying in Guernica that no work gets done on Monday because many Basques consider Monday a holiday. Monday is market day, the day of our visit.
We visited the thriving market and ran into some unusual vegetables like this Broccoflower. It is a combination of broccoli and cauliflower.
A little of everything was sold in the market. The Basque language is totally different from Spanish. The Spanish government frowns on using the language but Basques consider it a sign of independence. In spite of the language, our group was able to make themselves understood to buy a few snacks at the market.
We skipped lunch in Guernica and drove south to a vineyard for a quick tour and lunch there.
The Bodega Berroja vineyard is a small vineyard started in 1995. After the tour, we sampled some of their wines with lunch. The owner and vintner were very interested in our opinion of the wines.
A little gift shop had some costumes typical for the area.
The vintner on the left and the owner on the right posed for a photo before we departed for our return to Bilbao.