Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Ger’s Trip Report: From Bilbao to Toledo September 2018

Ger’s Trip Report: From Bilbao to Toledo September 2018

Jan 6th, 2019, 12:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 323
Hello Mike:

I have wanted to visit Vitoria for years, particularly because of ability to explore the Cathedral renovations, as if I were one of those medieval stonemasons, and it was a wonderful an adventure! The town is impressive and non-touristy. As I said before, I could have spent my entire vacation just exploring the Basque region and been completely satisfied.

Regards … Ger
OReilly64 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2019, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,244
Continuing to follow with high interest. Loved your report of Bilbao, with accompanying photos! Thanks for including so many interesting details.
tomarkot is offline  
Jan 6th, 2019, 12:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 323
September 25th : Burgos

Morning: Exploring the Cathedral


I was at the Cathedral at opening time and was one of the first in. Be warned: Please do the same, as any later and you will encounter the massive ‘guided groups’ who have no respect for the sacredness of a catholic church, regardless of their background, and some should know better!

Burgos Cathedral is rated the third most beautiful, after Santiago and Seville (been to both) and just before Leon (Visited both before and on this trip). Its important to note, that they are NOT comparable, as each is beautiful and extraordinary in its own unique way – they are like perfect snowflakes.

The colossal Burgos Cathedral was begun its construction in 1221 and construction was finished in 18th century.

The Cathedral has 3 naves, 19 interesting chapels, one of the best Gothic cloister in Spain, dating from the 14th century and decorated with sculptures from the 13th and 14th”.

If you find yourself within 90 minutes drive/bus/train from Burgos, then please take the time to visit, if only for the Cathedral – yes, it is THAT important. While some cathedrals are heavy and dark, this one is full of light and sparkle. It is an extremely uplifting and joyful experience throughout.

Here are the photos:


Morning: Monastery Huelgas

Feeling completely uplifted and delighted by my exploration of the Cathedral, I set off on foot on a glorious sunny day to Huelgas Monastery, about a 30 minute walk from the Cathedral.



The Cistercian Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas is an impressive medieval structure, founded in the 12th century by Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. In addition to being a pantheon for medieval monarchs and their offspring, it also houses the Museo de Ricas Telas, a showcase of medieval textiles taken from the many royal tombs in the convent.

Visits are by escorted tour only at about 15/30 minutes past the hour (sorry, can’t remember) and in Spanish only. No photos are allowed in the interior. Here are some photos of my walk to the site and the exterior:



El Huerto de Roque


El Huerto de Roque is a stylish little restaurant, focusing on ecological and organic seasonal produce. Menu del Dia was a very reasonable 17.50 Euros for three courses. Food was excellent, but I have a complete blank as to what I had – must have been because of the two large glasses of Crianza 😊. The restaurant is a favourite with the locals, gets very positive reviews on TripAdvisor and recommend by Culturetrip.com (I use this site a lot and it has never steered me wrong).


I spent the afternoon exploring the town. I had been before, but just a short visit on one of my insane driving trips through the region, where I spent so long driving between cities, getting lost, finding parking, that I never had enough time to explore.

Burgos is just gorgeous – very “well-heeled” indeed and pristine.

Here some background on the city:


And here are my photos from that afternoon:


Next: Day two in Burgos
OReilly64 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2019, 04:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 323
September 26th : Burgos

I knew that two days in Burgos was insufficient and I had to make choices and compromise that day. I decided on an early walk to the Castle, see whatever churches were open, then a trip to Cartuja de Miraflores, have lunch and then a visit to the Museum Human Evolution.

Morning: The Castle and Iglesia San Gil

I packed and stored my luggage at the hotel, as I was taking the train to Leon that evening, and set out to the castle at 9am.

I designed a route to take in some of the major churches, but most were not open, so I could just take external shots.

For reference, here is a list of important churches in Burgos that are worth visiting:

- Iglesia de San Nicolás
- Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey
- Iglesia de Santa Maria
- Iglesia San Gil
- Iglesia de San Esteban

The day was sunny and cool and most perfect for walking. It was a long and steep climb to the Castle, but I am a Capricorn, so if there is a hill or mountain or tower to climb, I will do it – I am driven by my star sign 😊.

The Castle:


To be frank, while I really enjoyed the walk, the Castle ruins were rather boring, although there is very interesting documentation on its history, and excellent views over the own and valley. BTW, there is an elevator to the top if you need it.

I took a different route down from the castle to get to Iglesia San Gil, hoping it would be open, and it was. I was delighted, as this is one of the most impressive of the Burgos churches.

It was wonderful – a ‘must-see’ in Burgos!

Iglesia San Gil:


Here are my photos from that morning:


Morning: Cartuja de Miraflores



I was committed to visiting Cartuja de Miraflores, and the only way to get there is by taxi, but I was a bit worried how I would get back but was prepared to do the hour’s walk. I picked up a taxi and, on the way, the driver suggested he would wait for me, for approximately 30 Euros. Excellent!

This treasure cannot be missed.

I would have crawled on my knees all the way from Burgos to see the main altarpiece alone – it is exceptional. I was completely overwhelmed by the extraordinary works of religious art in the monastery. There is an intoxicating aroma of roses, rosemary and other flowers throughout that adds to the ambiance, as the monks grow the flowers and plants and make “essential oils”. I bought several oils and soaps as Christmas gifts for family.

Here are the photos, which do not do justice to the art:


Next: Lunch and Afternoon in Burgos
OReilly64 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 18th, 2019 09:34 AM
Africa & the Middle East
Mar 5th, 2018 10:37 AM
Africa & the Middle East
Feb 5th, 2011 12:21 PM
Jul 24th, 2007 01:06 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:32 AM.