November 7, 2000 Lekeitio, Spain

It is a windy day. Sometimes the sun finds a hole in the mass of clouds racing by overhead. It is all part of a storm that has been bashing Europe for days.

Marianne is painting the quaint fishing village of Lekeitio from our hotel room. We are so far off season that the Tourist office in town has been closed for over a month.

We left Bilboa yesterday and after getting lost on the highways (Jay's fault, not listening to the navigator) we stopped in Guernica, made famous by Picasso after the Nazi's made it the subject for an experiment in saturation bombing of a civilian population. The experiment was obviously successful since besides killing a couple of thousand innocent people the concept of bombing civilians was universally accepted and brought to its apex (so far) by the Americans [anything you can do we Americans can do bigger and better] with the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The most famous monument in Guernica is the stump of the Sacred Oak, the symbol of Basque independence, which almost alone survived the bombing raid, but has succumbed to old age. We didn't find it, but in square by the Market I stopped to take a picture of a sculpture that to me was a good example of the "Turd in the Plaza" school of Sculpture.

Taking a picture of something like this obviously marks one as a stranger in town and a man asked us if we needed any help. I said yes, we were looking for a place to eat. He took us under his wing and led us to a nice bar/restaurant were he bought us a drink and negotiated with the waitress to get us a pretty fine meal. We thank him... He had lived for many years in Alberta, Canada and obviously knew the importance of showing kindness to travelers.

The Coast around here is pretty rugged and wild and the waves from the storm were sending spray way up into the air when they crashed against the rocks. The overlook where we were standing was a couple of hundred feet above sea level.

Well, now it is time to get back on the road.

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