Would you just look at that rain running down the window. And it’s so cold too! We’re locked up in a secure compound at the Port of Bilbao in northern Spain in the middle of a howling gale and tipping rain. By parking up here for our ferry tomorrow we save ourselves a night’s accommodation, but more importantly, a frantic early drive through the rush-hour traffic in the morning.
Our last two nights were spent in Burgos a few hours south of here. The weather wasn’t much better there so we spent yesterday exploring the city by dodging inside every time the rain came down. Sometimes into a coffee shop, and sometimes into a handy cathedral (where we took some cheeky pics without passing the turnstile – you seem to have to pay to say hi to God in Spain these days..)
Our best stop to dry off was at the Museum of Human Evolution, a fantastic place to spend a few rainy hours. Housed in an ultra-modern light and airy building (Kevin McLeod would love it!) you start your tour of the displays in the basement and gradually wind your way up the building to the top level, following the story of mankind’s evolution to its absolute pinnacle, finishing in a mock-up of the Big Brother House. OK I was kidding about that last bit. All around on each level were interactive displays in both English and Spanish, explaining the exhibits which included hundreds of fossils and ancient artefacts from this area. At Atapuerca near Burgos, a silt-filled cave complex is still being painstakingly excavated – work which started in the 1960’s. Western Europe’s oldest known human bone fragments were found here – proving that mankind had inhabited the continent up to 1.2 million years ago – much earlier than had originally been believed.
In one of life’s lovely coincidences, I’ve only just finished a book which my daughter gave me a couple of Christmases ago, all about the brain. Not a medical text of course, I’m not clever enough for that, but a book based on a recent TV series, dumbed down for thick people like me. Imagine my delight when I found a level at the museum where I could walk through a mock-up of a human brain with flashy-blinky lights and everything! I wasn’t quite prepared for the real brain, pickled in a jar by the exit though. Yuk. It was quite a strange experience standing and just looking at it floating there in silence, knowing that at one time it had been buzzing and flashing with thoughts and emotions, memories and dreams.
And that’s probably a good place to end this trip. We’ve been storing up our own thoughts and emotions, memories and dreams over the last six weeks of travel; filing them away so we can remind each other of the fun we had when we’re sitting with a tartan blanket over our knees in the old folks home. Not too soon I hope – there’s a lot of travel left in us – and more drivel to be written about it too! If we survive the sea crossing (it looks really rough out there) I’ll post a pre-Christmas update in a week or so as we have a million catch up things to do, and – oh yeah – we need to find somewhere to live…
As always, thank you so much for your feedback, messages and comments on the blog – it really wouldn’t be half as much fun either doing it, or writing about it, without you 🙂 xxx