vitoria Travel Blog› entry 40 of 62 › view all entries
I have just spent a weekend in Vitoria. What, where and why you might ask. Well it is a place of interest to me. As it was significant during the history of the peninsular war or Spanish war of independence. The British army won a major battle there in 1813. And I found out that I could get there easy enough on the train. So I get to see another place on my history map; yet I know that I will not be able to see everything that I want to - I think that I have about 20 places left in Spain to tick off all the places and a similar number in Portugal.
After the hot temperatures I was not expecting the cold and the grey skies in Vitoria.
The centre of the city small and very quick to walk around.
There were a set of museums and buildings that I wanted to see but unfortunately; some were closed. The Cathedral is being repaired and you can book in for a tour but I missed the last available space by only a short while. There is a museum with reputedly the largest collection of playing cards but it was closed for repairs and the Arms Museum with a section on the Battle of Vitoria was also closed for repairs.
Vitoria is in the Basque part of Spain and when you arrive you immediatley recognise that while you are in Spain it is a bit different. The signs are written in both Spanish and the basque language - Euskera it is not related to any other lanaguage in Europe and you have no hope of understanding it at all.
The food in the Basque country is known as being the best or amongst the best in Spain. And there are heaps of wonderful places to eat but it is more expensive than any other place in Spain. A menu of the day is a great way to have a good feed for a decent price. In Salamanca and Granada for 5 to 12 euros (about $NZ10 to $NZ24) you can get a good meal normally bread, a drink (water, wine, beer), a dessert (ice cream, flan, fruit) first main plate and a second plate. You feel full and happy after a menu of the day but in Vitoria the menu of the day started at about 18€ and went up to 35€ and individual plates went up to 40€. I found a very good buffet place which was cheaper only 13€ with drinks included.
The medieval part of town is tiny and has wonderful little streets and many great buildings churches and old city walls to walk around and see.
I found a cheap hotel near the railway station. The decor was fantastic sort of an eclectic mix of art deco/nouveau. The lights were on the floor in the shape of snails.
Before I went to sleep I watched some local TV - very unique what the Basque people regard as important on tele. A local pub showing people drinking and dancing sort of like watching a good quality security camera.
There was an excellent monument to the Battle of Vitoria and the Duke of Wellington in the centre of the town.