Taking a drive during a snow day in Basque Country

Snowy mountains and fields

Snowy mountains and fields

Images of snow blanketing pueblos and trees covered  in white powder in Pais Vasco aired on the news as I watched the TV from my sunny beach side apartment. I smiled thinking, “I’m so glad that I’m NOT living there. It’s February in Andalucia and the sun is shinning like a warm summer day.”

Little did I know a year later I’d be living in a town known for cold winter days.

I’ve experienced zero degree days and some days of below zero- the type of cold that gets to your bones.

So cold that before I came everyone warned me that Vitoria- Gasteiz has the nickname of Siberia- Gasteiz. I  haven’t been to Siberia, yet but imagine it’s not that cold. Just colder than most places in Spain. And if Vascos have any commonalities to the Spanish, that means they also like to  exaggerate.

Or maybe the super cold days have just begun. I’ll have to get back to you on this.

The weather was reporting for a big snow storm and yesterday when the temperature plummeted, I believed them. But when I woke up and there wasn’t any snow, I figured it was another false alarm. And then I had a text message from a friend inviting me to check out a waterfall and I couldn’t say no. I chucked off the covers, got ready and met them 30 minutes later.

Snow flakes were falling slowly when I walked out my door. How calming snow is and much nicer than rain.

But snow didn’t stop us. We hoped in the car, got lost getting out of town and then took the wrong highway until we headed in the right direction, snow flakes slowly falling like fairy dust. The landscape quickly changed from rolling green hills to snow covered pastures  from long stretches of road with fields of snow on either side to curvy roads and sharp inclines. Plenty of pine trees blanketed in snow. 

Snow covered trees

Snow covered trees

Our plan to see a waterfall quickly become questioned but when we finally arrived in the sleepy village, we asked the first man who came walking near us. 

“Ah, you want to go where? Today isn’t a good day. The roads are likely to be closed”

But he proceded to give us directions.

Let’s try anyway..

A snow covered road

A snow covered road

But got slightly discouraged when we saw a sign alerting us we needed cadenas, chains to go up the pass. We tried but when the snow started to cover the road we knew our little hatchback would likely get stuck  and that wouldn’t be the worse case scenario. Our friend made a 3 point turn on the white road and we headed back to the pueblo in search of a few pintxos. There wasn’t much happening in town, then again it was siesta. Almost all towns and cities seem to be a ghost town between 2pm and 5pm. 

Photo from the car: passing through a village

Photo from a moving car: passing through a village

I felt pity for these friendly donkeys in the snow. I tend to put my humanistic feelings on animals. They just kept eating the snow covered grass.

Beautiful donkeys in the snow

Beautiful donkeys in the snow

Howdy howdy

Howdy howdy

 Do you like the snow? Have you tried to go on an adventure or sightseeing and had to change plan due to too much snow or bad weather? 

I’m curious to hear what you have to say. Please leave a comment below 

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8 thoughts on “Taking a drive during a snow day in Basque Country

  1. Kind of looks like Ohio!! You have picked an interesting place to be! But Yeah, I like Andalucia because it’s never too cold. I like living in Ohio where it’s 4 distinct seasons, keeps things interesting! 😀

  2. I only love the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Here its a nightmare. These pics looks so surreal because it is so hot in JHB right now (35 Celsius) , that I actually wish I could roll in that snow with my swimming gear on!

  3. Brr, looks cold! We got a tiny bit of snow in Barcelona this past weekend, and of course it happened at the end of a rather enthusiastic night out. I looked like such an idiot haha. I was, um, ‘relaxed’ (drunk) enough to not feel ashamed of walking around with my mouth literally hanging open in shock.

    I hate the snow, and cold weather in general. Even Barcelona is too cold for my liking!

  4. Wow, how pretty the landscape looks covered in snow. The donkeys are adorable, hope their coats are thick and warm!

    I got caught in a snow storm driving to Lake Tahoe. When everything turns white familiar landmarks disappear and it’s easy to get lost. A two-hour drive turned into six hours of wondering if we were going to make it without sliding off a cliff. It was beautiful and and unusual experience though.

    Glad you ventured out! I guess I need to bring my thermals.

  5. I was glad to see that you didn’t put a little snow in the way of an adventure, just such a shame that it did end up bringing the adventure to a premature end.

    The smallest bit of snow back in the UK & most people wont even step out the door.

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