Spanish Gems: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a really breathtaking sight we visited in Spain.  Here's a little background info on it.

What is it:  an ermita, or hermitage, set on an island.

Where is it:  off of the northern coast of Spain in the Basque region, east of Bilbao.

The environs:  It is connected to the mainland by a beautiful, stone bridge followed by over 200 steps up to the top of the island.

Although the building standing at the top is rebuilt, the site had a structure from as long ago as the the 9th or 10th century.  Here's a Wikipedia article for more of its interesting history.

Parking at the bluff on the mainland, we walked about a kilometer down, down, down to the base that is across from the island.  From there, we took the dramatic walk across, admiring the gorgeous water color and stunning rock formations, before climbing up, up, up to the top.

We didn't follow tradition and ring the bell three times when we arrived at the top, but we definitely enjoyed the view.

The hike back up to the parking lot had me huffing and puffing.  But it was worth the incredible views out and back to the island.

Here's a layout I made using Jen Maddocks Bricolage 102 bundle from Scrapbookgraphics and Dawn Inskip's Painted Page Masks.