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Getxo, Port of Bilbao

Getxo is in the Biscay Province of the autonomous region of the Basque Country, in northern Spain. Nowadays it acts as the port for Bilbao. More ships can moor there than can make it up the river to Bilbao itself. The day we were there we took an organised coach-trip into Bilbao to make sure we would see the Guggenheim Museum. The photos I took through the coach windows all have a slight greenish tinge as a result.

There are some fantastic buildings on Getxo sea-front, built, we were told, by English people who came to make their fortunes in the 19th century.

This one had some deco styling:-

aGetxo 2

Impressive building (and hedging):-

aGetxo 3

Deco elements to the chimney stacks here (and some rule of three):-

Sea Front Building, Getxo

Old wall, newer buildings:-

More of Sea-front, Getxo

Curious rounded elements to the left here like car park ramps or fortifications:-

aGetxo 5

They are just balconies, though:-

aGetxo 10

Leaving Lorient

The main river passing Lorient is Le Blavet which Le Scorff joins just where the Black Watch was moored. There was a windsurfer plying the waters as we set sail:-

Windsurfers, Lorient

Not to mention a yacht and the pilot boat. Again click on pictures to get to video on my flickr:-

Yacht and Pilot boat near Lorient

Town across river from Lorient. Port Louis, I think:-

Town across River from Lorient

Not much distance out to the deep channel for shipping here:-

A Beach at Lorient

Not much spare room this side either:-

Fort at River Mouth, Opposite Lorient

Fort at river mouth:-

River Mouth Fort, Opposite Lorient

Fort and Port Louis:-

Fort at Lorient

Looking back to fort and Lorient:-

Lorient and Fort from Beyond River Mouth

Yet More of Lorient

On the way back to the ship the good lady said, “Can you hear bagpipes?”

Indeed I could.

It turned out there was a group doing traditional Breton dance on the quayside beside the ship and they were accompanied by Breton bagpipers. (Click on photo and get to video on my Flickr.) You can see SS Black Watch looming in the background there:-

Breton Bagpipes Dancers, Lorient

They were also taking the opportunity to ply us with traditional food; pancakes. I had one with abricot, jam as it turned out.

Steaming out of Lorient we had a good view of the main reason why Lorient was heavily bombed during World War 2, the German built submarine pens. Lorient’s position gave the U-Boats instant access to the Atlantic.

In background here:-

Submarine Pens Lorient 1

View from rear side:-

ubmarine Pens, Lorient 2

Side front:-

Submarine Pens, Lorient 3

Slightly further across:-

Submarine Pens, Lorient 4

More Lorient

From what I’ve posted so far it might seem as if Lorient only has relatively modern looking buildings. Mind you, a tourist information lady told me 10% of it got bomb damaged during the war. (Only 10%, I thought. Caen got flattened.)

This one isn’t modern looking but still has 1927 in an oval cartouche towards the top of the turrety feature:-

Building  in Lorient

This is the oldest building in town apparently. Hotel Gabriel plus what looks an even older tower in the background, Tour de la Découverte:-

Hotel Gabriel + tower

Lorient also has a naval base and a Naval Academy, which we walked past to get to and from Hotel Gabriel. This ship was in Le Scorff river:-

Le Scorrf River, Brittany

Stade du Moustoir, Lorient

Lorient Town Square, Theatre and Stadium. The stadium (rear of photo) is home to Lorient FC (see photos of the stadium here.) Lorient Theatre is to the right. If you squint you can just about see the fountain in my previous post by the right middle here.

Lorient FC is at present in France’s top division Ligue 1. But they’re not doing very well. They’re bottom as of 27/1/2017:-

Lorient Town Square, Theatre and Stadium

Stadium from south southeast:-

Stade du Moustoir, Lorient

Stadium from east southeast:-

Stade du Moustoir, Lorient

Town Square, Lorient, Brittany, France

Lorient has a lovely open town square with le Mairie (Hotel de Ville) off to the right:-

Lorient Hotel de Ville

The town’s logo seems to be a ship judging by this sculpture on the wall of the Town Hall:-

Lorient Frieze on Le Mairie

Le Mairie and fountain. Lorient Theatre to left rear:-

Hotel de Ville and fountains

Lorient Theatre:-

Lorient Theatre

Theatre from le Mairie:-

Theatre 1

Lorient War Memorial

Lorient has an airy feeling with relatively open streets lined with trees. Its War Memorial lies to the edge of an open area off the Quai des Indes opposite the Parc Jules Ferry and is flanked by trees. It is an imposing structure with stylised figures.

The inscription reads “Lorient, A Ses Morts, 1914 1918, 1939 1945. There is an additonal plaque for Indochina, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria 1952-62.

Lorient War Memorial


Lorient War Memorial Close-up


Lorient War Memorial Reverse

Lorient’s Art Deco Crown; Chambre de Commerce

This fine Art Deco building in Lorient, Brittany, France was just across a bridge over the inlet of the river, Le Scorff, from the modern Art Deco in the previous post.

Chambre de Commerce de Lorient et du Morbihan:-

Lorient Chaber of Commerce

Close-up of pediment:-

Lorient Chamber of Commerce Pediment


Lorient Chamber of Commerce Doorway

Corner view:-

Lorient Chamber of Commerce, Corner View

Side view upper detail:-

Lorient Chember of Commerce Side View Upper Detail

View from side street:-

Lorient Chamber of Commerce, Extension?

The nearer doorway in the photo above has Tribunal de Commerce in the stone at the upper level:-

Lorient, Tribunal de Commerce

Lorient, France

Our first cruise stop was in Lorient, Brittany, France. Almost the first thing we saw after making our way out of the port was this piece of Modern Art Deco:-

Modern Art Deco, Lorient

The style continued a bit further along:-

More Modern Deco, Lorient

The same group of buildings from across an inlet of the river, Le Scorff, just beyond where the Black Watch was moored:-

Deco 3

The spire of this church kept catching my eye. It was ages before I found the street it was in. Eglise Notre Dame de Victorie St Louis, rebuilt 1953-5 after bomb damage during the war:-

Eglise Notre Dame de Victorie St Louis


Doorway, Eglise Notre Dame de Victorie St Louis, Lorient

The Body Shop:-

Deco Style, Lorient

There is a slight Art Deco look, especially the porthole windows in the annexy bit, to this building at Lorient harbour, which from its appearance may date from the Second World War:-

Art Deco? Lorient Harbour


Below is a photograph of the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier as viewed from Rosyth. This is the one that apparently won’t have any aircraft once it’s fitted out as we can’t afford them. Trident yes, it seems; warplanes no.

On Friday I realised that T Ronald Dump’s hair reminded me of this:-

Aircraft Carrier

The reason we were at Rosyth was to go on a cruise. On the Fred.Olsen Lines ship SS Black Watch. This was the ship’s (mascot?) Not figurehead. It was facing to the rear.

Ship's Figurehead/Mascot

Sunset over the Forth:

Evening Sky, Firth of Forth

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