A weekend in the Basque Country - Spain

Basque Country is well-known as the home of foodie paradise, but it’s also the perfect spot for an adventure-filled weekend. For a unique weekend full of culture, food and waves, it’s a perfect place to spend 48H or longer.

Unique place in Spain

The Basque Country proudly calls itself different from the rest of Spain, and once there, you can easily notice why. From the beginning, its own language called Euskera and endless gastronomic delights, from a dramatic scenery to a modern architectural landmarks; you will surely be impressed by the hidden gems the Pais Vasco has to offer.

Day 1: Roadtrip from Andorra to Getaria

Our road trip started on Friday evening after long day of work. We took the car and drove non-stop to Getaria. It’s a small town on the Basque Country coast. In order to get there, we left Andorra to reach the plains of Lleida, wich where located at the foothills of the Pyrenean mountains.The road continues near Huesca and then you start to enter the Basque country. The entrance in to the Basque Country is noticeable because all the road panels are written in Euskera and Spanish.

We arrived to Getaria as expected, around dinner time. We decided to unpack our baggages quickly in the Airbnb apartment and search for a place to eat.

Getaria  Photo: https://espaciosturisticos.com/que-ver-en-getaria/

Getaria

Photo: https://espaciosturisticos.com/que-ver-en-getaria/

After the dinner, we decided to go strait to sleep since wanted to wake up early in the morning to visit an incredible forest close to Vitoria-Gasteiz

This is the link of our Airbnb apartment:

https://www.airbnb.es/rooms/26462174?location=Getaria%2C%20Guip%C3%BAzcoa&adults=1&guests=1&s=ZIXIudWA

Day 2: Hayedo de Otzarreta | Vitoria-Gasteiz | Zumaia

The next day, we woke up early to have breakfast and drove to Hayedo de Otzarreta. The trip to get there was an hour long filled with nice roads, great views and small Basque towns. The final stretch is by a road that goes through the forests and green pleasant meadows. You need a GPS to arrive to the area without any problem.

Hayedo de Otzarreta

Hayedo de Otzarreta

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Breakfast in “La Cafeteria”

After that, we decided to improvise a little bit our plans as we finished earlier than expected. We saw that Vitoria-Gasteiz was very close to this place, so we decided to have breakfast in the city.

After a delicious breakfast in “La Cafeteria” (I recommend it for their nice cakes), we went to the centre of the city to visit the old town. At this period of the year, in winter they usually put some winter activities in a big place near the 2 principal churches. We saw people going ice-skating, ice slides and other activities. You can find them at the same place where the big letters of Vitoria-Gasteiz are (see more in our video at the end of this blog).

Vitoria-Gasteiz!

Vitoria-Gasteiz!

It was time to go back to our apartment in Getaria, but not without stopping in Zumaia first, wich is a must in the Basque Country for its cliffs and flysch: a unique stone formation on the coast, as you can see on pictures. We had some free time before the sunset, so we decided to eat something in Seizortzi Bar.

Seizortzi Bar

Seizortzi Bar

The weather wasn’t good but it wasn’t raining, so we were able to take some great pictures and film a little bit.

Finally, we arrived in Getaria, and we searched for a “pintxo-pote” bar/restaurant. To our surprise, we found an area full of them and with a nice ambient. For such a small town, you could find a lot of people in the small street, eating outdoors or standing up. We enjoyed the good food from the Basque Country.

Day 3: Getaria | San Sebastián | Andorra

The last day, we drove from Getaria to San Sebastián before coming back to Andorra.

This is a last picture of Getaria.

Getaria

Getaria

We drove directly to San Sebastian and to our surprise the sun came back and it offered us a good moment of warmth just arriving to the city. We enjoyed walking in the old town of San Sebastian but after that, the rain started again. But it wasn’t an excuse for the Basque people to enjoy a Sunday outdoors as we could see people dancing folk music in a square and people enjoying the Ferris wheel and other carousels next to the maritime walk. “la Playa de la Concha” is such a beautiful place even when the weather is not at its best.

Finally, we had to take the car to come back to Andorra, but we knew we would come back again to the Basque Country because we didn’t have time to visit some of the other places and cities. The food was so amazing and the landscapes so wild that we are thinking of coming back again in a near future.

This is the video that recaps our road trip. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we loved the Basque Country. If you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate to visit the area. VERY RECOMMENDED!!!

Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

I was invited to this event in Netherlands in 2017 and It was also my first time in this circuit. But I didn't realize how my passion it has this country for motorsports. People loves and takes care so much about their beauties that it's easy to feel it. After some hours expended around the circuit I could take some great pictures about rare and precious Italian cars. A long list can be done: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maseratti, Vespa, Ducati... But also, you can see , smell and hear the italian passion, culture and habits. This was a great day with great pictures and nice vibes. Finally, after all the cars I could take on picture, I wanted to make a blog about these reasons: Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB. For 2 reasons, the quality of pictures and because I loved to shoot those cars. The lines and curves are perfect for my point of view as photographer. I really enjoyed to see and shoot them in a few minutes.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia, the latest V8 Ferrari, the licence to move into more serious territory. There is nothing remotely junior about 562bhp or a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Any observations about the Ferrari 458 Italia’s styling are, of course, entirely subjective but, in our office, the consensus is that it marks a return to sensational-looking Ferraris.

With a flat undertray, but without any obvious aero aids, the 458 generates more downforce than the F430 (360kg flat out) and yet it is also more aerodynamic.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Finally, there is a touch of Enzo in the 458’s overall design, particularly in the shape and position of the rear lights (although the Enzo had twin units). Vents below the rear lights are for radiators to cool the gearbox and clutch.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari's 458 has extensively restyled, given a turbocharged V8 with more power and loads more torque and a new name. Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Ferrari that makes a 458 Italia look slow...

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

 

While the looks of the 2015 Ferrari 488 are not entirely different, it's actually an almost entirely new car, with 85 percent of its parts changed from the 458, and the roof the only external panel retained. The engine has shrunk slightly in size but grown vastly in power and new aero innovations, combined with some superior software, are claimed to make it handle better than ever. It is overwhelmingly, however, a Ferrari built for speed.

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

It's the kind of performance that mounts a serious case for turbocharging (although Ferrari admits that engine response time at 2000rpm is now 0.8 seconds, at 2000rpm, compared to 0.7 in  a 458, but still well-ahead of “our turbo competitors − McLaren, Porsche etc”, which it says are closer to 2.0 seconds).

 

But is it a sound argument? Well, no, because despite the engineers repeatedly promising us that  they’d tuned the car to deliver the “sharp and loud, unmistakable Ferrari sound,” it takes less than two minutes in the 488 to realise that the screaming, operatic exhaust-asm that has defined the brand − and the 458 in particular − is gone. 

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

Choosing between the two comes down to what you are looking for in your Ferrari road car. If you love the roar of a naturally aspirated Ferrari engine, you might want to explore the 458 Italia. If speed is your true desire, the Ferrari 488 GTB will delight. Which will you choose?

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

And Suddenly, when I was going home, in the last moment:

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Car comparison test of Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB compare Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB sounds, revs, acceleration 0-300km/h, power, sprint and exhaust sound. Send me your car videos here: slizo3310@gmail.com We do NOT own the video materials and all credits belong to respectful owners.

Nissan 350Z

I was a owner of one Nissan 350Z some years ago, a red unit. Pretty rare in europe, the color isn't very common I can say after visit some Z meetings around Spain or France. Firstly, I want to advise that I can't be objective in this review as this car was and is my favourite daily car.

Nissan 350Z 2005

Nissan 350Z 2005

The Nissan 350Z recaptures elements of the original Datsun 240Z. It's fast, it's fun, it's pure sports car. And, like the original Z, it's affordable, or at least attainable. 

In 2005 Nissan commemorates 35 years of Z production with a special anniversary edition coupe, and there's much more to the model than just the unique badge. A significant dose of performance has also been added, including a bump in engine output to 300 horsepower, big Brembo brakes, 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and improved aerodynamics. There's also a new, very special high-chrome pearl Ultra Yellow pigment on the colour chart. 

The coupe, introduced as an all-new model for 2003, and the convertible, which debuted last year, get important upgrades, new features and revised transmissions. All 350Zs share the same sports suspension and Nissan's superb V6 engine, which punches out 287 horsepower and strong torque. Both models come standard with racy hardware: a six-speed manual gearbox, carbon-fiber driveshaft, drive-by-wire throttle, anti-lock discs vented front and rear with electronic brake-force distribution. Add the convenience features that come standard, such as automatic temperature control and a premium stereo, and the price of the Nissan 350Z is compelling. 

Nissan 350Z left side car

Nissan 350Z left side car

Coupe or roadster, the 350Z delivers racecar handling, rear-wheel drive, and thrilling acceleration performance. The suspension keeps the tires glued to the road through fast chicanes. Bounce over the curbs on a road racing circuit and the Z will hold its line. Styling details like the controversial industrial-design door handles ensure this car will never be called bland. 

Nissan says the 350Z was designed to be a sports car an enthusiast can live with every day. While its firm ride, abrupt throttle response, and awkward cup holders don't make it a great place to drink coffee, eat doughnuts, and make phone calls on the way to work, it is a comfortable car with usable cargo space, and getting in and out isn't impossibly awkward. Order a version with the excellent five-speed automatic, and you'll have a better commuter for the daily stop-and-go. But,..., we all know what we are searching with this kind of car.

Bottom line: The Nissan 350Z is no poser. It's a real sports car with serious GT performance. 

The 350Z looks aggressive with its bulging front fenders and fast back. The shape of the Z suggests a mid-engine design. The engine is in fact in front of the driver, but it's behind the front axle. That's why Nissan calls it a front mid-ship placement (somewhat similar to the Mazda RX-8 design). 

The Z shares its under-body architecture with the Infiniti G35 coupe and sedan. Moving the engine rearward evens out weight distribution, which improves handling balance. The Z Roadster adds more than 80 kg to the hatchback's 1630 kg, but the weight front/rear weight split remains at 53/47 percent. It's balanced well for accelerating out of corners. 

An extremely short front overhang and a short rear overhang make for agile handling. It also means you don't scrape driveway transitions like you do in a Corvette. Bulging fender flares make the Z look like it's ready for the racetrack, which it is. 

The hatchback's shape helps the Z slice through the air with a minimum of drag (0.29 on the Track model). The Roadster's more traditional coupe outline isn't quite as slippery, attaining a drag coefficient of 0.34. (But what do you care when you've got the wind in your hair?) Underbody airflow is managed well, with zero lift on the front (and zero lift on the rear of the Track model). All this math adds up to relatively low levels of wind noise, even in the Roadster with the top up, and a stable sports car at high speeds. 

Nissan 350Z Roadster

Nissan 350Z Roadster

With the top down, conversation in the Roadster required only slightly raised voice levels; the stereo did, however, have to be cranked up a bit. 

Inside the 350Z is a cockpit designed for driving, helping the driver quickly become one with the car. The carbon-fiber colored cloth seats are form-fitting, supportive and comfortable, made of a soft material that grips the body in the corners. The driver's seat bottom features a mound in the center at the front to restrain the driver from sliding forward under deceleration. Aggressive side bolsters grip the waist to hold the driver in place. The leather seats in the Touring model feel a little firmer than the cloth, and are available in charcoal, burnt orange or frost. Either cloth or leather are good choices in this car. The supportive seats and a driver's dead pedal mean you never feel like you have to hang on. 

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

The seating position should be good for drivers with long legs, though the steering wheel felt a little close when the seat was adjusted for the legs of a six-footer. It's worth noting, however, that this feeling went away the moment the key was turned in the ignition. The Roadster boasts an inch more headroom than the hatchback, thanks to the articulation of the top's various mechanicals. 

Tilt the steering column and the main pod of gauges moves with it, ensuring a clear view of the instruments for drivers of all sizes. The instruments consist of a big tachometer and flanking speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges. Reminiscent of the original Z, nestled in three pods on top of the dash are a voltmeter, an oil pressure gauge and a digital trip computer. They look retro-cool, but reading them requires more than a glance. 

Two toggles to the right of the steering wheel operate the trip computer, used to check outside air temperature, distance to empty, speed, average mileage, and average speed. It has a stopwatch function (to check out those 0-60 times), and a tire-pressure monitor for 18-inch wheels. With the Trip Computer, the driver can program a shift light to come on at a certain rpm. The small red indicator on the tachometer begins flashing about 500 rpm before the preset engine speed is reached, whereupon it comes on solid. You can program it for the ideal shift points for acceleration or fuel economy, then let your peripheral vision pick up the indicator. We've seen race cars with this feature (though the red shift light is sometimes as big as a golf ball). If you don't like this feature you can turn it off. 

Nissan 350Z gauges

Nissan 350Z gauges

The interior of the Z seems to suggest a carbon-fiber race car tub. The material surrounding the shifter and forming the centre dash looks like carbon fiber. Likewise, the large expanse of grey material lining the door panels suggests carbon fiber in appearance. The quality of the materials is okay, though some of the pieces would never be allowed in an Audi. It looked austere at first, but grew on us. Stylish interior touches, such as the inside door handles integrated into aerodynamic pods for the side vents, give the Z a racy, modern look; with the AC at work on hot days, the handles chill to fit their frosty look. Passengers often grope for the door release the first time they try to get out, distracted by the big grab handles adorned with genuine aluminium and relieved by the Z's dot motif. 

Stylish audio controls include a big volume knob, clearly marked buttons for channel seeking, and six station buttons that can be preset simply by holding them down. Below the radio are three large knobs for the automatic climate control system, which comes standard. 

Nicely designed wiper and headlamp controls are mounted on short stalks. The leather-wrapped steering wheel looks and feels great, and comes with cruise controls. Overhead are well-designed map lights and a bin for sunglasses. Power window switches are auto-up/auto-down. Two power points are available, one in the center console, the other in the bulkhead between and behind the seats (but neither is conveniently located for radar detectors). 

The Z is not the best place to drink things.

Turning the key and hearing the engine roar to life is the first indication the Nissan 350Z is no poser. Turning onto a winding road proves this beyond a shadow of doubt. Sharp steering, terrific handling, and excellent grip make it a real driver's car. This car is very fast with brilliant acceleration. The Roadster's additional weight, a result of the platform strengthening to increase rigidity, no doubt adds a tick or two to the 0-60 measurement but isn't noticed in everyday driving. 

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Mounted longitudinally and driving the rear wheels is Nissan's excellent VQ V6 engine. It's smooth and sounds like a big sports car engine. It generates lots of torque at low rpm, pulling smoothly from about 2000 rpm. Maximum torque of 274 pound-feet comes at 4800 rpm, tapering off as 287 horsepower is reached at 6200 rpm. The engine is still pulling smoothly as the rev limiter steps in somewhere just north of 6500 rpm, but this engine is more about low-rpm torque than high-revving horsepower. Nissan's Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System helps the V6 produce a nice, linear band of torque. Drive-by-wire technology reduces mechanical weight and complexity. 

The short-throw shifter feels good and it's effective. The six-speed gearbox shifts quickly and deliberately. It feels perfectly synchronised, making shifting easy and enjoyable. Clutch pedal effort has enough heft to remind the driver that this is a serious sports car. With the Roadster's top down, the exhaust tone is music to the driver's ears, rising and falling melodiously and crisply as the gears are worked through the turns on a twisty road. 

Nissan 350Z interior

Nissan 350Z interior

The automatic transmission works great, really smooth and responsive, and it didn't leave us feeling like we were missing out by not having the manual. With manual mode selected, the automatic holds lower gears right up to the rev limiter, upshifting only when the driver desires. Downshifts are electronically managed to ensure an overly rambunctious pilot doesn't over-rev the sweet V6. The delicious exhaust tone is wasted on Roadsters fitted with the automatic, though, when it wanders almost aimlessly up and down the scale as the engine slips seamlessly amongst the gears. 

Handling feels taut and well controlled in both hatchback and Roadster. These cars really stick through fast sweepers, allowing the driver to keep the throttle down. The steering is sharp and accurate and the Z changes directions brilliantly in transient manoeuvres, without excessive understeer turning in or sloppy oversteer coming out. Cornering is flat, without much body lean.  The ride gets jouncy on bumpy roads, most noticeably when cruising slowly, but it doesn't beat you up and we expect a firm ride with a sports car like this. 

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Buffeting at highway speeds with the top down was much less than we expected, thanks to the tempered glass deflector mounted between the rollbars behind the seats and to racy body panels tapering back from each of the seat positions. Anti-flap seatbelt retainers further reduce the perceived buffeting effect. Rear side vision loses little to the convertible top, as the hatchback's quarter panel already blocks a sizable area of blind spot. 

The brakes are easy to modulate, fun to use, and do a good job of stopping the car. Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist come standard on all 350Zs. Just like it sounds, electronic brake-force distribution improves stopping performance by dynamically balancing front and rear braking forces. Brake Assist is a mechanical system that appli. 

The Nissan 350Z stands alone in its price class. This is the car for drivers who want serious sports car performance in a GT body without shelling out the big bucks. And Nissan has added a truly sporty variant to the mix with the 35th Anniversary Z. 

Its rear-wheel-drive chassis is rigid and its suspension is taut for excellent handling. The V6 engine delivers lots of torque for strong acceleration performance. Whether you opt for the six-speed manual gearbox or the five-speed automatic, there are no dogs in the lineup. The interior is the weakest link here, but it grows on you with a little time spent living with it. 

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