One of the great things about traveling is stumbling upon the unexpected. You map out a plan and set out to see one thing, only to find that the most interesting sights are the ones you didn’t foresee. This weekend we went on a short road trip; our destination: Vitoria. And while I expected a historical city center, cathedral, and “plaza mayor”, what I didn’t expect to find was Spain’s very own muralled city.

Vitoria may not be as spectacular as San Sebastian, or a cultural center like Bilbao, but it is the Basque country’s greenest city with its own personal character and charm. Its streets are lined with narrow belle-époque houses and 15th century palaces, while its walls are covered in art. In 2005, a group of artists set out to turn Vitoria’s beaten up buildings into something beautiful. Art schools, cultural asociations, and city volunteers joined forces to start what would be the first of Vitoria’s 13 murals. As a way of bringing together the community through these artistic projects, Vitoria now has a guided tour of its murals, which reveals the stories of how they came about and what each mural represents. I guess you don’t miss the Gugenheim when you have this much street art.
[Photo credit: all photos are mine unless otherwise stated.]