An historic industrial town. Situated on three rivers, in a wide valley, surrounded by mountains. The most famous of which is Anboto. Durango was the home of one of the leading conquistadors, and as a result there is more than one Durango in Southern America, not least of which is a region in Mexico called Durango, the principle city of which is Durango.
Durango, Bizkaia, Euskal Herria - is the town after which the others were named.
Durango is the home of Euskal Telebista (http://www.eitb.com/english/). This television company broadcasts in Euskera (Basque) and Castillano (Spanish). It also has a global presence with satellite channel beamed across the world.
The town has the unfortunate claim to fame of being the first place to be blitzed by Hitler's German Air force. This was at the request of General Franco, following a meeting on a train, where they were served Cod fish chins cooked in olive oil, garlic and pimento.
Just like the Gernika nightmare that followed, it was a busy shopping day - St. Maria, the central church (now a basilica)with a covered market, was the target. Sadly, even more people were killed in Durango than in the following barbaric bombing of Gernika, to which for eternal justice, Pablo Picasso paid tribute in his painting for the Paris Exhibition.
Now it is a very peaceful town, people are friendly, the sun shines. There is less heavy industry in the town than ten or twenty years ago... things have become more high tech. However, the sad truth is that the town is losing it's heart. As it de-industrialises, it becomes a more inviting dormitory town. This is resulting in the bustling nightlife and liberal bar opening hours being reduced to satisfy the newcomers. They buy cheap accommodation on a noisy street with lots of bars, and then lobby the council to shut the bars down. Never once understanding why the flat they have bought was cheap in the first place. Or, perhaps they do understand.
Durango is well connected.
Every half an hour there is a bus service to Bilbo (Bilbao). There are two routes, one via the 'autopiste' which takes about 30 minutes. This bus runs on the hour. The slow bus, which offers a wonderful tour of the local countryside and villages, takes about 50 mins.
The cost of a single adult fare is 2.10 euros (July 2005). (A taxi, takes the same length of time, and costs about 40 euros).
Buses also run to a variety of coastal villages. Also Vitoria, Gernika and Donostia (San Sebastian).
The trains are small and run on a single track. At this time Durango is cut in two by the railway, as level crossings are used, this can casues unexpected delays in traffic. Equally the town is cut in two for pedestrian, and the chopped again by the rivers. So although a compact conurbation, it can take a surprising amount fo time to get from one side to the other.
The trains are inexpensive, but much slower than the bus. They stop at every village - there are no fast trains. However the trip from Durango to Donostia, at the crack of dawn in the summer is magical. The train takes you through mountain passes, and along the coast, following rivers and giving you visual access to places you could never see in a car or bus.
Trains also run to Bilbo and it is possible to get to Gernika also, but you have to change trains.
Further information will be added shortly