The over night bus to Bilbao was an experience and certainly not one of my favourite parts of travel. Oh well. You take the good with the bad.
We arrived at 5:30 am exhausted and too cheap to take a taxi as it’s only a 25 minute walk. Well. I’m sure it is when you know where you’re going. It wasn’t till later in the day that we figured out our difficulty with road names is not because we’re crazy. They ARE different on both sides of the road. One is in Spanish and the other is in Basque which is totally different. A young man in a restaurant actually left his friends to SHOW us where our hotel was. How’s that for helpful?!
Busy is best when you’re exhausted so after leaving our bags we went walking, and walking an walking some more. Bilbao is a much more beautiful city than we’d expected and there’s lots to see. We took a river boat tour that explained a lot about the area then walked some more.
The old city is fully of shops, restaurants and of course….churches. We stopped at a bar and enjoyed some pinxos after figuring out you can just point to what you want and you get charged per piece. After walking some more we sampled gelato and declared it delicious as well.
Our room had an interesting shower with jets in the wall so I thought I’d try it. After being attacked by cold water and making a soggy mess of the bathroom, it was quite enjoyable and nice on tired, aching muscles. Anita and Sue laughed at me but someone’s got to be the guinea pig.
Sunday, November 8
Buying bus tickets for onward travel was a pain this morning. It’s been easy thus far so I don’t know what the issue is now. Oh well. We’ll think about that later.
We took our time this morning and wandered off to find breakfast, then the funicular which is supposed to be a highlight. It wasn’t terribly scenic but was a quick way to get up a very large hill. We wandered around up there a while then decided to walk back. There appeared to be a path off the road so we took that and just wandered some more. It turned out to be an organized trail with signs and everything. Cool.
The temperature reached 29 degrees today and we were hot. After taking a photo of the Guggenheim from every angle possible we worked up a hunger and found another gelato place. Yummy. I got dark chocolate and raspberry.
More wandering made us thirsty so we stopped for a glass of wine and beer with a shot of water then made it back to the room for a siesta. I managed to succeed in purchasing bus tickets and our host was gracious enough to print them. Nice!
It’s dark by 7 pm but the streets fill up with people. They were everywhere. The parks were full of kids. People were walking, biking, roller blading…everywhere. We finally settled on pinxos for dinner with a glass of wine. Pinxos are kind of like hors d’oeurves and every bar has their own and a variety to choose from. It’s a fun way to sample different things.