Saturday, 10 October 2015

Bilbao (the "hidden gem" of Northern Spain)

Home from a great 3 night trip in Bilbao Oct 2015 - our friends have visited Bilbao a number of times and so we had our very own tour guides.

We arrived in glorious sunshine on our first day, this shot is taken in the old town,  in the square known as Plaza Nueva. About a 5 min walk from the apartment we were staying in.








It has over 20 bars around the outside, and a lovely feel about it, with all the locals enjoying pintxos and wine, while children play in the centre.

The bars all offer there own variation of pintxos and it's tradition to have a little "nibble" and a drink in each bar.  Two of our favourites were http://www.sorginzulo.com/ &  http://barcharly.com/ this bar did amazing pork scratchings.





We stayed in some lovely apartments and they were only 69 euro a night http://www.arriagasuites.com/ right in the heart of the pretty old town.


There are lots of nice cafes nearby for breakfast




This is the view from our apartment balcony on our first morning



As the weather was so good when we arrived, our friends suggested we go up on the funicular lift to see the view of the city from above

http://www.bilbaoturismo.net/BilbaoTurismo/en/sustainable-transport/artxanda-funicular



The view from the top was fantastic you could see for miles


The shiny building in the photo below is the http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es/en/


It is a great way to get your bearings of the town from above


Once back down we had a nice wander though the town and over the river



In the newer part of the town, old and new buildings sit side by side




We stumbled across a lovely bar called Jardines and soaked up the sunshine



The sangria was lovely


Then we wandered back over to the old town, some interesting street art


We had a great first night out wandering in and out of all the pintxos bars


This bar did the most amazing spicy mushrooms http://gorasomera.com/


and the white wine was lovely here Casco Veijo





It was a bit wet first thing the next day so we decided to get the metro over to the Bizkaia Bridge (very similar to the transporter bridge in our home town of Middlesbrough).  The metro was a great way of getting to the other side of town



some interesting graffiti along the way


Our friends said each visit to Bilbao they always get some rain due to it's position in the mountains

It was a bit of a contrast to our first day




We had a nice walk along the sea front and popped in a bar and by the time we came out the weather was clearing.


  There were some lovely houses along the front




We decided to walk along the top of the bridge, you had to get a glass lift up and down the same side and then go over on the gondola

http://www.puente-colgante.com/index.php/es/




Fantastic views from the top





Then we were in need of some very well deserved refreshments


Bilbao football team were playing at home it was a fantastic atmosphere in the streets around the ground


On our second night we decided to go to a lovely grill restaurant,  but on the way it would be rude not to stop for one of the infamous lamb kebabs as a starter at this lovely place

http://www.cafeirunabilbao.net/





We stopped by this place a few times the kebabs were fantastic and the wine was lovely too

Bilbao was such a lovely place, beautiful old streets, churches, cafes  and friendly locals





On our last day we came across these old men singing it was quite moving


We wandered past lovely gardens and fountains


It has a lovely feel about the place and nice and relaxing




Our friendly waitress Carolina


Lovely walking along the river


There was a street food market on one day



This little square was just up from the old square



The buildings were all so pretty


All in all we had a great trip and will be going back for sure



Goodbye for now





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