Bilbao en el País Vasco

Another bus ride, from León to Bilbao with a half hour stop in Burgos. Sadly I didn’t have my camera handy when we saw a shepherd walking his sheep over the highway just outside of León… he was leading maybe 80 of them! The bus pulled through several villages, with quick stops in each, and half an hour in Burgos… enough time for a coffee (on the left, some village, on the right, a view of the cathedral in Burgos).

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We had some great views of the Cantabrian Mountains… they are crazy!
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Bilbao was really a great city. It sits on the Nervión River and because of its industrial background, it seems the city sometimes gets a bad rap. It shouldn’t. It is beautiful! For some reason it reminds me a bit of Boston.

The Guggenheim is here, and is supposedly partly responsible for the city becoming something new. Jeff Koons‘ Puppy is here (the Spaniards say “POO-pee”). I’m not a huge fan of his, but Puppy is great!
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The museum is crazy looking. I especially liked the Richard Serra exhibit “The Matter of Time” (there’s a pic on the wiki link). It was so disorienting to walk through his sculptures! Outside, on the river side, mist would rise in front of the museum.
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Here’s some views around the city….

The Zubizuri footbridge (Basque for “white bridge”). That glass snail-looking thing is the subway entrance!
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We met our first Pastor Catalán (aka Gos D’Atura in Catalan, or Catalan Shepherd) along the river under those lovely trees. She was very sweet! And don’t you love that the stairs all make it easy for wheels (wheelchairs, strollers)?

People in Bilbao (the Bizkaia) speak a unique language, Euskera aka Basque aka el vasco, which is not related to any other language in the world! Luckily they all speak Castellano (aka Spanish) too. They also keep what feels like more regular hours to us… dinner is from 8-10 pm rather than 10-midnight, and you can get breakfast 8-9 no problem. Our typical breakfast was croissant and coffee. In Bilbao, they liked to stab the croissant with a fork!
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We also had the best and most fabulous lunch in Bilbao… menu del día for 12 euro, enough to make dinner pretty much unnecessary. Complete with a bottle of water and a bottle of wine!
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Salad of escarole and baby eel substitute (gula), bacalao al pil pil (cod), some wonderful duck and mango thing, and profiteroles. It was so good, we went here the next day, which was also good, but not quite so fabulous.

There was a cathedral in the old part of the city. We didn’t visit the inside, but it was interesting to note that there are lots of shops built right into the back side of it!
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Window shopping was fun, as everywhere. (We did a lot of window shopping during siesta hours)…and, as everywhere, there were these shops that had rather unattractive (and really expensive) baby things,
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And in the silicone kitchen shop, you can get all sorts of things…
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The cars everywhere were intriguing, and this one on the Renault showfloor was especially so… the Renault Twizy,
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Skunkfunk… I mean, who thinks of these names? I did love the wall of live ferns and mosses though…
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I also liked that this shop put newspaper on the mannequins…
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Holy week wasn’t as big a presence here, but we did see a bit of it…
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We went grocery shopping at the Super BM!
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We bought red nylons at Boutique de la Media… they are all the rage this year. It is a lingerie shop, with lots of lovely things, and so, given that I am on the “ultimate bra quest”, I asked the lovely (and very tiny!) Rosa if she had something in a size 30H/32G… Her eyes bugged out a bit, she said let me see your tag, and then she proceeded to bring me really lovely bras that all almost fit. I didn’t want to spend too much time, and they were hugely expensive (as in 140+ euros), but I was impressed. She said her shop specializes in the hard to find sizes… small bands and large cups as well as larger bands with smaller cups. So, if you’re in Spain and need a bra, go here!

Apparently while I was in the dressing room, the other woman told Ginny “she’s a little crazy“. Ginny asked which one. And she said, “well, it looks like the both of them.”

2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Colleen said,

    May 1, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    Just catching up on your travel posts. Wow! You have some amazing pictures. You did a great job of sharing your trip with us. Pretty cool adventure.

  2. 2

    Emily said,

    May 3, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    I just love the art!

    I finally tried out Nordstrom’s bra department, and it was wonderful. Pricy, but wonderful. I’m going to save up for a special trip out there.

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