Day 37 – Bilbao 

OMG! I am totally in love with this city.  

I arrived into town on the bus at 5.20am. Pitch black and not even a bus station to sit in until it got light.  

Thank goodness for my trusty App  Had the city of Bilbao downloaded and put in Guggenheim Museo.  Thought if I found that I would get my bearings. Well didn’t need them.  Set out on my way, the only person in the street at that time and headed towards the museum which was totally on the other side of the city and as I came around my first corner here is a lovely little cafe that had just opened and had all the yummy things for breakfast.

Decided to stay there for a while and work out where I was, find some accommodation so I could dump the backpack and then just start walking.   

After 2 hours of 2 coffees and a croissant I was climbing the walls plus I had bus motion so everything was a little wobbly. I watched 2 hours of the Spanish today show and someone was going to prison, still going on about Catalan and terrible fires in Portugal. That was about all I could decipher and of course over a period of 2 hours it was repeated every 15 minutes!!!

Found an albergue on my App which was just around the corner so at 7.30 I pushed open the door and asked for a bed tonight.  I was told I was a bit early but yes he had a bed, yes I could leave my bag and to come back after 1pm. So I was off.  

Put the tourist office, the Guggenheim and my accommodation in my app so I can find them and set off

The sky was just getting light and the city was waking up and as it got lighter what a gorgeous city.  

Modern but old.  Found the tourist office but they didn’t open until 9 so just started to walk and there was the river.   A beautiful big wide river with huge public paths and walkways on both sides.  I turned left and just kept walking and it is beautiful.  

There were joggers, cyclists, dog walkers you name it and I was there with them walking that is.

Walked around a corner and there it was the Guggenheim and I see why everyone raves about the building.  The gold panels on the outside were pretty fabulous with the sunrise on them.  

Doesn’t open until 10 so I sat by the river taking it all in and loving it.

Sun shining and still warm.  Have I told you all how much I love Spain.

The doors opened at 10 so I was there to get my ticket and begin at the top and work my way down. 

First of all outside was ‘the puppy’ that was in front of out MCA a few years back and a spider of some sort. I thought it was those things from War of the World

I have to say I do enjoy art and love going to art galleries but I am still scratching my head over ‘modern’ art. Very out there and Eileen you will appreciate this but I could have done it!!!! 

The museum is very big and 3 stories and you walk into these huge rooms with high ceilings and white walls and there is 1 massive painting on it.  Some of them were very large and filled the wall but lots of blank space.  Jackson Pollock was mentioned and did come to mind with me remembering his ‘blue poles’   Moved down to the next floor and it was a series of very weird film/video
Got down to the 1st floor and it was a massive steel installation that you could walk through. Anyway I certainly enjoyed the morning.  

I saw banners on the street advertising the art museum which had an exhibition of Van Gogh, Mogdiliani, Toulouse lautrec and Goya so went across to that one and it made a lot more sense to me.  

After that I wandered around the streets taking it all in.  

Wanted to get a pair of sketchers as I don’t have my rockports they are in France somewhere in my parcel.  

Went to the tourist office to find out how I would get to Santander tomorrow to get my overnight ferry to Portsmouth. With my bus motion and the sea motion I should be rolling around like nobody’s business 

Got some shoes.  They were on sale as it is winter here so no summer things and wore them out of the shop.  

Was feeling pretty hot, dirty and tired by this time as I hadn’t showered or slept since the night before last. 

Went back to my albergue and had a shower and put on fresh clothes and cleaned my teeth.  Ahhh bliss!

I went back to the bus station and got my bus ticket for tomorrow and then thought it was a long time since breakfast and it was vino Tinto time.  

I pottered about for a bit but it was time to head out so set off straight down the bottom of the street from the albergue and there was Jesus on a pedestal then the river.  

Walked along for a while but realised I hadn’t slept for 24 hours and my feet were tired from walking on concrete all day but wanted to have a glass of wine and dinner down by the river.   It is still so mild.  27 degrees today.  

So walked through a beautiful park before I got to the river.  

Passed the Guggenheim again and am now sitting in a lovely restaurant by the river with a bottle of rose and the most amazing dinner. 

Just had stacked asparagus, eggplant, mushroom, artichoke all cooked to perfection with goats cheese on the top.  OMG it was unbelievable. 

For main course I am having my favourite Paella and sipping on wine overlooking the river.  Life is pretty fabulous.  

Not sure how I am going to adjust back to ‘real’ life on my return.  I could certainly live here though.  

As the sun sets in the West I am a very tired pilgrim and when I finish my dinner and wine and coffee I am home to dreamland.  

Tomorrow Santander and a big boat ride.  Really looking forward to seeing Laura and Janet both of whom I have not seen for 30ish years.  

Tomorrow evening I will be boarding a ferry that will take me from this beautiful country Spain to the UK so stay tuned for the next chapter of my moseying through Europe 

Hasta luego 

Author: Baguettes cheese and wine

Cycling through Brittany and the Loire valley in June

10 thoughts on “Day 37 – Bilbao ”

  1. Hi Maggie
    Cannot say how much I am enjoying your pictures and blog. So amazing
    Certainly is beautiful there. Can’t wait to hear even more. Glad you’re having a ball 😊😊


  2. I sincerely hope you have booked a cabin on this overnight boat. The Bay of Biscay can be a bit challenging. I did Plymouth to Santander when Emma was 1 year old.

    I SO look forward to seeing you. I hope to be in London on sat/sun 28th 29th and will prob drive down. Give me a call or What’sApp when u arrive in Portsmouth.

    Love Janet

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. If you have access to internet on the boat, there is an hour’s programme you may like to watch.

    Channel 5 Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild Downunder. He visits Wilderness Island.

    Wishing you a calm passage.

    Janet xx

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. I loved Bilbao too – and the countryside is just at the top of the hills that frame the city. Hope the ferry ride is not too rollie….and on to the next cultural experience – UK !


  5. Hi Maggie, good to see the pics of the Guggenheim, I’ve heard a lot about it, I get what you mean about the modern art, the Tate Modern in London gave us a sample. Hope you have an ok crossing to Portsmouth, there is a hurricane in the vicinity of the UK at the moment so hope you miss it. Think of us when you get to Portsmouth, it is Roger’s stamping ground and where we spend most of our time nearby in Lee on Solent and Chichester, Southampton when in the UK. Enjoy the rest of your journey. Love Gaynor xo


  6. Maggie, that is some vegetarian stack with goats cheese and a hearty paella too. Looks delicious and enough for two! Cheers


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