Friday, September 16, 2016

Bilbao - Wednesday

On Tuesday evening, it was walk to the old quarter to find some more pintxo bars.  There were many to choose from.  We followed this up with a stroll around the Guggenheim. The river and building looked good with lights.  The flower dog was not quite so bright, but still managed some snaps.

A drive to the coastal region was the order of the day for Wednesday. 
This was WOW material.  San Juan de Gaztulegatxe was once a castle, a monastery, and a refuge for wealthy Basques who were fleeing someone.
It is an amazing walk, 1.3km just to get down to sea level. Then across the walkway and up 231 steps.  After completing that it was do it again in the reverse.  It got the heart rate up that's for sure.
The view were worth it though. A stunning coast line, quite rugged, but as good a view as I have seen anywhere.  I will let the photos do the talking.

That's where we are headed.

Half way down.

Sea level.

At the top
The toilet at the top was worth a photo.  Definitely a long drop!

A view of the walk back.

We drove a little further around the coastline back toward Bilbao. Some pretty spots.  The Rock on the left is what we climbed earlier.

Even found flowering gums in the hills.

Back toward Bilbao, we headed to the mouth of the river to see a bridge from the 1800's that was built to connect the town's on either side.  It runs a gondola underneath to ferry up to 6 cars and passengers.

We took the lift to the top (60m up) and walked across (160m).
Jan was a bit like me, not really impressed with heights, but it was worth getting over that. View was great.
Caught the ferry across , about 2 mins.  A commuter ride for many.
Dinner out last night, as usual.  Restaurant meal instead of pintxo which was very nice for a change.

We left about 8 this morning for the drive to Madrid.  Got here about 12.30 and checked in to our hotel near the airport.  We used the nearby Metro to head down town, where we did a bus tour around the city.  Not really inspired by Madrid, but perhaps we are travelled out.  It's another big city with lots of old buildings and lots of people.  

Our journey has almost ended.  4 weeks has gone by so quickly.  It has been fantastic, with some amazing sights and experiences.  Travelling with Jan and Jess has been delightful. Great friends, good times, good memories.  
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you found it interesting.
Adios. Until next time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bilbao - Tuesday

It was a hot night last night, most places don't have ac so just open up the windows and hope a breeze comes along.  Eventually it did cool down, but the hot night day and night left us all a little lethargic.  No matter.  The town to explore.
We wandered to the Old City which was similar to San Sebastián, old churches, narrow roads, dense living.  The style of architecture here in Bilbao is different. Whilst some is similar to San Sebastián, there is a mixture of modern, Art Deco, French style and downright ugly.

The plaza is quite nice, apartments above, pintxo bars below overlooking the Plaza.

This church was very bright and fresh inside.
We then went into the markets, advertised as the largest, undercover market in the northern hemisphere. We all think we have seen much bigger and more impressive markets over here.

Our main feature of the day was the Guggenheim museum.  It is modern, different, a spectacular building, with great external displays for everybody to enjoy.

The floral display of the dog is fantastic. Bendigo could do something like this in the spot where Marilyn was. It would look great.

Some of the internal displays were very good, others were a little underwhelming.  Plenty of Picasso's and a Andy Warhol display.  Not a great fan of Andy's work.

Outside, we could see the weather had turned and rain was heading our way.  Took a punt on getting to the funicular railway to take us up to the top for a look over the city. 770m long, up 226m.
We made it with a few minutes to spare before it bucketed down. 

At least we were dry, but the view wasn't too good.

It only cost 85cents each way, so if we have time tomorrow, we might have another go.
Back to our apartment for afternoon siesta.  This holiday caper can be tiring!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

San Sebastián to Bilbao, Monday

On Sunday night we wandered over the other side of the river to look at the third beach. The inlet was producing some good waves. The waves at all the beaches were really good, and it was very nice swimming.
This was after 8pm.
Dinner in a restaurant in the Old Quarter.  The pintxo bars weren't so appealing tonight because of the all day revelling at the boat races. The place was a mess, rubbish everywhere, a few drunks, no aggro though, plenty of "other" on the ground.

Today we moved on to Bilbao (100km). It is a little inland, but we chose the coastal road for a little of our journey.  It was a good choice.  Some spectacular scenery and a nice spot at Zarrutz to have a morning break.  The Bay of Biscay

There were moments when we were reinstated to the  Fukarwee tribe!  (Think about it)
The GPS has been great, but the wrong side of the road driving has its challenges. (Especially in a manual car.  Hard to get auto hire cars here).  Jess has done a great job driving, Russell has been fantastic navigating (although many times he would point left and say go right or vice versa). Jan and I have just chuckled away in the back seat about front seat happenings.
Our apartment is right in the centre of town which is great.  Walk to everywhere. We only booked this one the day before on Trip Advisor.  It is a little dated, but quite okay. It has 4 bedrooms, very spacious (except for Jess and Jan's shower which is pretty cosy).  We have the back bedroom and bathroom. It is 25m from the front to the back!  Good exercise.
Pre dinner nibbles and drinks, it is still hot outside (35o now). Off to the pintxo bars for dinner afterwards.
The hallway.

It is 9am here so time to explore the town.