One thing (well, I could tell many other ones) that fascinates me in Spain is its nature’s diversity. In these 600 km from Barcelona to Bilbao, the landscapes change tremendously, and it feels like you crossed a continent. From the blue Catalan beaches, driving by ocher-orange scenery in Aragon, you suddenly face green mountains and humid weather in Asturias and Basque Country. Heading up to the Atlantic coast, our next stop is Bilbao. Amongst highways and hills, you see a port city and modern buildings in the valley, and that’s how you know you arrived there.
The city is often related to its major soccer team Athletic Bilbao, and of course, the Guggenheim Museum. But Bilbao is much more; actually a very pleasant surprise. And if you like rock’n’roll, the soundtrack in the bars and restaurants will make you happy. For hard rock lovers, I recommend Zerua Rock Bar (one of the many suprises I had in Bilbao, and definitely, the funniest one. Twisted Sister, vodka shots and Brazilian trashy parody metal bands on the TV). 😀 😀
About Guggennheim: this time I wanted to focus on seeing Bilbao. But surely I’ll visit the museum on my next trip to Bilbao. Afterall, the city is worthy more than only one trip. The museum of fine arts (Museo de Bellas Artes) is also very interesting.
If you want to do a one-day walk tour, here’s my tip: pass by Bilbao-Abando train station, and cross the Don Diego Lopez Haroko Kalea, paying attention to the art nouveau and neo classic buildings and stores. By the way, in Bilbao, old and new architecture are mixed in a harmonious way. In the end of the street, you’ll be at Plaza Don Federico Moyua. From the Plaza, go to Parque de Dona Casilda de Iturissar, then pass by Guggenheim Museum and back to Casco Viejo, contouring the riverside. By the end of the day, it’s great to take a walk by the river side to see the sunset and make pretty pictures.
Casco Viejo is the old town district, formed by seven streets (Las Siete Calles), and where the city’s churches are located. Just pick any of these streets and explore the local shops and pintxos bars. In the evening, go to the lively Plaza Nueva: it doesn’t matter which day of the week, there are always people eating and drinking some wine or cider. In the Plaza there are many bars selling delicious pintxos for good prices.