23-June: We travelled by narrow gauge railway from Llanes to Bilbao - leaving at 11:20am, two hours to Santander, 25 minute connection and then another 3 hours to Bilbao. It was slow compared to the bus but we enjoyed it much more and passed through quite a stretch parallel to the Camino route that we walked. Arrival in Bilbao was in a familiar area of town, the train stations is just across the river from the Old Town where we are staying at Pension Mardones, the same place we stayed when we were here on May 8th - nearly 7 weeks ago. We wandered the old town and had a dinner of tapas bar hopping around the old town.
24-June: Last night, I made online ticket reservations to the Bilbao Guggenheim museum beginning at the 10am opening time. The museum is very impressive and the Frank Gehry design is an amazing work of art in itself. However, the are was a bit outside of our areas of interest and to me seemed to clash with the building - or perhaps the building detracts from the art? In addition, it's such a contrast to the simple pleasures of walking the camino and that made me uncomfortable. Lunch was at a Japanese restaurant (Miu) and a nice change from our usual fare. We enjoyed people watching at a bar on a pedestrian street and then back to our "Old Town". Now, we are sitting at Bar Berton, across the street from our Pension.
25-June: After breakfast, we visited the public market near the river and then had a nice long walk around downtown, then enjoyed a nice lunch of tapas in Plaza Nueva. After lunch we roamed the streets and then relaxed a bit. Dinner was at a nice place, "Koska" in the old town, followed by gelado at a place that we liked. It's going to be culture shock fr us to give up this "lifestyle"!
26-June: Caught a 5:20am bus to the airport and then a 6:50 flight to Frankfurt, a 2 hour connection and non-stop to Seattle.
Spider statue, "Maman", in front of the Guggenheim museum. The sculptor is Louise Bourgeois and she had a rather large space of exhibits inside.
The side of the Guggenheim that faces the river. The surfaces are all curved, either titanium or glass.
Statue called "Puppy" in front of the museum - covered with growing flowers.
Breakfast at a nice cafe/bakery in the old town
Public Market - fish shop
Lots of fish shops!
Pork products galore!
Simple tapas (tortilla, skewer of octopus), red wine!