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Trip Report Trip Report: Two sisters visit Bilbao and San Sebastian

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I returned yesterday from a fabulous, tasty and relaxing trip to Bilbao and San Sebastian made with my trusty travel companion, my sister K. My notes aren’t great so I want to report while everything is still somewhat fresh, but I’m still a little googly from the jet-lag so I’ll apologize in advance if I start to ramble or mess up details.

We had visited Spain once before – a fondly remembered trip to Barcelona and Madrid in the late 90s. We had originally planned to re-visit one of these cities, but after poking around Fodors and other sites and re-reading the Sun Also Rises, San Sebastian started to creep onto the radar. We found reasonable flights to Bilbao, and the itinerary was set: four nights in San Sebastian book-ended by two nights in Bilbao.

Planning for this trip was different than most of our others, which have almost always been to larger cities. I felt a little odd to be without my usual list of museums and sites and opening times. My list this time read more like "sidra, hake, rioja, foie"... things to taste instead of things to do. It felt good.

The weather Gods were truly smiling on us. I knew when we booked a trip to this region in early May that we ran a pretty high risk of rainy days and chilly nights, and when checking the forecasts in the days before the trip, it looked like that was to be the case. Instead, we had five and a half days of bright sunshine and temperatures bordering on hot, plus one overcast day on our planned Guggenheim Day. The rain jackets and umbrellas never left our bags. It was perfect.

Our travel also went perfectly. I was worried about any stepped-up security at JFK and the time that would be required. The lines there were crazy long, but they were fairly fast moving and efficient, and our Lufthansa flights were comfortable and punctual. We breezed through a connection in Munich and arrived in the small Bilbao airport on time, tired, but excited to be back in Spain.

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