Our Basque country fall 2019 trip

Old Mar 3rd, 2022, 11:24 AM
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Thank for more wonderful photos. Looks like a great trip.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2022, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for your great pics of my hometown! You were lucky with the weather!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2022, 12:01 PM
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Mikelg, more photos of your hometown coming (including more river reflections), 1 more day to go. As I dig up the photos, it just reinforces why I adored Bilbao so much. So pretty with a great energy.

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Old Mar 3rd, 2022, 10:08 PM
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Funny, as it becomes overshadowed by Donostia-San Sebastian, which is a beautiful city (as we say here, a "postcard town"), but I think it lacks the vibe and energy of Bilbao.
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Old Mar 4th, 2022, 09:18 AM
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Day 10 – Sadly our last day as tourists. We had a morning ticket to the Guggenheim. We walked, crossing the Zubizuri bridge to get to the museum. I thought we could get an English tour, but it was Sunday, and no English tours were given. We spent a few hours there, then headed out for lunch.


Yet another river reflection photo.

On the way to the Guggenheim

Zubizuri bridge

crossing the Zubizuri bridge

la salve bridge







Rain came so a good museum day. After lunch we visited the `Museum of Fine Arts, which was very nice and very empty.


Museum of Fine Arts


That evening it was sill raining. We walked around looking for a place to have a drink before dinner drink where we could sit indoors, then had dinner a Patri Gastrobar, in our hotel. There were multiple food and service issues. They definitely did not have their act together. We were disappointed, given chef Berasategu’s reputation.

Day 11 – Time to leave. We could have easily spent more time in Bilbao. We arrived at the airport early and were able to get on an earlier flight.

View from plane


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Old Mar 4th, 2022, 01:53 PM
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Now Bilbao is on my list. Thanks, MFNYC.
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Old Mar 4th, 2022, 05:56 PM
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Thanks so much for taking the time to post this beautiful report. I am just starting to plan a visit to Basque country for October, mostly based in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and have been debating about adding a day or two in Bilbao. No more debate. After seeing your pictures, Bilbao will be included.
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Old Mar 4th, 2022, 09:37 PM
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading your report and drooling over your lovely photos.
I know I can’t see all the places I’d like, and a report like this gives me a wonderful glimpse into that world.
….and what a photo from the plane…spectacular!
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Old Mar 4th, 2022, 11:25 PM
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Thanks for your review of Bilbao. I can see my former room at my parentsī house in one of your pictures, funny!! Yes, Bilbao has not been on the radar for a long time, overshadowed by the (just) fame of Donostia-San Sebastian, itīs a city well worth the visit (but of course, my opinion is quite biased Thanks again.

Did you get to know the funny story of Zubizuri (in Basque "white bridge") bridge and the problems with its slippery surface? And the huge transformation of the area where the Guggenheim is now?
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Old Mar 5th, 2022, 05:05 AM
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<<Now Bilbao is on my list. Thanks, MFNYC.>>

It was where my June 2020 trip was supposed to end, just before the European Cup kicked off there, TD. Now I've seen those lovely photos I'm even sorrier than i was that I never made it.
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Old Mar 5th, 2022, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for more gorgeous photos! The view from the plane is spectacular. I want to visit this part of Spain, but I also want to visit countries I haven't been to. So hard to decide! At my age, I doubt I will have time to visit every place I want to see.
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Old Mar 5th, 2022, 06:59 AM
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Karen, I think I'm around your age, because I think the same way. That's why when we do travel, we cover as much as we can. My thought is it's unlikely we'd ever revisit a place.

Mike, I did not know that. When I visit a city (I'm a city person), I always ask myself "could I live here?". Bilbao gets a yes without doubt, as does Sevilla and Bologna, Italy.

TD and Maine, you won't regret adding Bilbao to your itinerary. Ann, I hope you can get there.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 12:54 AM
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Zubizuri bridge was built by Calatrava, a famous architect. The floor is composed of transparent bricks and light comes from underneath at night, making a very nice sight. But here it rains quite often, and it was a very slippery surface. So Calatrava covered the glass bricks with an ugly epoxy painting and anti slippery patches, very ugly too. But people kept falling down and sueing the city hall for broken arms and ankles. Then, the city decided to cover the bridge with a carpet (what all visitors see), and then Calatrava sued the city hall for ruining the aspect of "his" bridge. And he won, because the judge decided it was not bought as a bridge but as a work or art and it could not be modified without the "artist"īs permission. But he let the carpet on, so people would not fall down. And he also sued the city because at the end of the bridge we build another bridge that was "touching" his work of art, and so he won again, and thatīs the reason why both bridges are separated by a 10cm gap. We declared Calatrava as "not welcome" in Bilbao...furthermore, the aiport he built in Bilbao had water leaks and the waiting area, in a rainy zone, was outdoors...
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mikelg
Zubizuri bridge was built by Calatrava, a famous architect. The floor is composed of transparent bricks and light comes from underneath at night, making a very nice sight. But here it rains quite often, and it was a very slippery surface. So Calatrava covered the glass bricks with an ugly epoxy painting and anti slippery patches, very ugly too. But people kept falling down and sueing the city hall for broken arms and ankles. Then, the city decided to cover the bridge with a carpet (what all visitors see), and then Calatrava sued the city hall for ruining the aspect of "his" bridge. And he won, because the judge decided it was not bought as a bridge but as a work or art and it could not be modified without the "artist"īs permission. But he let the carpet on, so people would not fall down. And he also sued the city because at the end of the bridge we build another bridge that was "touching" his work of art, and so he won again, and thatīs the reason why both bridges are separated by a 10cm gap. We declared Calatrava as "not welcome" in Bilbao...furthermore, the aiport he built in Bilbao had water leaks and the waiting area, in a rainy zone, was outdoors...
Mikelg, they had exactly the same problems with the Calatrava bridge in Venice too, [aka il Ponte della Costituzione] which must raise questions about why people kept employing this chap, especially when you read that as you say many of his other projects have been beset with problems. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/sa...bridge-1629082
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 05:14 AM
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A wonderful trip report with fantastic photos. Having had to cancel this trip due to you-know-what, you’re reminding me just how much I do want to visit this region. So much to see! Oh, and those pintxos!

MFNYC, interesting comment about Sevilla and Bologna, because my husband and I think very similarly. We are also city people (we also live in NYC) and now I know we have to visit Bilbao. I know we’d love it as well! And I’m with zebec - love the Santander railway station shot.

I loved seeing the Gehry hotel as well as the museum in Bilbao. The hotel really does look like large ribbons interwoven.

TDudette, the laundry strung up across the street in Naples was an amazing art display!

And it is so hard to balance visiting new places vs seeing different places in old places. We’ve visited Italy multiple times and love it. But we’ve only been to Spain twice and would so love to explore this area as well. Sigh…

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Old Apr 4th, 2024, 07:07 AM
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Wonderful trip report and photos, MFNYC! We are going to this area later this year and were planning just a day trip to Bilbao but now will stay for two days. So much to see in our wonderful world! Thank you for sharing your trip with us.
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Old May 15th, 2024, 09:38 AM
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MFNYC,
It was really nice to revisit this trip report. We stayed in "your room" at the Villa de Abalos last week, and Merche's cooking just gets better and better.
It was so nice to re-read and enjoy your trip and all of your lovely photos!
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