On a balmy Sunday afternoon with a threat of rain in the air, we ventured into the centre of Bilbao. We were eager to explore what would be our home for the next few days. Built on both sides of the Nervión River, Bilbao is the largest city in Northern Spain. A port city we had heard it was quite industrialised but we found it to be charming. On this Sunday afternoon the area around the Arenal Park and old city was closed to motorised traffic and lots of families and groups of friends were meeting for a stroll, along the riverbank promenade or to just sit and people watch. We bought a lunch from a local cafe and sat on a bench in the park to soak up the atmosphere.
After we ventured in to the narrow cobbled streets of the old town and a hum of noise from a small alleyway lead us up some steps, through a stone arch and into the stunning Plaza Neuza. Surrounded by a covered walkway with arches it was filled with cafes, restaurants and pintxos bars (pintxos are the regional equivalent to tapas, the difference being the are served on bread). Groups congregated at outdoor eateries while others sat on the low bench wall surrounding the inner square and it was buzzing. (See a video via this link Plaza Nueva). Luckily while we were in the Plaza the rain storm that had been threatening came through and we could shelter under the covered walkway. Then it was back up into the hillside where we were staying. This campsite had been recommended to us by friends and it was worth it if only for the incredible views overlooking the city.
On Monday as a priority we checked out our options for getting Tigín repaired. If you haven’t read my last blog you may not know that we had an issue with our rear lights. We were told to come in the next day and they would see what they could do. In the meantime we had another day to explore Bilbao. We biked along the riverfront to take in some of the unique architecture, including the famous Guggenheim museum. We enjoyed the many varied sculptures and art installations and the beautiful green spaces around the city. We loved it all and would definitely recommend Bilbao for a long weekend or mini break.
Tigín you’ll be pleased to hear is as good as new. The staff at Mercedes Benz Aguinaga couldn’t have been more helpful and within two hours they had Tigín back to us. And as a bonus, without us asking they did the full repair free of charge. Who knew fox damage was covered under warranty! Free as birds, with not a care in the world, we headed North East to the coast, the weather for the coming days was to be good and Hubby had a significant ’roundy’ birthday to be celebrated.