Tuesday 17 January, 2006


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 1:51 pm

Thanks to Time Out’s Winter Breaks Bilbao beeped on our radar and aren’t we glad it did. Before we went we didn’t really find out much about it except it had a Guggenheim and an industrial past. We asked a few Spaniards in Barcelona and Zaragoza and pretty much got the same response that it was not a nice city and questions as to why we would want to visit. Normally locals are in the know before the tourists but in the case of Bilbao it’s the other way around. I think we were willing to give it a chance because we know that Lille has a similar story to tell, industrial cities of past making leaps forward aided in the quick turn around by embracing the Arts. Lille’s Guggenheim was being the European Capital of Culture for 2004. So with a Guggenheim in residence, which is impressive even before you walk in, I think Bilbao has the Arts covered and as well the food is amazing. Its a very attractive city, even on a grey rainy day, nestled amongst green hills with a river, but still obviously a city with a definite edge and most definitely a party city, it has a fantastic vibe.

However I like to get up early but Spain likes to keep you up late and it was starting to make me a wee bit tired so one night I decided to go to bed early at 11pm. Honestly I felt like I had taken myself off at 5pm, I felt so guilty and kept apologizing to Jim and told him not to feel he had to retire at such a pathetic hour also. So off he went out on his own, well he wasn’t on his own the whole of Bilbao was out, I mean what kind of person goes to bed in Spain at 11pm!

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