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Bustling Bilbao

Bustling Bilbao

I spent two nights in Bilbao, which was a slightly milder temperature than the previous destinations that I have visited in Spain.

Bilbao had previously been described to me as "the ugly duckling which had finally turned into a beautiful swan" and you can see evidence of this throughout the city.

Although lots of the older, less attractive buildings still stand - the way that they combine with an artistic modern array of buildings is beautiful.

Views from Artxanda Mountain

Views from Artxanda Mountain

€0.95 each way on the funicular takes you to the top of Mount Artxanda where you can see across the city, over the mountains, to the coast and beyond! There's also a hilly walk to the abandoned church and an Olympic sized swimming pool along with some restaurants. I used it mainly as a viewpoint and I was not disappointed. After wandering around the top of the mountain and photographing down below from various angles I took the funicular back down to the city. I walked into the old town, full of character, shops, restaurants and bars - it is said to come alive at night time!

Puppy - Jeff Koons

Puppy - Jeff Koons

Walking back through the city I found the Guggenheim Museum and outside it the "Puppy" - an amazing giant dog structure with real flowers growing from it. I stood for ages marvelling at the Guggenheim museum, it's shiny reflective wavy silver exterior being one of the most photographed places in Bilbao. Watching the world go by at the Guggenheim was fun, tourists and locals alike flood to the museum to take selfies and family photos with the iconic building in the background.

The ever-impressive Guggenheim  

The ever-impressive Guggenheim  

On my second day in Bilbao I caught the Metro to Larrabasterra and did the coastal footpath walk through to Bidezabel.

When arriving in Larrabasterra, it's a good 15minute walk up and down the hills leading to the coast. Once there simply look left and you'll see the path trailing the rugged coastline in front of you.

Beaches seen from the Coastal Path

Beaches seen from the Coastal Path

A Windmill spotted on the wander from Larrabasterra to Bidezabel

A Windmill spotted on the wander from Larrabasterra to Bidezabel

It takes about 2hours to walk on a hot day with lots of photo and water stops. It's easy enough, a flat paved path all the way through to Bidezabel, with a few natural hills and steps to conquer along the way. There are plenty of taps en route to keep your water bottle filled up, which is a must as the sun is very strong. I'm now a dark shade of red, bordering on maroon so another top tip for this walk is to wear suncream and seek shade where you can!

The paved path leading the way...  

The paved path leading the way...  

Gallo Negro Bar  

Gallo Negro Bar  

I took the metro back from Bidezabel to Bilbao where I wandered into the old city and found the cutest little bar called "Gallo Negro Bar" - beautifully and luxuriously decorated serving drinks and food throughout the day. The 'Salad of The Day' was just what I needed after my long day of walking and had lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, prawns, tuna with dried fruits, nuts and seeds sprinkled on top.

Sunset at The Guggenheim, Bilbao  

Sunset at The Guggenheim, Bilbao  

In the evening I went to watch the sunset behind the Guggenheim (an image I had seen pictured on postcards throughout the city) and I was quite lucky to capture some stunning photographs!

As previously mentioned Bilbao is definitely up and coming and has been turned into a destination worth travelling to...

I unfortunately ran out of time to go inside the Guggenheim during my stay but I admired the art outside from a grand wave structure to the Maman Spider which is almost as iconic as the museum itself!

Maman Spider

Maman Spider

Scenic San Sebastián

Scenic San Sebastián

Touring Toledo and Segovia

Touring Toledo and Segovia