Elegant, Stately Bilbao

Bilbao is a city that has became more of a travel destination vs just an industrial city when the modernistic Guggenheim Museum was erected. Whilst the museum is the most striking thing about the city, there are plenty of other historical buildings to enjoy when walking around Bilbao as well as the Basque cuisine.

The Basque region includes both Bilbao and San Sebastian and these people have their own language, history and cuisine. Interestingly, the Basque language, Euskera, is an isolated language. It’s origins are not known but it does not have Latin roots like French, Spanish or Italian. When looking at signs in Basque, the words are mostly unintelligible as are littered with T’s and X’s. It is not related to any other language in the world and is the last descendant of the language of pre-historic Europe.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao – including Puppy, the world’s largest flower sculpture
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Stained Glass at Bilbao-Abando train station
Bilbao – many elegant and stately buildings wherever you look in the central area
Bilbao Cathedral
Basque Tuna and Potato Stew (Mamitako) – a fish dish eaten on tuna fishing boats. This stew was hearty and the seafood scent permeated throughout, giving this dish lovely fragrance and flavour.
Red Fish with Garlic Oil – this dish has integrity! The fish is cooked splayed open and drizzled with a salt, oil and browned garlic. It doesn’t look attractive at all on the plate. Note the eyeball! The fish has lots of bones and is hard to eat in polite company. This is not what matters. The meat on this fish was sweet, tender and beautifully cooked. The garlic oil elevated this dish without overwhelming the mild fish. This was foremost about taste and not looks. I like a restaurant brave enough to do that! These are people who know what is important in life!

When visiting Bilbao, we had the opportunity to head out to Plentzia. This is a town about 45 minutes north of Bilbao with a gorgeous, wide, sandy beach. It was a Saturday when we went and there were lot of people heading out for a beach day in Plentzia.

View of the Plentzia River from the bridge (Pasarela De Plentzia) by night
Plentzia Port
Plentzia Beach – we didn’t realise how great this beach was until we saw how crowded beaches were in the south of France. This is quite deserted in comparison!

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