I always thought that Bilbao kind of sounded like Bilbo, which then naturally made me think of Bilbo Baggins. As it turns out, Biblo is the Basque name for Bilbao. Bilbao is in the País Vasco, aka the Basque Country, which is actually a region in Spain. Navarra has a lot of Basque people, but Navarra is it's own region and not a part of the País Vasco. Anyway, I really wanted to find a T-shirt or something touristy that had something to do with Bilbo Baggins. Maybe that's too much of an English thing.
I went to Bilbao with some of the people I met on the San Sebastian trip. We took the 9 o'clock bus out of Pamplona and arrived in Bilbao around 11. We spent the rest of the day sightseeing and touring the Guggenheim Museum.
When we arrived in Bilbao, we were all pretty hungry, so the rest of my group bought breakfast and I got some to-go coffee and we found a park to picnic in. To clarify, Carmen had made me two sandwiches and gave me an apple to take for the day. So I ate a sandwich and drank my coffee. This definitely saved me some money on the trip.
To get to the Guggenheim, we walked through the park after we ate and then along a river. There were several awesome saxophone playing street musicians. I love saxophones because my brother and some of friends play it. I also enjoy playing the saxophone when the clarinet is too quiet. I kind of wanted to take the person's soprano sax and play it myself, but of course that would have been rude.
You've probably heard of the Guggenheim Museum, even if you don't know exactly what it is. Before visiting the one in Bilbao, I knew that it was a famous art museum. Aside from that, I didn't really know anything else about it. Well, know I know that it is specifically a modern art museum. There are only a few in the world. We have one in New York city. The others are in Venice, Berlin, and Abu Dhabi.
We all split up in the museum and planned to meet back in an hour in a half. I had one of those audio tour things you hold up to your ear. I walked through the museum and if something looked interesting to me, I'd punch in the number and hear the explanation of the artwork. I must say, I don't really understand modern art. I feel like with most of that stuff, the artist just threw something together and came up with a philosophical reason behind it. I guess I just don't understand. Nonetheless, it was very interesting. The building in itself is art. I included pictures of it from all angles.
After the Guggenheim, we walked down to the Casco Viejo of Bilbao (the old part of the city). It was very cool looking. We went to a bakery and got some sweets as a late afternoon snack. I got a stracciatella gelato and everybody else got pastries. I feel like I'll get plenty of pastries when I go to Paris this coming weekend and I was feeling the ice cream.
Apparently there's a medieval part, but we didn't go there. I'll probably go find that when I go this coming weekend. I do love medieval stuff.
Now that I've been to Bilbao, I know my way around a little, I have a map, and I kind of have an idea of what else I'd like to do. For instance, go to the medieval part and there's a Basque museum that sounds intriguing. Maybe some of the mysteriousness of the Basques will be cleared up for me.
This coming up week looks like it'll be pretty chill. Then I'm going to PARIS!!! I can't want to see my really good friend and sorority big sister, Tyler. We're going to have a blast.
Until next time!