During our last day in Bilbao we had originally planned to catch the bus to San Sebastian by noon but there was much left to explore and so instead we roamed about the city until late afternoon.
We both agreed that we hadn’t taken enough photos of Maman (the spider) located outside of the Guggenheim so we began our morning headed in that direction. It seemed we just couldn’t get enough of the fabulous art museum and it was our excuse to say good bye. Our hotel was located close to the museum and so we often glimpsed it as we went about our busy days of exploring. “Oh, that’s just the Guggenheim over there,” we would joke, realizing we were enjoying the privilege of viewing it so often.
On our way we passed by a beautiful and interesting mural painted beneath the La Salve Bridge.
Once saturated with taking photos we headed over to Casco Viejo one last time. I had never been there in daylight and Lauren was enthused to take me to her favorite cafe, a hip place, as she put it, that reminded her of the Bay Area.
Across the way was the entrance to the elaborate Santiago Cathedral. It was beautiful inside and filled with Grace.
We explored Casco Viejo and browsed in shops for souvenirs.
The sidewalks of Bilbao are paved with special tiles,La Baldosa de Bilbao, unique to the city and the surrounding regions (we found a few on the steps leading to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe). The tile, with its rosette style design, is highly effective in wet climates, making the sidewalks safer to walk on.
Lauren talked about wanting to visit the market since the first afternoon we arrived in Bilbao. So if we were going to see it had to be this day. The market is held in a two-story building with colorful stainless glass windows.
At the market you can find an abundance of hamon, fish, olives, fresh vegetables and fruit.
After visiting the market we were hungry. Most of the restaurants in downtown Bilbao offer Menu del dia on weekdays. Menu del dia is the midday meal which includes soup or salad, a main course, dessert and often wine, all for one price, about 12 euros. Usually the cost of the menu del dia is very reasonable and an affordable way to eat in Spain.
It didn’t take us long to find a good restaurant with an appealing menu del dia and with outdoor seating. On this particular afternoon the waiter asked if we would like a menu in English which was unusual. More typically the menus would be in Spanish and Lauren would translate it for me. To my surprise I found that I preferred the menu in Spanish but of course that’s because I had my own personal translator, if I had been on my own I’m sure it would have been a different story. Overall I enjoyed and preferred hearing Spanish while I was in Spain even though I understood just a little of what was being said.
After lunch we took the light rail to the bus station and said good-bye to Bilbao as we rode off to San Sebastian, only an hour away.
Read more. . . Spain 2013: mother & daughter adventures