My friend was in the process of moving out from her old house and into her new house, so I was somewhat in the way of her packing process. So I impulsively bought a ticket (on monday) to Bilbao. I woke up around 6:30 am, headed by metro (the strike hadn’t occurred yet) to the bus station, and bought myself a roundtrip ticket to Bilbao. My plan was to arrive around noon-ish (it’s about 4.5 hours from Madrid by bus), get a hotel when I got there, and then proceed to visit the Guggenheim and any other good sites around the city.
Well, little did I know that the day I chose to travel was when them Guggenheim Museum was closed. I had traveled so far to get to the Architecture Mecca, only to see the outside. Bear in mind that Anish Kapoor was having an exhibition there, so it was a double loss for me. Also, I had bought both my going and return tickets at the same time, and my return ticket was at 9am the following day, so there was no way I could have stayed in Bilbao. I will have to go back. As a word of advice: never go to Bilbao on a Monday.
On top of all of this, while I was on the packed bus to Bilbao, I saw many, many people with rock T-shirts. I arrived on the day that ACDC was performing their very last European concert. So the entire city was filled to the rim with people going to that concert. Which meant that there were simply NO HOTELS anywhere near the bus station. I looked for a hotel for a good 2 hours, until I finally found one in the heart of the old city (which is a far cooler spot to be in than next to the bus station…. just a little inconvenient.
I got to see the entire city from the top of a mountain (for 2 euros you can take the ferrocarril), then headed to take pictures of the outside of the Guggenheim, and finally walked around the old streets of the old city, where I found a small cafe and watched the Brazil-Chile game. I got home around 11, a little exhausted from the traveling, and headed to sleep. In the morning I hopped on the bus back to Madrid and hung out for the following couple fo days. Here are some highlights of Bilbao: