Arriving in Bilbao was much like falling out of a nightclub in Camden at 6 a.m.; at least it was around by my hostel. The early bus ride from Santander had been a dozy, slightly hungover, one after my night out in Santander, but by the time we pulled up in the Termibus station, I was upbeat and ready to explore.
I was a bit of a trek away from the city centre, so I caught the metro. Being on such a modern, clean and fresh smelling metro reminded me of the one in Bangkok. Soon I was in the centre at Abando, a short walk away from the River Nervión.
I had been expecting a small, cramped city centre, much like the back streets of Sevilla, but there was so much space about. The roads and bridges were all wide and lack of people meant there was plenty of personal space. Once over the bridge I sat down on the steps in Arriaga plaza and gazed around at the beautiful buildings and green hills in the background. Bilbao had made a great first impression.
Then the adventure began. I strolled along the river until I came to the next bridge and crossed back over heading towards my hostel. Once in the back streets I felt as if I’d been teleported into a different city. A group of skinhead lads stumbled out of an all night disco while bassy trance music polluted the air. By the state of their eyes and sweaty faces I guessed they’d been on more than just a few beers. As I passed, I noticed a couple of young ladies sitting in a doorway sharing a joint. When I heard the skinheads shouting out, I kept my head down and picked up the pace. Continue reading “In Search of a Better Spain: Bewildered in Bilbao!”