Here you’ll find travel reports about Santutxu. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

12 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Camino Del Norte - Day 6

    June 14, 2017 in Spain

    Camino Del Norte - Day 6

    Gernika to Bilbao
    Distance 35.5km (9 hours)
    Total ascent 835m descent 825m

    Our merry band of 3 set off at 06.30am this morning. I didn't sleep much overnight as I was disturbed by mosquitos buzzing around my head and a very loud thunder storm overnight. It did help to dampen down the noise of snoring.
    Thankfully, it was cool and the storm had passed. We walked through Gernika past a copy of Pecaso's famous work.
    We were joined by a young Dutch kid who couldn't pick up the Camino signs leaving the town. We got her to join us. We continued climbing a very steep hills through eucalyptus and pine trees.
    Facilities were very limited on the Camino. We meandered our way into a village called Larrabetzu. By this time, we were 17km into our long day and we were starving. Our refuge, a small cafe, was closed. We ended up sitting outside eating our fund rations from our pack. This was near a bus stop where several buses bound for Bilbao stopped. We all looked at each other daring the other to say that we should simply take the bus.
    We didn't and carried on another 3.5km to find a cafe in Lezama packed with peregrinos including a number we have got to know when I started this trip.
    We were now just over halfway through the day but the heat was building up. Suncream, glasses and sun hats applied.
    We carried on paved roads to Zamudio where we watched planes land at Bilbao airport. We then had a 400m hill to negotiate before catching our first panoramic view of the city.
    Spirits were raised as we slowly made our way into the city. We passed the Cathedral in the old city and appeared to attract a lot of attention as peregrinos. It really was a wise move staying away from us. We reeked after 9 hours of walking on the Camino.
    We parted company with our American friends Mickey. He checked into a pension and is spending a few days in Bilbao catching up with old friends and hopefully his host family from 1999. Hopefully he will rejoin me afte that. His knowledge of the Basques is fantastic. Each day, he has come out with nuggets of information.
    Three of us are staying in a basic Albergue near the train station in Bilbao. We are all very tired and footsore. We have made arrangements to have our clothes washed and dried which takes a lot of pressure off us.
    My feet are holding up well. My shoes, on the other hand, look worn out. The sloes are wearing away. Ah well, time will see.....

    Tomorrow should be an easier day but I may have stiff muscles. I walk to Pobena along the banks of the Rio Nervion.

    Thank you all again for your support. I am really grateful to supporting B.I.R.D. If you want to find out more about their amazing work, just look at my just givin
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  • Day1

    Back in the hotel

    June 9, 2018 in Spain

    A great evening!!! We landed at 8.30 at Bilbao airport and got the bus in to the centre. Kent and I both totally chickened out with our Spanish and just asked for tickets in English, having no actual idea what stop we needed for our hotel.
    We finally got off at Plaza Moyua and walked for 30 mins (uphill!!!!) to our hotel.

    It’s not the best of starts as I have discovered two liars today....
    1) the weather people who have been adamant that it would be raining WITH thunderstorms from 9 onwards (which means my jeans + backpack + hill to hotel + hot muggy weather = sweaty Becca). I promptly changed into a dress to cool down
    and 2) all the trip advisor reviews who said that our hotel was in a central and convenient location.... it’s not.

    We went out to grab a beer and found a place with a band outside. We/I tried out our/my Spanish “Do you take credit card?” The reply was a definite no and then some nonsense about a tortilla which neither of us understood, so off we went to find some cash. Found cash and walked back to the pub when the heavens decided to open....

    We ordered ‘dos cervezas, por favor’ and I pointed to the only beer I recognised... Amstel, only to find that it was ale. Grim. Mental European pub with locals doing wine and beer shots.
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  • Day2

    Day 2 - Around Bilbao

    June 10, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Very busy day today, we started off with a walk to the funicular railway which took us up on to a viewpoint of the city. Then had a coffee with the locals, although every one else was on wine despite it being 11am!
    Next we went on over the Guggenheim museum. Incredible building but crap exhibitions bar some brightly coloured cherry sculptures (see cool photos!)

    On our way there we got caught up with a political movement which we found out later on the BBC was actually a demonstration for Basque independence and their right to maintain liberties from Madrid’s rule and government. All across the basque region demonstrators held hands to form a 250km line to show solidarity. It was quite inspiring to see such unity for ones homeland. It’s not something I could ever see happening in the UK!

    Kent then insisted on his afternoon nap, so we headed back to the hotel for un poco siesta!

    The evening was fun with a Spanish version of caleh dancing in the square near our hotel and a truely unbasque evening meal. All of today’s demonstrators were out in their masses and by 8pm it felt like most of the town was drunk! It felt like we had turned up for the end of a great big party!

    A big thing for the people of the basque region is Pintxos (pronounced either pintos or pinchos, I am none the wiser to knowing which is the correct way to say it so you can pick whichever you like!) Pintoxs are inherently part of the Basque social culture. They are little appetisers to have with a drink of wine or small beer before lunch and dinner. The main thing with pintxos is that you NEVER have more than one or two in any bar. When you have had your 1-2, you move on to another bar for some more.

    So, what did we do? In our desperation to find food Kent persuaded me that a bar doing a pintxos meal deal (12 pintxos plus a bottle of wine for €32) was a great idea. #livelikealocal.... maybe we can try again tomorrow.
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  • Day35

    Trip to Bilbao

    May 13, 2018 in Spain

    Up this morning at 5:30 to catch the flight to Bilbao. Good flight except for a few bumps coming in to Bilbao. Long queue to pick up the car but eventually got the keys to a Mercedes A200. Nice car with only 1000k on the clock. We took our time sorting out how it all worked before venturing out into the wide world on the wrong (right) side of the road. Missed a turn early on so ended up heading the wrong way. An hour or so later managed to find our way to the hotel.
    After check in a quick rest and our first pinxtos (tapas) and headed off downtown for a bit of a look. Walked to the tourist office in the city. No sooner got there than the rains came. Had to taxi back to the hotel. Ate room service for dinner, overpriced and ordinary food. Bilbao was a surprise. It's located on a tidal river and surrounded by quite steep hills. The road system is phenomenal with under/over passes, enormous and elegant bridges and tunnels. Was sort of expecting a coastal place but it's just developed from an old valley town to a mega city in a spectacular location.
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  • Day36

    A Day in Bilbao

    May 14, 2018 in Spain

    Highlight of the day was getting a haircut for 11 euros (as opposed to the ridiculous prices we pay at home) And quite a nice cut too considering she couldn't speak English and me no Spanish. Her colleague showed me a picture and after much nodding and si si ing the tidy up began. Actually, English isn't widely spoken in the Basque Country and we have found it a bit difficult deciphering menus, directions etc even with the Spanish phrase book. Saw the Guggenheim museum building which was interesting but it is closed on Mondays. We took a tram ride around the city and spent the evening walking around the old city looking for some vegetables to eat. Many many tapas bars but something green was not easy. Eventually found a little place that had a vegetable soup. It was heaven!! We liked Bilbao because even though it's big the main parts are walkable, nice and quite distinctly different.Read more

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