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Bilbao Baggins

sunny 25 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"A fantastic dream ship of undulating form in a cloak of titanium" - The New Yorker: Guggenheim Museum

Foodie moment

Our first 'Pintxos' (traditional Basque cuisine) experience was not our best but was a great stepping stone to our discovery of these amazing snacks. Pintxos (the tx is pronounced ch) are little open sandwiches (or mini baguettes) which can be topped with ham and cheese at a basic level right up to octopus or bacon wrapped goats cheese or anything you can imagine at the more imaginative level. They are all laid out on the bar and you grab a plate, pick what you want, order a drink and pay for it at the end of the bar. They range from 1Euro for the basic at happy hour to 2E for the more complex ones. There are also hot pintxos such as croquetes and tortilla. Great as a snack or if you get enough it can be lunch or dinner, Mark loved them and wants to start his own pintxos bar in Melbourne!


First big meal in Spain, and we decided on a Menu del Dia. Good news is that Menu del Dia´s (Set Menu of the day) in Spain are incredibly good value! They are around 10 - 15 Euros and include 3 courses, bread, a bottle of wine and a bottle of water. Bad news is that this particular meal was a Non Foodie moment!! We were very proud of ourselves for interpreting the menu enough to 'think'we knew what we were getting, using only a short list of food words in the Lonely Planet. First course was Garlic king prawns and Paella. The King prawns looked and smelt great, but on the plate was our first hint that this meal was going to be a bit strange... Mark opened a packet thinking it had a serviette for cleaning his hands after shelling the prawns but instead inside was an orange flavoured tea bag... we have NO idea what we were meant to do with that and our king prawns - if anyone can shed some light on it, that would be much appreciated! The Paella was very average (Don´t worry Barbara yours is still the best!) with some big chunks of chicken neck and bone, a sad looking king prawn and some tiny clams (not actually sure if there was a clam in there anymore!. Next course got worse... We thought we were getting pork sausages with potatoes and capsicum - nope 3 slabs of ham with chips and some strips of capsicum. The other main - Churrasco - we though was going to be 'grilled meat in a tangy sauce' - nope the worst fatty, gristly, boney steak i have ever had with chips! Just when we thought the experience was over we were offered dessert - Barbara had warned us that the Spanish are not great with desserts so after our main course experience we were VERY wary! The Flan (Creme Caramel) was ok, but the tart tasted like an asian egg tart - and i dont think it was supposed to!! All in all quite an "experience" and we knew the food could only get better!! And it certainly has!


Cultural moment

Bilbao is full of parks and gardens and each one has a great, creative playground for children. Each one was full of famillies and children having a great time in the sun.

Wow moment

The town of Bilbao is a beautiful place, especially in glorious Basque sunshine! The river has bridges spanning it of all different styles and structures. The Guggenheim is eye catching and quite awe inspiring to look at.


What we learnt today

Vending Machine - hostel style! This great vending machine stocked all the things a backpacker may need to self cater - chorizo, spaghetti, pasta sauce, bread, hot dogs. We're not that poor yet but may need to hit one up eventually!


Posted by travellinglise 12:08 Archived in Spain Tagged bilbao

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Foodie moment - too bad! And the Basque country is renowned for its food. That looks like a roobois tea bag (red bush tea) - god knows what it's doing there if that's what it is! Maybe best stick to tapas and raciones (plates of a particular snack)unless you get any tips!

by Barbara

If you see it anywhere try 'cuajada' as a dessert (pronounced kwahada)- it's sort of like a creamy yoghurt and you sprinkle sugar on top of it

by Barbara

TThere is a pintxos bar on Brunswick street. check it out!

by heff

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