Jungfrau Zeitung – A trip to the Basque Country

Brienz-Oberhasli tourist senior group | May 30, 2022

The hikers usually end up in the Bernese Oberland, but this time they went a little further: they ended up in Bilbao, Spain.

This time the wanderers went on. They had the pleasure of crossing the oldest transport bridge in the world, Puente de Vizcaya.Photos: zvg

In fact, a reporter for the Brienz-Oberhasli senior group wanders around the region or the neighboring landscapes. Hiking in Bilbao, Spain, is less popular. By chance, the wanderers ended up in Bilbao in the Basque Country, and not in Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Malaga or Valencia.

Every year, four soccer fans travel to one place in Europe to watch a soccer match. The goals were already Mainz, Bruges, Malta, Liverpool, Manchester and Toulouse. This year, the choice fell on Bilbao. Athletic Bilbao were due to play against Atlético Madrid. Getting there proved difficult as the plane had a technical failure and therefore it was very late in Geneva as a replacement plane had to be made available. The all-new Airbus A 320 neo was then ready.

Walk to the stadium

Arriving in Bilbao, visitors noticed the numerous highways in the city center, followed by tall houses with gable roofs. They reached their destination through a narrow street with tall houses on both sides, and the laundry is hung on a small balcony with special devices. As the soccer game was scheduled on short notice from Sunday to Saturday, the plan was that you could wander to the stadium. First, we went to the old town with narrow streets to the restaurant. All four set off with a small map of the city. This led downstream along the wide quay to the Ría de Bilbao, the river in Bilbao. The wharf was very crowded and various activities were offered. The Guggenheim Museum, which is on the other side of the river, was visible from afar. Bilbao is actually in a hilly area and only near the river has several flat areas such as the old town and the Guggenheim Museum with extraordinary architecture.

Walkers enjoyed the Bilbao soccer game.

Walkers enjoyed the Bilbao soccer game.

Now you have to cross the river and then reach the vast Republica Abando Park. The huge Euskadi Plazada roundabout turns into another park with a large lake and various small streams. Here, the children had the opportunity to play in the water. Now he was following the path along a large shopping street. Since it was a bit early, the hikers were looking for a place to stay. But since many fans were already on tour, it was almost impossible. But in the end they found seats in the little restaurant of Dona Casilda. Since there was enough time, Jass was excavated and played. Going to football and playing jass at every possible opportunity. Outside, in front of the restaurant, many fans lined up and filled the street. Sing and follow a well-rehearsed routine.

Then it’s time to head to the stadium to get a bit of a taste of the atmosphere. The stadium opened in 2013 and is the seat of Athletic Bilbao. It can seat 53,000 spectators and the entrances are scattered all over the place. There is no control at the entrances. Today 43,000 visitors have come and the stadium is filled with singing. Athletic Bilbao won the match 2-0. After the game, the four guests return through the city to their accommodation amidst the fans.

More attractions

Another Bilbao attraction is the Portugalete district. Here, the Puente de Vizcaya cable car takes you across the river to Las Arenas on high masts. This train can also transport cars. They hang on ropes about 20 meters above the river. The bridge was built in 1893 and is still in use today. It is 160 meters long and 45 meters high masts. Pedestrians are on both sides, and cars, motorbikes and cyclists stand on the platform. As masks were still compulsory on public transport in Spain, cyclists had to wear masks on an open platform. Not in the car next door with the window open.

Visitors can use the elevator to ascend the upper platform to cross the river. And from there you have a great overview of the whole area. Portugalete is on a hillside and the city has built an escalator alongside the road. People can use these roller conveyors at different stages. The upper leg of the lane is not used and people are walking on the sidewalk. There is also a moving walkway in the small town of Getaria on the coast that leads to the large Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa.

The Guggenheim Museum has extraordinary architecture that cannot be overlooked.

The Guggenheim Museum has extraordinary architecture that cannot be overlooked.

While walking around the old town of Bilbao, you could see many people standing together or sitting on a bench and talking to each other. With a speed that makes our tongue seem really slow. He helped him with his arms and hands to emphasize what was being said. Spaniards are communicative. What also strikes the observer are the numerous bars and restaurants. It is said that many, especially men, spend the entire evening moving from one bar to the next. Two fingers of wine were tasted in each bar. And at the counter there were many sandwiches called tapas. Bun and glass of wine, then to the next restaurant. It is amazing to count the amount of tapas on offer. They are juxtaposed with unimaginable creativity and force the visitor to enjoy one, two or three. This is how he got to know Bilbao, and thus Spain, a senior wanderer from the Bernese Oberland, and took home many impressions with him.

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