Journalists from Sweden!
When some journalists from Sweden call to say there are coming to the Basque Country, we were all ears!
Pintxo tour around Bilbao they said… I was all theirs for the whole afternoon!
This is their wonderful write up in full with a few pics added in that they took at the bottom. You can click on this link for the original or read the text here translated (via google) into English
Article in English
Bilbao is a city full of exciting architecture, avant-garde art, the spectacular Guggenheim museum and tables filled with good pintxos.
The white sands of the Bay of Biscay can be reached by subway, and an hour away is the basilica gourmet city of San Sebastian.
The first thing looking for a short bus ride from the airport into the city is Guggenheim Bilbao’s spectacular architecture. The museum is located on the river Nervión and changes in different colors depending on the light and the time. This unconventional building of concrete, glass and panels of titanium in round shapes opened in 1997, and was designed by architect Frank Gehry. The shapes resemble a ship and is a tribute to the port of Bilbao. Walking around all the glass corridors among the temporary and permanent exhibitions is a pure delight for the eye. For many years, artist Richard Serra has worked on the exhibition “The matter of time” where giant weathered pieces of piece in beautiful round spiral forms symbolize Bilbao’s industrial history with shipbuilding and iron and steel materials.
The Guggenheim Foundation had a large art collection and sought a local in Europe while Bilbao underwent an industrial recession in the late 80’s, informs Egi at Guggenheim Bilbao.
Guggenheim celebrates Bilbao
By the river, just outside the Guggenheim Museum, Louise Bourgeois’s big spider “Maman” in bronze, as well as Jeff Koon’s irresistible shiny tulips in bright colors. In front of the entrance to the museum a large flower-spotted terrier guarded in freshly planted flowers of different colors. It is the artist Jeff Koon’s “Puppy” artwork from 1992, which was initially meant to be a temporary artwork.
Puppy became so popular that people wanted to keep the dog permanently and the city bought the artwork. Twice a year the flowers are replaced, says the wizard Erik Sadler from Basque Experiences.
Guided tour of the city’s best pintxos
In Bilbao you never have to be hungry, and at all bars you will enjoy good pintxos (small Basque tapas served on a roasted bread). In order to find the best pintxos bars in Bilbao, it is worthwhile to go for a guided walk through the city.
Local residents eat pintxos at lunch, and only tourists eating pintxos in the evening. The idea is to buy a pintxos and a glass before moving on to the next bar. During the weekends, I and my friends make a pintxos round where everyone puts money in a common pot, says Erik Sadler who arranges guided pintxo trips in Bilbao.
We start by trying one of the most famous Basque’s pintxos, “Gilda” with green olives, green chili, and anchovies.
Gilda is a hot, salty and green pintxos who has been named after Hollywood star Rita Hayworth after her role in the movie with the same name. Gilda fits really well with the Basque young white wine, Txakoli, to be served ice cold, says Erik Sadler and we really agree.
The next bar does not even have a sign outside and is run by the lovely sisters Marian and Ione Vallejo. It is a really traditional bar where the sisters serve pintxos with tuna, anchovies and hot red and green peppers. The wine is old-fashioned from a porron with a long glass pipe. We continue across the bridge to the old part of the city, Casco Viejo with a lot of atmosphere among the pedestrian cobbled streets. Around the Plaza Nueva square are many popular pintxos bars side by side, and the evening ends at a bar that serves a dry and good cider.
Beach and surfing in Plentzia
The next day we take the subway to the white sandy beaches of Plentzi, located in a beautiful bay. Plentzia is a nice little small town with a church and the former town hall, which now houses a museum of the city’s history. From the subway there is a walkway along the river, and past the harbor to the wide sandy beach where the schoolchildren practice surfing in the waves of the Bay of Biscay. On the way back, we stop at a restaurant near the river to have a three-day dinner in the sun before it’s time to go back to the big city.
So all you Sweden foodies and Scandinavians who are thinking of coming on the new flight.. Give me a call!!
Thanks goes to Helene Lundgren firstname.lastname@example.org
All pics copyright H Lundgren as well 🙂