Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

I had a midday flight from Paris – Orly – to Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The hostel is pretty cool and the owners were super friendly and helpful. Bilbao Akelarre Hostel The Bilbao Airport is nice, but small. I grabbed a taxi, rather than trying to figure out public transport. 29 euros to the hostel, in town.

Once I settled into the hostel, there were still a few hours of daylight, so I took a walk. Downtown was an easy walk from the hostel, and along the way, I met a man and his dog.

Along the River in Bilbao

My First Friend in Bilbao

After about 20 minutes of talking about his dog, the river, fùtbol and football, and traveling, I realized something. You see, I had just spent four days in Paris, but I don’t speak French, beyond basic greetings and simple phrases. I guess there had been some subliminal stress building up, because with this gentleman, I spoke entirely in Spanish. As I walked away, I realized that I had been speaking Spanish with the taxi driver, the hostel receptionist, and this gentlemen — and the stress that I hadn’t even know I had, was gone. I spent the next month in Spain and Portugal. While my Spanish is very far from perfect — mainly, my grammar sucks — I was comfortable functioning in daily life. Sure, I had to repeat things, on occasion, of ask someone to speak more slowly, but I never found a need to pay hyper-attention, like I did in France or Germany.

OK, let’s take a little tour along the river (actually an estuary, I think) a walk into downtown Bilbao.

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All of the above images were captured with an Olympus OMD-EM10-ii camera and a Lumix G 14mm/f2.5 lens.

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