The very same day I finished teaching my last class at the university, I jetted off to the airport to spend five glorious days in sunny Spain. My friend Itsaso and I were assistants together in Toulon, so I was very excited to see her again in Bilbao and experience the best of the Basque Country!
Bilbao is a thriving, industrial city in the Basque Country. It is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a modern and contemporary art museum designed by architect Frank Gehry. Today, it is admired as a work of contemporary architecture, representing “one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all completely united about something.” While I was in Bilbao, the work of artist Jeff Koons was on display.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe:
On the hottest day, we took the bus north to Gaztelugatxe, an islet on the coast of Biscay. From there we hiked to the hermitage, a small church dating back to the 10th century. Afterwards, we spent the afternoon catching waves at the beach.
I have been wanting to visit San Sebastian for the longest time, and I finally got to go during this trip! The famous Concha Beach was just as beautiful as it looks in the photos. We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of the Old City, walking along the beach/port, riding the cable car and enjoying the spectacular views over a glass of sangria.
If you’re looking for a bit of sunshine and culture without the high prices and abundance of tourists, I recommend the Basque Country in northern Spain.