Renfe AVE prices drop to 11% in February, 2013

The high speed train (can achieve speeds of up...

Renfe has launched an operation to promote and encourage the use of the High-Speed Rail AVE, with discounts of up to 70% in certain routes and days of the week. Additionally, there will be a general reduction of 11% on Tourist Fares and the possibility of purchasing vouchers valid for 10 trips with savings of up to 30%. And for holders of “Carnet Joven” (for those not older than 26), the discounts are even greater.

Renfe also introduced the concept “Promo,” very similar to that used by airlines, which basically offers lower prices on tickets purchased well in advance.

The company announced the news this January. They said they expect these discounts will allow a greater number of people to use the High Speed ​​services. The new rates will be effective beginning February 8, 2013.

The changes, I believe, are just for AVE, not AVANT. But no worries; AVANT trains are way more affordable.

I ♥ it! 🙂 

This is great news for citizens and tourists alike. The tourist fare for a one-way ticket from Madrid to Seville is normally around 84€ (there’s always a 20% discount on the return ticket, and now up to 40%). For frequent travelers with an average income, that’s a crazy price to pay.  Someone said that about 60% of citizens of Spain have never taken the AVE because of their inflated rates. With the economy being a mess in Spain in recent years, they just couldn’t afford the luxury. But hopefully now this will change the game. It’s a win-win situation.

(What Renfe has to do now is introduce a way for international credit cards to work on their website. I have faith they can do it! If anyone has ever tried using a credit or debit card from a non-Spanish bank to purchase tickets online, you know what I mean.)

What to see in Cartagena, Spain

Cartagena: a Spanish city port and a major naval station located in the Region of Murcia, by the Mediterranean coast, south-eastern Spain. It is the Spanish city with the most beaches: Cala Cortina, Islas Menores, Honda beach, Mar de Cristal, Cala del Pino, Cavanna beach, Barco Perdido beach, El Galúa beach, Levante beach and La Gola beach.

Cartagena

I didn’t see much of Cartagena as it was an afternoon stop on our trip to Murcia. Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting historic place. It has Arab, French, and mostly Roman influence.

The weather was really nice in Cartagena, about 21 degrees Celsius (approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Cartagena’s climate is classified as warm and semi-arid. I asked a taxi driver whether it was typical for it to be so nice in January. He said it’s not “normal,” that it’s usually a little less warm. But if memory serves, the weather was about the same in Cartagena around this time last year…

It was off-season when I visited, but when compared to other coastal cities during winter time — like Alicante and Valencia — Cartagena looked pretty desolate. I went to the nearest beach, Cala Cortina, and spent an approximate of two hours in heaven.

Cartagena Roman Theatre

Cartagena: Cala Cortina Beach

IMG_20130126_152905 IMG_20130126_165345 IMG_20130126_165641

The city hall…

IMG_20130126_173229 IMG_20130126_173236

Small groups of tourists still gathered at the city’s main sights, like The Roman Theatre and its museum. An ancient Roman theatre, which is said to have been built around 5 and 1 BC. (Read about it here)  Luckily, I took lots of pictures.

IMG_20130126_173537 IMG_20130126_173541 IMG_20130126_173545 IMG_20130126_173640 IMG_20130126_173806 IMG_20130126_173818 IMG_20130126_173925 IMG_20130126_173956 IMG_20130126_174426 IMG_20130126_174537 IMG_20130126_174939 IMG_20130126_174949 IMG_20130126_175229 IMG_20130126_175527 IMG_20130126_175656 IMG_20130126_175943

Let me tell you about Murcia, Spain

To think that I almost skipped this city….

Teatro de Romea

Teatro de Romea

Last year, when most of my coworkers (all Spaniards) at the language school said that they had never been to half of the places I’ve been to in Spain, I was a bit shocked. It’s so easy to move around here that I expected them to have visited everywhere. Then again, I can understand why they don’t feel the need to visit every city in their country. Still, I trusted them with suggestions for what to see in Spain.

There was a lady, particularly, who had traveled all over and was very knowledgeable. Everything she described was always accurate. Like, when I asked for her opinion about Castellón de la Plana, for instance; she said it was a “ciudad muy fea” (very ugly city) and there was nothing to do. She was right. But, unfortunately, I found out only after I had already visited. Then, one day I asked her about Murcia. She said it wasn’t worth the trip; she said it’s not a pretty city, that there was nothing special to see. So, I basically crossed out Murcia from my to-visit list.

Well, on our eternal search for sunshine—it’s been rainy and cold in Madrid— we narrowed this trip down to Murcia and Cartagena and, what do you know…it was so worth the visit!

Sure Murcia is another major city of Spain (a lot of people prefer smaller cities), but there are still many historic buildings, so much art and culture to appreciate. The architecture around there is just as beautiful as it is everywhere else in Spain.

It is also a “university town” and the young atmosphere can be felt everywhere you move. Except for La Muralla, the downstairs bar at hotel NH Rincon de Pepe—it looks really nice in there, with some original Arab walls of Murcia and all, but we looked like babies next to everyone else. It was kind of odd. But yeah, going back to how fun Murcia actually is, take for instance this blunt approach:

Pharmacy vending machine with personal lubricants and sex toys

Pharmacy vending machine with personal lubricants and sex toys

Interesting, huh? I have not seen this type of vending machine anywhere else yet.  Have you?

Moving on… when visiting Spain, visitors tend to go for the cathedrals and things of that sort because they’re enormous and just plain gorgeous. I’m sure the cathedral of Murcia isn’t any different inside, but I just couldn’t bear to see one more church 🙂 It’s overwhelming! LOL. (We did sit down at Plaza del Cardenal Belluga—the place of the cathedral—for tea one morning.)

Murcia Cathedral, Plaza Cardenal Belluga

Murcia Cathedral, Plaza Cardenal Belluga

Murcia

For me though, the highlight was the vibe of the city, the ah-mazing cuisine (lots of tapas restaurants), and the fact that it was warm even in the winter.

Also a highlight, the moment I could feel my face turn hot red when my dear boyfriend made me tell the bartender at bar La Muralla that she ripped him off. Well, I’m paraphrasing. I kindly told her that the change she gave him was short by 10€. She asked if we were sure while grabbing some money from the register. That’s when my boyfriend double-checked, realizing that he was incorrect. I was embarrassed, so I asked for a shot of tequila. Ha ha. She then gave me that drink free of charge… The reason? I’m still debating.

And finally, the menu translation of one of the restaurants where we ate (which was also, maybe inadvertently, showing a movie of cannibalism!) Yikes.

Chops or Sternum of kids, anyone?

Chops or Sternum of kids, anyone?

I also enjoyed walking through the city’s old town and its many stone and historic little roads and main spots, like Calle Traperia, Teatro Romea, eating at Plaza de las Flores (the hotel where we stayed is also around here), Plaza de Santa Catalina, and Plaza de San Pedro (all three next to each other).

The casino of Murcia, I’ve heard (and peeked a little), is stunning. Speaking of casinos, we tried to go up to the casino at hotel Rincon de Pepe but were not allowed inside because I didn’t have my passport or any identification on me. (Yup—the day I decide to leave my ID behind is the day I’m asked for it…) That being said, it is worth noting that ID is a must if going to the casinos in Spain!

Overall, I loved Murcia. I wish I had seen more, but our stay was short. Maybe it’s because it’s winter, but it was one of the least touristy places I’ve been to in Spain—and that was perfecto. Ignore travel books that haven’t given Murcia the credit it deserves. When in Spain, do go to Murcia!

Where to watch the presidential inauguration from abroad

Well, this news comes in a little late, but it just occurred to me that tons of people have been searching for this information (myself included). So, for future reference, here are a few sites that stream live:

http://www.ustream.tv/cbsnews

http://www.youtube.com/politics

http://madrid.usembassy.gov/ (This one for Spain)

There are also, apparently, some political groups (such as Democrats Abroad) who get together at specific locations to watch important live events, mingle, and celebrate (or mourn?). These links work for all, regardless of your political preference!

It’s still going, by the way! I’m watching the President walking with the First Lady right now. 🙂

Also, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes his:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

How to adjust to a new time zone

I have traveled across different time zones a bunch of times before, but this is the first time when it’s been extremely difficult to adjust to the time change. It’s been hard. One day I woke up when it was almost time for dinner! My biological clock is not having it. About 16 days today and just this past weekend is when my jet-lagged body finally felt like, OK, so this is what going to bed at a decent time feels like! It hasn’t been an easy transition.

Young businessman standing over a young businesswoman sleeping on a couch

A few factors might’ve interfered with my sleep pattern even before I got here, and so intensified the problem. The last two weeks of 2012 (it sounds so far now!), the holidays. It was a very joyful—and stressful—one. To name just one of the contributors: my huge family. This year more than ever there seemed to be a birthday celebration every weekend…for the entire duration of the year. It was crazy and exhausting. Alright; it was fun, too!

Once in Spain, my usual routine of adjustment wasn’t working, so I searched for ways to beat jet lag—which happens when we travel quickly through several time zones, messing up our internal biological clock. There are some helpful tips out there. I know some of them have worked for me in the past. Websites like WebMD and Wikipedia suggest to…

• Gradually adjust to the destination’s time zone ahead of your flight
• Select a flight that arrives at your destination in the evening
• Set your watch to the destination time prior to arrival
• Time your nap, if taking any, so that you don’t sleep through the whole flight
• Try to stay awake until at least 10pm when you reach your destination
• Avoid caffeine
• Get plenty of sunshine the next day (if you can) as it helps reset your biological clock

Pre-adjusting your internal clock is definitely a good first step.

On my way here, I took a PM (sleeping pill) on the plane to try to get some sleep, but I don’t think it was a good idea. It didn’t even work! I wasn’t about to time it, so I’m kind of glad it didn’t fall asleep if it was going to make this situation worst. Fortunately, I’m managing better now.

They say to allow one day per time zone and that will be how long it’ll take to adjust. For example, New York to Spain would be like, what, 4 or 5 time zones? You should then expect that amount of days to adjust to the new time. Well…it took me much longer. But again, I did everything backward this time.

Interestingly enough, new time zone adjustment is apparently easier to handle when traveling east to west, e.g., Spain to New York, because it’s easier to stay up later than go to bed earlier. That explains a lot…

What I’d like to know is what is your experience with jet lag when traveling to Australia, for instance?

Why I keep going back to Madrid

It’s been forever since last time I wrote anything on here. The good news is it looks like I still have readers! So here I go again.

I am back in Spain after just seven months and it feels as though I never left. I’ve been here for two weeks now. I flew here on New Year’s Day and settled in Madrid, once again, though this time I think I’ll be here for just less than three months.

Madrid on Christmas

The thing about Madrid is you live here once, you come back twice…or TRICE! (As Conan would say.) You just keep coming back. As much as I dislike the way certain things work in Spain, it is undeniably a great place to be. It’s almost stress-free for those used to the hectic life in the US. So I couldn’t say no to my boyfriend when he said that “we should go back.”

This time, I’m in a different part of Madrid, near the neighborhood of La Latina and Prícipe Pío. It’s a much quieter area compared to Ronda de Atocha, steps away from the train station Aotocha Renfe, and where I used to live before. It was nice stepping out of the door and being right there, where the “action” was. But the area where I’m staying now is not too bad either. It has its nice little encantos, like fruit shops, bakeries, the typical local bars, a big gym, and the mall Prícipe Pío is within walking distance!

Principe Pio

Principe Pio

Transportation around here is great also. But then again, it is one of the greatest things about Spain no matter the city. It is easy to get to and from places. My nearest metro lines are 6 and 10 and they connect to pretty much all the lines. There are a number of bus lines and connections of all sorts, as well, and taxis everywhere for speedy preferences.

It’s nice to be back. I like the fact that I came back just in time for rebajas (sales) which last until the end of February in most stores of Madrid. (Check out favorite places to shop in Spain) It’s a great time to shop! Also, next week, January 19, 2013, is the Madrid Gastrofestival—a culinary festival that is celebrated every year. There will be art, food, and wine… Can’t miss it!

One thing is for sure though; I prefer Madrid in the summer. Actually, I prefer any city in the summer! I was pleased with the weather when I walked out of the airport the first day as it was much warmer than it had been in Philadelphia. But that changed quickly because the following days it got very cold. Last summer was too hot. Now it’s too cold. The good thing is that it’s still Madrid, and it’s worth it.

Saludos: etiquette I like about the Spanish culture

Greetings!

One of the etiquettes that I like most about the Spanish culture is the greeting. In the Spanish culture, people greet even when they arrive at the most random places, such as a hospital waiting room.

There are different ways to say hello. Hola is the most common and general way. But you can also say buenos días / buenas noches (depending on the time of day) or simply ¡Buenas! Similarly, it is important to say hasta luego or adiós when leaving.

The Spanish are famously known for their two kisses, one on each cheek. Even in formal situations Spanish people greet with kisses.

I have to admit, the two-kissing greeting is not one of my favorites. I think one is enough. But hey, it’s just my opinion. In my Dominican culture we also have the same tradition—with the exception that it’s not two kisses but one, as I prefer. I guess it doesn’t matter when you have to greet just two or three people. But when greeting a big group (which happens often in my large family), that is when it’s a bit too much.

Hispanics living in the United States are more lenient with these traditions, as we have also adopted the American culture. In the Dominican Republic, for example, if there are ten people in a room and you greet one of them with a kiss, the right (and expected) thing to do is greet the rest the same way. People within the same culture in the US, however, do not necessarily expect you to greet each person with a kiss. If instead I decided to just wave Hello, no pasa nada. They’re accustomed to the American way, so they understand.

In Spain, they take it more seriously, especially in small towns where the tradition is carried at face value. I was sort of surprised when, meeting the teachers for the first time at the bilingual school I worked, they greeted me with the typical two kisses on the cheek. I was so used to handshakes in formal situations, I thought it was a very interesting experience.

But what’s more special is, in Spain, even the little ones greet everyone when they enter a room — something not too common in the United States. At least in my experience. In my building in Ciudad Real, children and teenagers I met on the elevator or in the hallways were always very polite. Meanwhile, my grown “professional and educated” neighbors in Philadelphia get on the elevator and hardly look at me. It is because of them actually that I thought about writing this piece!

It is nice to be reminded of manners and be reminded of what works in other cultures, because ours is not universal. We don’t want to be that tourist who, by his bad manners, always stands out abroad. 🙂

How to find an apartment in any city in Spain

Main room in my Ciudad Real apartment. 2011

First of all, congratulations on even thinking that you’d like to give living abroad a try! I think everyone should consider expanding their wings every once in a while. This world is so vast that staying in just one tiny place on the map would be a waste. There’s just so much to see out there…

Moving abroad may sound overwhelming and even more challenging when you don’t speak the language of the prospective country. But if I did it, so can anyone. Granted, I already had some advantages going for me: I speak Spanish and I had been to Spain.

Speaking the language helps—or more like, it’s necessary—because contracts and policies are written in Spanish. Also, the people renting the pisos tend to be retired older Spaniards, for the most part, who never learned English. You might get lucky, but that’d be very rare if the landlord spoke English. And having visited the country before moving helps because you can familiarize with the culture, the people and the way they do business.

The very first thing you need to do is figure out how long you’ll be staying in Spain. (There is a visa process if you’re staying longer than three months.) Both times I’ve lived in Spain I had a student visa, which I think is the easiest visa to get. The consulates of Spain each have their own individual website in accordance with the US state where they are, but you can look up Spain embassies and consulates here and types of visas here.

You can of course still live in Spain for a period of three months or less without a visa. The problem with this renting option is that people hardly rent under short-term contracts, especially to foreigners, and without an identification number (passport won’t work everywhere) a person can’t legally work or open a bank account in order to meet financial criteria. You’d have to find a landlord who agrees to rent without you having a bank account or documents, other than your passport, that prove your identity and that you’ll be able to pay rent.

Luckily, a lot of students and young professionals sublet. That is probably your best bet. I, for instance, found a room in the heart of Madrid for a month and I didn’t sign a single paper. Yes, verbal agreements apparently still work in Spain. Well, the tenants were Americans, but it still worked. So it’s really a matter of luck and connections sometimes. You’d be surprise at the amount of posts on social media from students who are subletting their rooms or apartments. Just do a thorough search.

Renting in Spain longer than three months?

For this you’ll need a visa first — if you want to follow the “legal” route :-)— and a bank account, and sometimes even an employment contract. In my case, I went to Spain with a job contract as an Auxiliar de Conversación (teaching assistant), but at the same time my job fell under the category of studies because this is a grant from the Department of Education of Spain. With this job contract, I was able to get an identification card (NIE), and with my NIE I was able to get a bank account. So, once I had all my paperwork in order, I was able to rent a long-term apartment.

Now, this is how I found a vivienda (home) in Spain

There are always pisos (apartments) and houses en alquiler (for rent) in Spain. Months before I moved to Ciudad Real, Spain, I spent a good amount of time searching for the best deals. There are a bunch of websites where you can get started with your search and here are the ones I recommend:

En Alquiler – this is probably the broadest site and it’s where I found my long-term furnished apartment in Ciudad Real, Castilla La-Mancha. Pisos are for rent by owners and realtors.

Idealista – this site is very popular among students because it’s very straightforward and there are a lot single rooms and homes for rent by other students and by the owners.

Fotocasa – this is another wide-ranging website with lots of options

Segundamano – at first, the name of this site scared me away—“Segunda mano” means secondhand. But I was wrong to judge. It’s a good site with not just homes for rent, but a whole lot of everything!

Ya encontré – also a big site with good leads

And though I didn’t use them, these are some Craigslist-types of sites with possible good leads: Loquo, Mundoanuncio, and the very Spain Craigslist.

A few things to consider when conducting your apartment search by location, price, type of housing, whether you want it furnished or not, and whether you’re looking for properties by the owner or by inmobiliarias (real state). If I may suggest, renting straight from the owner is generally cheaper and there’s less paperwork! Most websites I mentioned above give you the option to narrow down your search by categories.

Don’t ever, ever agree to rent a piso or to pay any money without first seeing it. After my contract was up in Ciudad Real, I was looking for a room in Madrid and I came across some creepy ads. On a teaching assistants Facebook page, students and locals advertised apartments and rooms for rent all the time. I saw one I liked a lot. I mean, this room looked clean and perfect in the picture and it was located in La Latina, a major area of Madrid, and for a very low price. So I contacted the renter and, when I went to see the room in person, it was a complete catastrophe! Actually, this is quite an understatement; it was really the most disgusting thing I had ever seen for a home!

I don’t know what the owner was thinking —was that picture even of the real place? Who knows! But the ad definitely, almost deliberately, was misleading. So watch out for weirdos and rip-offs!

The other room I found on that same page looked like it had a good-sized bed, but in person it was very small. I took this last room, but let me remind you that things aren’t always what they look like online!

Second Room I Saw, and rented, in Madrid. 2012

One last thing, don’t even bother clicking the “contact person or realtor” link when searching for housing in Spain; unless you don’t pick up that phone, you will most likely not hear back from anyone.

Hope this helps and good luck on your hunt, everyone!

One day in Oviedo: What to do?

Parque de San Francisco, Oviedo

My first stop out of the three cities I had planned to visit in one weekend (the other two being Santander and Bilbao) was Oviedo. Originally, I had planned to fly to Oviedo, Asturias, from Madrid airport. Two of the major economy airlines in Europe, Ryanair and EasyJet , occasionally promote prices as low as 9.99€. If flying to Oviedo, you can cut so much time; getting there in 45 minutes, rather than five hours on the bus.

Before I continue, do you want to hear something silly? I became interested in Oviedo only after watching a scene in the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona. It also implied that there’s an airport somewhere in Asturias, so I was like, “Hmm, I could fly there.” I know, silly! That’s how much movies can inform or misinform the viewer.

Cover of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Cover of Vicky Cristina Barcelona

They showed Oviedo as a beautiful place—with the sound of the Spanish guitar playing on the background, wine drinking in the nice candle-lit green open space… Who doesn’t want to go to Oviedo after watching that scene? 😛

Well, I did. Oviedo made it to my travel wish list. I finally went (on the bus) and to my surprise it is very modern, and pretty! And just like the movie suggested, it is very green and clean.  Oviedo is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Asturias.  It is a modern, cosmopolitan city.

I stayed at a small, conveniently located, affordable and clean hotel called Hotel Carreño. (I’ll further review it later.)

The first thing my boyfriend and I did was sightseeing. Of course, monuments like cathedrals, museums and structures at the parks were prevalent. They all looked so good and so well-preserved, too. In early In June, the temperatures in Oviedo seem nice. I believe it was 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and afternoon when I was there. Very pleasant.

Downtown Oviedo is very much alive. There are a lot of people shopping and going out for pinchos. We searched for what to visit, and Calle Gascona—“The Boulevard of Ciders”—came up as one of the hot spots. We just had to go there!

They say Calle Gascona is one of the most traditional streets of the city of Oviedo, where a group of settlers from France arrived and chose these streets to live and trade products. Makes sense.

Today it still is a market street. There are lots of great Sidra-drinking (crowded) restaurants on Calle Gascona. Eating Fabada and drinking Sidra (cider) was one of my favorite experiences there. I knew they were into cider; I just didn’t know how much they drank it. There can be up to 10 bottles on a single table. People order it back to back (they do cost only 2€ after all).

It must be a culture thing though because there’s really not a lot of flavor to it. I had expected this sidra to be a little tastier. Or maybe I’d just have to get used to it? Either way, it’s great fun watching the servers pour the sidra in your glass from above, without looking, with so much precision! I’d get a bunch of bottles just to watch them do it.

Oviedo is a young city and the night life reflects it. I was only there for one day and one night, but I enjoyed it. I’m sure there’s so much more to see—parks, bodegas, museums, smaller towns, etc.—and I hope I can see them next time.

Some more pictures of Oviedo below.

One day in Bilbao: What to do?

Bilbao surprised me. It is a big city, young and chic, with an incredible night life. For some reason, I always got Santander and Bilbao mixed up, but I think I now know the difference. This was my first time visiting and I liked it very much. Too bad I was only there for one day—certainly need more than that to stroll around this magnetic city!

Chris and I took a bus from Santander to Bilbao. We arrived at Termibus—Bilbao’s bus station—and the first thing I noticed was the language. Signs were written in both languages, Spanish and Euskera or Vizcaíno, Basque Country’s other official language. I walked to an information window to ask for directions and the guy greeted me in Vizcaino. It almost felt as if I was in a complete different country. I couldn’t understand a word. That language is something else… so different from every sound I was used to in Spain.

It had been raining that day. We took the Tranvía (tram), which was also a different experience in Spain, on our way to the hotel. We stayed at hotel Bilbi, not too far from the medieval neighborhood Casco Viejo. (Even though this hotel is so close, I didn’t go to Casco Viejo because not enough time.) Anyway, this hotel had decent reviews when I booked it—not bad for public transportation connections either—but I wouldn’t stay there again. The bed felt like the Flintstones’ bed and the neighborhood was kinda strange (I’ll review it further soon).

The city of Bilbao is different, but in a good way. It is very modern. There’s a lot of energy. A lot of things to do, lots of bars. And I noticed men were a lot taller up there than in Southern Spain. Really, men were taller! Maybe I had too much Prosecco? Speaking of which! Bars in Bilbao carried Prosecco!  It is Italian champagne, which I could find nowhere in Spain until then, and it is one of my favorites. After that discovery, I felt there was no need to go back to America, or Italy…

One thing they tell you to visit when in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum: modern and contemporary art. So we did. The building is an interesting look. Pretty? Not quite. But it’s a very interesting design. The giant flower-puppy dog sitting by the entrance looks more interesting though.

It was David Hockney’s month (or year?) when we visited and I’m glad it was because, otherwise, I would’ve been bored. I discovered Hockney’s art that day. His landscape exhibitions—David Hockney, a Bigger Picture—blew me away. And how he can draw on the iPad: amazing. We spent some time there.

So, here we continued wandering around this big beautiful modern city by the ocean, we had to try the seafood! Let me just say that Bilbao’s bars and restaurants serve out-of-this-world pinxos/tapas. Some of the most delicious I’ve had in Spain. A great range, too. Lunch was incredibly cheap. We went to a restaurant right by Plaza Moyua. It was just a random discovery that turned out to be really good.

On the other hand, for dinner, it’s too bad that we decided to go by Tripadvisor’s reviews (by tourists) because we ended up at an overly priced seafood restaurant. Booo. The food wasn’t bad, just ridiculously priced. I’ve noticed that Lobster in Spain is very expensive! They tell you one price and when la cuenta comes it’s another. Why is that?! Well, it is Spain. Nothing’s too clear there.

Later that night we visited the bar “district.” Most bars are packed around there. Especially, I remember one bar that was playing Latin music. We went in there, danced a little and had a great time. It’s no secret that Spaniards like to go out so streets in a big city will always be busy.

Bilbao is definitely not the kind of place to go to for just one day. I think we accomplished a few things in such a short time, but it can be exhausting. At least three days could, possibly, be enough. It’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot to see—and eat.