From Madrid we took another train ride to Bilbao. What a beautiful city! And the Guggenheim was everything and more than we had expected. Spent a whole day wandering through and then walked back again that night to have dinner in the bistro - the Guggenheim was just a short walk along the river from our hotel.
Whilst in Bilbao we also had a day trip to Biarritz and San Sebastián. Our guide/ driver was very entertaining and a mine of information about the Badque culture. The only negative was that the trip was very rushed - not really enough time to take everything in. Anyway we still enjoyed the day and will definitely revisit the area again.
Our last long train journey was from Bilbao to Barcelona where we were greeted like long lost relatives at the hotel we had stayed at a month before. Also bumped into the owner of the hotel ( and a number of others - Room Mate chain) in the lift. He introduced himself, gave us his card and told us to call him the next time we were in Barcelona. We were also upgraded to a larger room!