Well I had easy enough instructions on how to get to my new hostel, especially as they only had a new underground system in Bilbao with two different lines, so I had a pretty good chance of getting it right. But unlike most places where it was quite obvious on how much each trip would take there seemed to be about 12 different travel options for this short line and I had no idea what zone my hostel was in. With a bit of trying to converse with the info person and trying to buy the ticket from her only to be told I could only get it from the machine, I kind of took a punt and picked a zone and hoped I would be let out at the other end. Off I zipped and successfully made my way to the surface, down two blocks and turned right and to the end of that road. Well that's what the instructions said but this was one of those roads that turned into another road so I really had no idea where the "end" was. So I set off and was lookingand looking for this damn hostel which was located in a bit of an industrial area, and after three blocks I was sure I had hit the end of the road so I was walking forward hoping I would see it at any moment. Well I was shocked to see a construction site at the exact point where I thought the hostel was meant to be, queue heart palpitations and notions of wandering the city in search of somewhere to stay at the light starts to fade in an area which looks the wrong side of the tracks. Back to my instruction and shoddy map and a quick freak out, I decided to just try one more block down the road.... and yes as promised there it was.... phewwwwwww.Stupid instructions should have said walk four blocks not just to the "end" of the road!
That night I did very little and I had a slow start the next morning but when I was out the door I was headed to one place, the Guggenheim Museum! I have wanted to see this masterpiece by Frank Gherry for so long and was incredibly excited to see it in the flesh so to speak.
It doesn't matter which way you approach it, it is breathtaking, the way the sinuous form float above the surface and resemble a ship and fish scales just as Gherry intended. It is a huge and beautiful building and looks to almost be soft to the touch. It glistens and invites you to come inside to explore more. After a tasty lunch and beer I went in to investigate and found some great and inspiring work - especially that of Anish Kapoor (and some laughably modern stuff too ie child like splodges on a huge canvas hailed as stunning works of art) and spent hours just wandering around looking at stuff. The building really deserves all the press it has got, it really is not like anything I have ever seen before, truly beautiful and I just spent ages wandering around taking it all in. It was one of those moments that actually live up to its expectations.
Day two I spent wandering the rest of the city and at one point getting myself horribly lost. I mean not just the wrong street but the wrong end of town. All I had to do was go around a huge roundabout and go straight, but what I managed to do was go around the roundabout plus one street too many (it was an six street intersection) and headed off on the wrong long boulevard and into a different part of town, but before I had noticed I had already turned about six corners thinking I was going in the right direction, and then I really had no idea where I was on my map. So two non English speakers later and me with my map out saying donde aqui? donde aqui? which here? where here?and me pointing at myself and the map and making a shrugging motion then pointing at the map where I want to be - aqui -In response I got someone saying a whole lot of Spanish to me, I thought it would have been fairly obvious at that point that I could hardly speak a word, and me replying with a blank expression. So I pointed at the map then pointed left and right, so in response I got a go straight then left, which I managed to decipher, gracias gracias! and off I headed to the actual part of town I was after for a proper look around.
The next day was my last day in Spain and was off to the airport - walk to the underground, underground to the bus station, bus to the airport so I could fly to the UK. I don't think I have ever used so many types of transport in one day! I was at the airport early only to be told I couldn't check in for two hours grrrrr. So I made my way into a jam packed small cafe to have some coffee and wait. There was not a single table free so I asked if I could sit with another girl in there and got chatting to her for the next hour. The poor thing and her sister had been booked on a flight at 6 and it had been delayed till 1. They had slept the previous night in the airport and they had been given a voucher for a free sandwich as their flight was so late, but the nasty s***ty woman at the cafe wouldn't give it to them because they said they front desk hadn't rung to confirm that they were indeed authentic. Apparently every time they give out vouchers they had to ring the cafe to let them know. And all these girls wanted was some damn food as they were broke. So a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and a couple of hours later, with them very pissed off they finally got some food which they had to wolf down cause they had to get on their flight. It's never easy is it?!
So I sat there and three coffees later it was time for me to check in too and off I went onto my plane to take me to London! How excited am I to be going to a country where people can understand me!! yayyyyyy