A Birthday in Bilbao

The time has come: I can finally get ‘I ♥ smashed avocado’ tattooed across my chest without parental consent. Also keeping my fingers crossed that they call me up for jury duty. To celebrate the big 18 my mum and I took a trip to Bilbao.

It’s a gorgeous little city in northern Spain where people will stop to help you if you’re looking lost with a map, and come midday the fish monger will hop across to the bar next door to enjoy a glass of wine still in her wellies and apron.

After dropping our bags into the prettiest apartment – overlooking a square where a flash mob broke into Basque dance on Saturday night – we followed our rumbling tummies for some lunch…

Scrum yummy tuna salad followed by a steak for mum and sea bass for me. She was most chuffed that the wine was included in the set price of €13, and even went as far as saying it was one of the best steaks she’d had (but then she is exctiable like that 🙂 )

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Next up was the Guggenheim with its giant dog made of flowers outside, and the complete series of Warhol’s Shadows. I discovered a new love for Anselm Kiefer. Plus the almond and rice cake we munched on the terrace was just as tasty as Kadinsky!

We could’t resist the call of Amorino ice cream in the late afternoon. (Yes we did go from cake to ice cream). My do they do a good cinnamon scoop, or for the fruit variety lemon basil and raspberry sorbet:

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For breakfast the next morning we had the delicious apply cake made by the owners of the apartment. After some reading and walking we arrived at Bilbao’s food market. I must say, for me, the ones in Italy did beat it, a few too many pigs heads for my liking…

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However, the pinto’s bars there were amazing – especially if you like cheese!

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Apparently you should only order two at one time and then move on, any more and they know you’re a tourist. Oh dear:

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Excitingly, after this we crossed the bridge and fell upon a vintage shop. A little rummaging and my mum pulled out a long halter neck dress with ships printed onto its floaty fabric. Could it be that I’ve found my prom dress, super early, and for the grand price of €20? Well you never know what you may accomplish with some pintxos in your belly.

That night I put on my heels whilst my mum stayed sensible in sandals and we sat down for some paella (well she had a goats cheese salad). Definitely better than my measly attempt of it at home.

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Thoroughly full it was out to the bars where on the strike of midnight I – legally – bought my first G and T – they even put juniper berries in it! We then ventured into what is apparently Bilbao’s most sophisticated club… dancing to WMCA and the macarena we shared the dance floor with not one, not two, but three brides! I may now be an adult, but I can’t believe that was the universe trying to tell me something.

We spent a lazy Sunday muching as I was sadly struck down by a cold. And so was fed croissant, brownie, chips and ice cream to try and make me feel better. The pharmacist even gave me a lolly pop (what, it was my birthday after all!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Thank you mama

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