Subject: One night in Bilbao
Hi Tom. You wrote to me that you were planning to travel from Andorra. That sounds similar to John´s april trip, so you might check with him about it. The square he mentions is the Plaza Nueva. There are a few bars and cafes in that square. The most typical is Victor Montes, nowadays pretty full of tourists since someone from The New York Times sang its praises. I took John and Sarah to another one, right around the corner, Cafe Bilbao. The last one is located two blocks from El Corte Inglés, just off Alameda Urquijo. They have more sandwiches (with ciabatta bread) than pintxos or tapas, and they also have a nice restaurant. You can have cider here. If you like ham, try La Viña. It is in a small square off the Gran Via, and they have mainly ham and wine (some of them, very, very expensive). Hotels. It depends on how much money you want to spend. A few options: - Avenida. Just renovated. Not in the centre, but well communicated with a tube station nearby. - Nervión. Belongs to the same chain as the Avenida. Across the river from the Guggenheim. you can select between three, four and five star rooms. They rent bycicles, and they have an Internet corner. - Ripa. One star, very small, cheap and clean. By the river, across the old town and near the centre. - Carlton. 5 star. Grand building, overlooking a square, and near from everything with the tube. We are trying to get my sister´s boyfriend to try a small new pension in the old town, that looks quite nice (Iturriena), but he seems to like the Sirimiri. It is a nice, brand new and cheap two star hotel, but I wouldn´t recommend the area (a bit rough) unless you are accostumed.

I send you an URL that might help you. It´s the town council web, and it has a search function. Check in Culture and Tourism:

Rgds, Covadonga in Bilbao