Subject: Re: Bilbao GTG
Dear Jo,

I am sorry, because this will be an schematic message. I am leaving early tomorrow for a long weekend in Jaca, and I am a bit under pressure with packing and silly things like that :) ...

1._ Bus from the airport. The bus leaves every half an hour from the airport, and it takes around 15 minutes (depending on the time of the day and the traffic jams, at what time are you arriving?). I think that the price is a bit more than an euro (I cannot tell you for certain because I use the Creditrans, an all-public transport card, and it costs me around 70 cents...). It stops in the Plaza Moyua. From there, you could either take the metro direction Bolueta, and get out in the Casco Viejo stop, or you could walk down the Gran Via. If you donīt have a lot of luggage, you could walk down. It would be around 10-15 minutes, all straight down the Gran Via, pass along the Diputacion Palace and the Corte Ingles, continue down the calle Navarra and then across the river, on your right hand you will see the Teatro Arriaga, and the hotel is just across the street, at the beginning of Bidebarrieta street ( in Bidebarrieta you could be able to have a glimpse of the Municipal Library, well worth having a quick look at its main lecture hall, a former gentlemen club). If you decide to get the metro, donīt throw yourself straight away into the mechanical stairs you will see coming out of a "fosterito", across the street from the Hotel Carlton. Walk a bit into the Gran Via, and on your left hand you will see a lift that will take you down to the station. To get your tickets you must use the automatic machines (if you have a problem, you can ask the people in charge, but they donīt sell tickets). Then, the train you must take is on the left side (there is also a lift going down). Get out in Casco Viejo, and then go out through the entrance on your right hand (the one with the lifts). Turn to your left and walk out. You will get out at the square Miguel de Unamuno. In front of you, the Basque Ethnographic Museum (highly recommended, but they have an early closing time), a Zara shop, a street that goes straight to the Market (the biggest in Europe, check the fish and fresh produce). The perpendicular street is called Sombrereria, walk along it, cross Calle Correo, walk along the Victor, and then turn to your right into Bidebarrieta. Walk up, and the hotel is on your left hand. The following site lets you plan your walking itinerary in a few spanish cities, and it will come handy : Select Vizcaya for PROVINCIA and Bilbao-Bilbo for LOCALIDAD A couple of useful maps :

2._ When you get out of the plane, there is a small desk of the tourist office. Ask there and get booklets, they are pretty good and you will arrive with everything you need. If not, the main tourist office is located in Rodriguez Arias. The girls are very nice.

3._ Getting to the Guggenheim. The best thing will be to get the tramway. Ask in your hotel where you can get the tickets. The stop is very near. And if you have time for another museum, the Bellas Artes is well-worth.

4._ Do as Howard says, and as soon as you get to the museum, book your table for that lunch. You wonīt be disappointed.

5._ If you want, I could meet you wednesday evening, around 8 pm, at your hotel, and I could show you around a few places to have pintxos. I cannot tell you anything for Tuesday because I have classes on that evening. A good option for that night is the Plaza Nueva area, and the calle Jardines behind your hotel. If you are interested, send me an email.

6._ Donīt forget walking along the river ...

Kind regards, Covadonga Bilbao - Spain