Bilbao

Initial Impressions of Bilbao

Cecelia Winter is a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Bilbao, Spain.

Bilbao Skyline

Bilbao Skyline

I arrived in Plaza Moyua by bus after touring Madrid and Toledo for a few days, and my first impression of Bilbao was overwhelmingly positive. I already knew that Bilbao was going to make a fantastic temporary home, because although Madrid and Toledo had been amazing to visit, they didn’t have the same atmosphere as Bilbao. If cities could have a Harry Potter personality, Madrid and Toledo are magnificent and beautiful like Fleur Delacour, but Bilbao is like Fred reconnecting with George (HP references are a must).

When I arrived to the Funicular plaza, I noticed the mounts looming in the background right away. As someone from Minnesota who is accustomed to miles of plains and fields, these massive hills were astonishing. The plaza is also home to the Funicular Railway, which leads to the top of the mount behind the building I live in, called Artxanda (pronounced Ar[ch]anda, it’s Basque). Anyone can ride for the small price of 2 euros, which is more than worth the view that awaits you at the top.

The University of Deusto is a 10 minute walk from the Funicular and I pass the Guggenheim Museum on my walk to school. How cool is that? It’s always a very pleasant walk, however I’m still growing accustomed to how people do not make eye contact and how they are very reserved while walking from place to place.

The Guggenheim

The Guggenheim

On the other side, I’m a 10-15 minute walk away from Casco Viejo, which is the ‘medieval neighborhood’ where my host mom’s favorite building, la Catedral de Santiago, is located.

Catedral de Santiago

Catedral de Santiago

If you walk directly out of my plaza, la pasarela, or zubizuri in Basque (translation= white bridge) stretches over the Nervion River that flows throughout the city.

Pasarela

Pasarela

In addition to my host mom making me feel at home (and empathizing with my coffee addiction) I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I am to be living where I am.

Can’t wait to see how FUNicular the rest of this year will be. Ok, I’m done.

Curious to see more photos of Bilbao? Click here to visit our Bilbao photo gallery.