24 PERFECT Hours in BILBAO | BASQUE COUNTRY

24 PERFECT Hours in BILBAO | BASQUE COUNTRY

January 16, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


What was that, Alex? I said Mark you were right. My shoulder from my fall on the skateboard. Alex said, “Nobody even knows we skate. We have to show them we skate by skating right now.” Dude, you’re wearing boots! What shoes are you wearing, Bro? Skate boots. That’s why you don’t skateboard. Good morning. What’s up, guys? Buenos Dias. Right now we are in Bilbao… the biggest city in the Basque Country. Bilbao is the industrial hub of the north. It’s a really cool city with an awesome story. We’re going to show you around town. But first…..coffee. We’re in one of the oldest parts of the city. This is called Siete Calles This is where seven streets come together. We’re going to this place called Bar Bilbao I like in the Plaza Nueva. Bar Bilbao is a favorite breakfast spot of mine. Super old school…turn of the century bar… ceramic tiles. What is the plan for today, Señor? Well, Brother. We’re going to go out to see how Bilbao became the biggest industrial engine in the north of Spain and in the Basque Country. After industrialization, the city kind of collapsed and was reborn. We’re going to see all the different stages of Bilbao’s history, We’re also going to meet up with some people who are going to show us some new places, places I’ve never been before. So it will be something new for both of us. To give you a brief history of Bilbao… It started right here at this church. Saint Anton Church and Saint Anton Bridge right here. on the banks of the River Nervión The Nervión River is a natural estuary out to sea, and basically, it’s a perfect place to have a port. The discovery of iron transformed Bilbao completely, from a small port to one of the biggest industrial cities in Europe, trading with all the world. Marko…….Alex…Gorka We’ve got Gorka and Aitor here from Tourné Bicycle Tours, and we have an awesome plan. We’re going to take two tandem bicycles. Gorka and Aitor are going to guide us through Bilbao Marko and I are going to be on the back, filming, and vlogging, and we’re going to take you guys with us. Yeah Are you ready to visit the prettiest city in the world? Wow, that’s a big claim. You’re going to have to prove it to me. That’s the stereotype of people from Bilbao and Spain They say that we are boastful between arrogant and proud people. We shall find out where to draw that line. Let’s go. Here we go…. here we go… This area represents how Bilbao was grown after the Industrial Revolution. When they found iron in the mountains around here, it changed the landscape of the whole Basque Country forever. A society that was once of fisherman and farmers was basically thrown into the middle of the Industrial Revolution. A new class emerged of businessmen, creating a wealth that had never been known before In the 1800s how did Bilbao change? The 19th century was really important for Bilbao. because in our mountains, we have the steel In the case of the steel was very good quality. So many, many English, Flemish, and French companies…. they built a lot of factories. So in the 19th century Bilbao became with Barcelona the main industrial cities in Spain. Right now we’re out in front of the Museo Maritimo This was once a ship yard. During a 20 year period of industrialization, over 100,000 people from across Spain moved to Bilbao to work in the factories and mines. During the years of the Franco dictatorship, Spain was a protected economy. But in the 1970s when Spain returned to democracy, they found that cities like Barcelona and Bilbao were really not that competitive on the world scale. A lot of the industry went away, and it was in a huge, huge economic crisis. Everything changed about 20 years ago when this area was redeveloped and the Guggenheim Museum was built just around the corner. Guys, if you’re scared of spiders and have arachnophobia definitely do not walk along the river at the base of the Guggenheim Don’t worry. It’s only eaten three tourists in the last six months. The building of the Guggenheim revitilized the city in such a huge way that it’s actually been dubbed The Bilbao Effect or The Guggenheim Effect. To see the next phase of this redevelopment, we’re heading to a small island called Zorrotzaure an old industrial area where they used to have a lot of factories which have yet to be developed. We’re going to go see what it was like before the Guggenheim moved in. Ready? Let’s do it. Back on the bike. So we’re in the neighborhood of Zorrotzaure We’re going to a place called ZWAP It’s like a collection of independent small businesses and entrepreneurs Hello. Tania. We are working here in the area of Zorrotzaurre and we want to create culture and art. We want to revitalize the area so the area will be the the future Manhattan I feel like that would be the best way to see the city. On a jet ski going 60 miles an hour. And on the right hand side of the bicycle, we have the world famous Guggenheim Museum a big, shiny silver thing that looks really cool from the outside but might not necessarily be the coolest on the inside. You’ll have to find out for yourself. A subject of much debate is whether you should go inside the Guggenheim or stay outside. I think if you’re on a budget it’s very beautiful from the outside. One of the best things is that you’ve got a couple of universities here so there is plenty of beautiful people walking around outside. Just a nice place to hang out. And if you’re on the app Happn, well you know, things might happen Chicos… ¡Venga! ¡Eskerrik asko! ¡Agur! Thank you! Later! Agur! All right. Next up we’re meeting up with Alba and Naty, two local YouTubers. We’re at the Mirador of Artxanda and you can see the whole city of Bilbao. It’s amazing. It’s why they call it the Mirador because your say – ¡Mira! We’re at the Rabid Koala Studios We’re going upstairs to check it out. Estas cuadras son de mi madre Y aquí está el estudio! ¡Que bien! Epa! Marko. – Hola, ¿qué tal? – Encantado Hola! Me llamo Jordi Evole y bienvenido a “Salvados”! I love this show. This guy Jordi is a great reporter. I’m feeling nice and happy today so I got Mark a gift. Really? Gift? Ha ha Yeah The Life Aquatic. I’m a huge West Anderson fan. Alex, high five. Yes. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Willem Dafoe Thank you very much, Bro. That is so nice. You’re welcome. I love you, Brother. Now we’re walking across the other side of the river. We’re in an area called Calle San Francisco This used to be a blighted neighborhood. It’s right next to the train station. But in recent years, it’s really been coming up. We’re going to go try some awesome food. But first…. a little craft beer at a place called Bihotz. Oh. That I like. I can’t tell you how stoked I am right now because when I first came to the Basque Country, if you wanted a beer, there was one choice…. lager or lager. It’s good to see it’s changing here. I think it’s part of the evolution of the city and the evolution of the whole area. Thank you bearded bicycle-riding hipsters. Dude, I’m not going to lie. I have no idea where we’re going, and why it’s special. Can I blow your mind right now, Bro? We’re going to go to our third Michelin Star restaurant of this trip. it’s called Mina, which means “mine” in Spanish because it’s built in a loading dock in an old mine shaft that used to bring iron ore from the hills to the River Nervión and then off to the UK Wow This chef is a local from Bilbao. We’re going to see what comes out of the kitchen. I hear that we have a seat at the bar, which is the best place to sit because you get to watch the whole thing happening. Alex is photo bombing me. Photo bomb. All right, guys. Well we are in for a treat. We’ve just ordered the 14 course tasting menu. OMG. Yeah! So get ready for some food porn. And so it begins. Ladies and gentlemen, that was an incredible meal. We just ate 18 courses. We’ve eaten in a lot of restaurants in the last week, but that was quite the experience. Very inventive. Very humble. And Bilbao…..if you are from the Basque Country.. you know that humility is sometimes not always characteristic of this city. But this was very humble, and also very, very good. I think he’s a master saucier Each dish was swimming in these thick, dark sauces that really gave that extra touch of flavor to really complete the dishes. What was your favorite plate? My favorite dish was the hake in the caramel reduction How about you? Mine was the foie with the lobster. OMG It was so good. Delicious. If you had a dish that you would want to eat, put it in the comment box. If you enjoyed the video, you know what to do: thumbs-up, share it with your friends, subscribe to Vagabrothers, if you haven’t already. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road….. more specifically in Donosti, San Sebastian.