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TR for San Sebastian,Bilbao,Leon and Bugos Pt 1

Canberra, Australia
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TR for San Sebastian,Bilbao,Leon and Bugos Pt 1

We have had a great time so far and have been in Spain for 20 days.

We are 60 & 65 years of age ( I’m the younger lol) and travel at a leisurely pace and if we miss something it is no big deal. We like to walk a lot, and have long lunches, take our time and see a lot of a little rather than race around and not remember the things we have seen.

I won’t go into every single thing we have done, but take it as a given that we have done the majority of tourist things in each town. So for the last 20 days here’s some high and low lights.

San Sebastien

April 26. We arrived after a very easy train journey from Paris to Hendaye then a short stroll to catch the tram to San Sebastien.

We rented our apartment through the Rental Collections and it was a five star apartment. The cost for 6 nights was €356.

The weather was freezing cold, grey and rainy for the majority of the time. We did see the sun for a few hours, and it is a beautiful city when the sun shines.

We did walk up to the Science Museum one day, through beautiful parks, and what appeared to be a lovely suburban sprawl. Also visited the San Telmo Museum, and that was fabulous. We walked along the beach, and I popped into churches whenever I saw them.

We had some great Pintxos and good meals, and did a little shopping for warmer clothes. We enjoyed our time there, but it is not a place we would rush back to, and it would be better in summer.


After a beautiful bus trip through rolling green hills and gorgeous trees in all shades of green we arrived at our hotel in Bilbao. Sunshine and bright blue skies. Hadn’t seen the sun for days, and sadly it wasn’t to last.

The walk from the bus station to the Hotel Melia was easy. The Hotel was nice and for 3 nights the cost was €450. The staff were cold and professional, and the hotel is a fair walk to the old town. Lovely surroundings.

The hotel served the worst coffee I have ever had and the coffee would have been great if I needed bringing back to life, but I didn’t need resuscitation at the stage. So strong and bitter, and that was only after two sips. Certainly got the heart racing.

We had forgotten that 1 May is a holiday and that it is usually a day of protests. The marches consisted of people waving banners, playing trumpets, and people on the megaphone , dogs on leads, and children in strollers. Definitely a peaceful protest.

Our visit to the Guggenheim was fantastic. Sadly no photos allowed inside. The exhibition by Richard Serra’s ‘the matter of time’ was amazing. What he has done with steel takes your breath away. The forecourt included ‘the puppy’ sculpture all from real plants, and buskers of all kinds. The building itself is absolutely gorgeous and I could stare at it for hours. The also have a mist sprinkler you can walk through and experience ‘whiteout’. Then up the funicular to have a view of Bilbao. No wonder this was voted as the most liveable city in 2018. A modern city , combining the old and the new with parks, bridges, and sculptures everywhere. We really loved this city.

Everybody we met was really helpful. People often stopped to see if we needed help, as standing reading a map is a dead giveaway that you are lost. The service in the restaurants was good. Three days was ok, and we could have stayed another day.


After a long train trip through some spectacular scenery we have arrived in Leon. We stayed at Hospedería Monastica Pax and the cost was €301 for 4 nights. A lovely place, very close to León Cathedral, and we took the little train ride through the city just to work out where things were.

The Cathedral does have the most amazing stained glass windows, Be aware that it is very cold in the Cathedral so take the appropriate clothing.

We walked everywhere especially off the more traditional tourist trail. The paseo Papal Aguinda, down to San Marcos would be fabulous in summer, and the river has the odd bit of art work. A beautiful place to walk.

We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary with a lovely long lunch at the restaurant at the hotel. We enjoyed our stay. Four nights was probably, one night to many, however we didn’t want to travel on the day of our wedding anniversary.


After a very relaxing 2hr train ride through green country side, solar farms and wind turbines we arrived in Burgos. Our 4 day stay at The Hotel Abba in a fabulous room on the ground floor was.€301 for 4 nights

One day we walked 19 k mostly along the river to a monastery where we heard the monks chanting. Sadly we weren’t allowed into the whole place as I was interested in the gardens. Huge place for 20 monks, and while we loved the walk I would only recommend the monastery if it is your thing. We then walked to another monastery at the opposite end. Sadly we had mistimed our visit.

We are had a rest day in Burgos . We went downtown to buy some mini quiches, ham, cheese, salami and cakes. Back to the hotel and ordered a bottle of Cava and sat in the pretty garden and ate our food. The Hotel didn’t have a problem with us buying food and eating it in the garden. They seemed to make an effort when providing the bottle of Cava, as it was beautifully presented in an ice bucket then a tray with plates for us to use, instead of the plastic ones I had.

Burgos is another beautiful town, and we really enjoyed the four days we spent there.

We have been made to feel welcome in every town/city we have visited. The reactions from the locals when they have discovered we are Aussies has made us laugh. They put their hand on their forehead , and say so far, so far. Of course more dramatic than I could ever explain.

While English is not spoken a lot, like anywhere if you make an attempt to speak a few words, it is appreciated. Even if it is a chance for the locals to laugh. The laughter is in no way meant to be condescending.

With the exception of the hotel in Bilbao, each hotel has had a kettle/ coffee machine in the room which is my number 1 priority. We have really enjoyed each hotel, with the Hotel in Burgos the best, only for the lovely private outdoor seating.

We are also loving being on holidays. The only decision we have to make is what will we eat today. It is certainly agreeing with us,as we are very relaxed. Could be the wine everyday though.

I will do this in two parts, otherwise it will be a book.

Edited: 17 May 2018, 19:07
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1. Re: TR for San Sebastian,Bilbao,Leon and Bugos Pt 1

Great trip report!

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