Ride Day 34 – Bilbao to San Sebastián – 34 km

Bilbao first. We visited the Guggenheim of course. Magnificent building and the large sculptures were brilliant. Love the temporary puppy made from Begonias (now permanent by popular demand). The current exhibits were not as impressive as the building. We had lunch at 2.30pm, way out past the market – quirky place with just delicious food as it included two rare ingredients – salad and vegetables. Bit of a middle eastern theme and three courses including wine for €13.50. It made a very pleasant change.

A few choice photos below

Now for the ride. When in Porto, having met several long distance cyclists by then and listening to Tony explain just how high the mountains were to get between Bilbao and San Sebastián, we changed our plans. We added another night in Bilbao and intended to get the train straight to San Sebastián. However, after realising that we could actually ride up and down for 1440 metres in a day, we could probably manage the ride. We would therefore tackle the ride in from a station on route.

However, yesterday morning, we woke to thunder, lightening and very heavy rain and dark skies. We packed up, covering everything with plastic, all Julie’s clothes inside her bag covered. Off we went to the station. Brilliant new trains, easy to get on, place for bikes, bikes free and only €12 for two of us on a two hour journey!

When we reached Zumaia, the clouds were looming and it started to rain. We headed straight for a pastry shop and had coffee and donuts!

We set off on a mainly flattish route along the coast. Plenty of surfers about. Major roadworks on this road which worked in our favour as we would let the cars past as the lights changed and then ride on an empty road until the next batch caught us up. Pretty wild weather.

After Orio, we chose the high road which doubled as the SdC route to half way. The heavy rains had caused the road to flood. It was an unusual ride up a steep decline for over an hour with water rushing down.

Then the sun came out and turned the road into a sauna! We’ve never cycled in a sauna before – damn hot. The views as we rode along the top of the ridge (high enough to be level with telecom towers), were fabulous, we could see the coast we had ridden behind us and in front could see Biarritz and the wide open sandy beaches beyond there. Photo doesn’t really detail this but it was worth making the effort to do this last ride and thank goodness we managed to avoid the really heavy rain. It was in the end just down to timing and the use of the App which showed us the rain!

Arriving in San Sebastián was so easy, we got to the bottom of the hill, crossed the zebra crossing and there was our hotel. It was sunny, warm and everyone was at the beach, all 10,000 of them! Photo below is the quieter part of the beach.

Off into town. We are at west end of beach so a good promenade walk into the old town. Nothing like a 30 minute walk each way to loosen up the muscles. It’s very busy with swarms of holiday makers as we expected but we ate at three Pintxos bars, everyone was very friendly and the food superb. What’s not to like.

Three full days here to explore before we cycle into France. Did we forgot to tell you, we are cycling back to the UK now through France. Only joking, only going as far as Bayonne and then a train to Paris and Eurostar to London and on from there.

Goodnight from San Sebastián. The last stop in Spain and the ONLY sunset over the water Duncan has seen on the whole trip to date.

7 thoughts on “Ride Day 34 – Bilbao to San Sebastián – 34 km

  1. I just know when you get back to the UK this drought will break. Who would have guessed you would have worse weather than here. Definitely fed up with trudging around the garden with my bath water!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So here’s a bit of trivia … your second photo above features the Hotel Carlton, right in the centre of Bilboa … that’s where Janet and I stayed for a couple of days of decadence :-).


    1. That’s where we stayed too. Change of plan and they had a last minute deal which included breakfast and free tickets to Guggenheim and it was very reasonable. Bikes were loaded and unloaded in the lobby!


  3. Well Julie is smiling despite the black clouds above, so that must be a good sign. We all dream about three different places for pintxos and some magnificent albarinho. Oh go on cycle back to the UK the weather is bound to be better than down under and wet clothes will always dry…Love you treasures mwah ggxx

    Liked by 1 person

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