Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, dining and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for San Sebastian & Bilbao.
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San Sebastian & Bilbao
Spanish wines: Spain is the 3rd largest producer of wine in the world. There are 400 varieties, but 80% of their wine production comes from 20 grape varieties. The most popular reds are tempranillo, garnacha and monastrell. The whites are albarino, palomino, airen and macabeo.
Convention center: Kursaal – Avenida de Zurriola, 1 Donostic, 34 943 42 81 11 is a multi-use space designed by Rafael Moneo.
PublicTransportation: This is your site for public transportation (http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/come/how-to-get-around)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://www.idealspain.com/pages/places/sansebastian.htm)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Food Terminology – Pintxas is a Basque food term for a small snack usually held together with a skewer or a tooth pick.
Day One: Start at San Telmo (Musuem of Basque Society and Citizenship) – W-Sa: 10-2, Tu: 10-2, 4-8, Plaza Zuloaga 1, 943 48 15 80
The museum has more than 26,000 pieces that are categorized by ethnography, fine arts, photography, archaeology and history.
Be sure to see the Sert Canvases that illustrate important historical events.
Your next adventure is a visit to the Aquarium – Daily: 10-9, Plaza de Carlos Blasco Imaz 1, 943 44 00 99
They have more than 200 species concentrating on the Bay of Biscay, but also form seas worldwide. Of particular note is the skeleton of a northern right whale.
You are ready for pintxos at La Cuchara de San Telmo – L: W-Su, D: Tu-Su, Calle 31 de August, 28, 943 435 446
There are raves for this pintxos bar, everything on the menu is delicious – veal cheek, fois gras, octopus and risotto. Order the house wine.
It’s time for the most important activity in and near San Sebastian – the beaches.
The most popular is La Concha – De la Concha Ibibidea
It has fine, golden sand and the beach extends over 2 K. It has good swimming and calm water, showers, toilet, lockers, changing rooms and life guards.
Dinner is at Restaurante Kokotxa – Calle del Campanerio 11, 943 42 19 04
Starters are scallops with baked sweet potato or the tuna with pickled vegetables and cheese. Your entrée is the hake with PilPil sauce or the pork shoulder with smoked pear.
Your wine is the Golicrdo Espadeiro Rias Baixas and dessert is the Thai caramelized toast with baked pineapple.
Day Two: Café Santana – B & L: M-Sa, Reine Regente 6 is your place for breakfast.
Café con leche, bacon and eggs, pastries and mini-baguettes with Serrano ham.
Start your day with a hike up Urgull Mount to enjoy the stunning views and visit La Mota Castle whose ramparts date to the 12th century.
Your next stop is the Miramar Royal Palace and Gardens – Daily, Paseo de Miraconcha 48, 943 219 022
You’ll experience more spectacular views with gardens, paths and flower beds that tumble down to the sea.
Lunch is at Bar Borda Berri – L & D: Daily 20003 Fermin Calbeton Kalea 12, 943 43 03 42
Their specialty is warm pintxos – curried pork ribs, tuna stuffed tomato, beef cheeks, ravioli filled with squid. The house wine is a good choice.
The Museo Naval – Tu-Sa: 10-2, 4-7, Su: 11-2, Paseo del Muelle 24, 943 43 00 51 is interesting and educational.
Here the Basques and peoples of San Sebastian share their secrets of the sea. The museum is located in the tower of El Consulado, an 18th century building originally dedicated to maritime rescue operations and monitoring port activities.
Its collection includes numerous boats, ethnographic exhibits related to the world of fishing, photos and engravings.
La Catedral del Buen Pastor – Daily: 8:30-12:30, 5-10, Calle Urdaneta 12, 943 46 45 16 is the largest church in San Sebastian
The church was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral and was consecrated for worship in 1897. The stained glass windows are by Juan Bautista Lazaro. The current organ was installed in 1954 and at that time it was the largest organ in Spain.
Everyone talks about A Fuego Negro – L & D: Tu-Su, Calle 31 de Agostoo 31, 650 13 53 73 for lots of good reasons.
This is the hippest pintxo bar in town. Here are a few dishes you might like: mini kobe burger, bbq’d quail with carrot puree and onion, olives filled with vermouth gel, tuna tartar with watermelon and risotto with cheese.
They have a large by the glass wine list, so you can do a tasting. Dessert is their strawberry and chocolate zombie.
Day Three: The Cafeteria Hola Bar – B,L,D: Daily, Bldg Alhondiga, Bilboa Plaza Arriquibar 4, 946 07 14 16 is a fantastic architectural space designed by Philip Starck in the Corn Exchange Building is your breakfast spot.
They have coffee, herbal teas, pastries, muffins and pancakes.
Today you’re in Bilbao to see the Guggenheim Museum – Tu-Su: 10-8, Abandoibarra Etorb 2, 94 435 90 08
The building was designed by Frank Gehry and became groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. Gehry’s design creates a sculpture-like structure that integrates with Bilbao’s urbanity.
The museum’s collections include large scale installations by contemporary artists such as: Richard Serra and paintings by de Kooning, Rothko, Basquaint and Clyford Still.
The Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao – W-M: 10-8, Museum Plaza 2, 944 39 60 60 has a wonderful collection for your enjoyment.
Their collection has Basque, Spanish and European art from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Art. Among the artists shown are paintings by El Greco, Cranach, Murillo, Mandijn, Goyad Van Dyck to Sorolla, Cassatt, Gaugin and Bacon.
A good place for your lunch is on the 4th floor at Arbolagana – L: Tu-Su, D: Th-Sa, 944 42 46 57
Starters are braised octopus with potatoes or an anchovy salad with aged cheeses. Then Iberian pork or a foie gras taco.
The house wines are good and dessert is figs on custard.
Down to the sea to see the Museo Maritimo Ria de Bilboa – Tu-Su: 10-8, located in the former Euskalduma shipyards, Ramon de la Sota Kaia 1, 946 08 55 00
Here you’ll find 2 exhibit areas – the indoor area shows the history and activities that evolved on the estuary through models, photos and a library. The outdoor area has ships, the pump house and the Carola crane that was named after a lady who walked by the shipyard every day who was so lovely that she stopped work. The management offered her car service to prevent her walk but she refused.
Time for a serious walkabout the Old Quarter (Casco Viejo). 700 years ago three parallel streets were surrounded by walls. The walls came down and four streets were added to be known as the Seven Streets. It’s now a pedestrian area with hundreds of businesses.
Somehow you got a reservation for dinner at Zortziko – L & D: Tu-Sa, Alameda Mazarredo 17, 924 23 97 43.
Dishes on the Grand Menu are squid tagliatele with star anise, Marinated chicken with honey vinegar, black risotto with grilled squid and garlic sponge, grilled scallops with mashed potatoes and truffle oil.
Your wine is the ’11 Juan Gil Monastrell and dessert is cod baked apple with cream cheese.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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