Bilbao Aste Nagusia

These guys are crowd pleasers

When I first arrive in Bilbao I notice preparation for some sort of festival. I have a hard time finding information on it and my hotel isn’t too helpful.

After some research I find this link Euskoguide and Wikipedia.

There is a big party planned and it is happening a couple days after I leave. I contemplated changing my travel plans to stay for the festival. However I already pre-paid for many things and am looking forward to my upcoming plans. I do plan on coming back to Bilbao for another night before flying out for Spain but I believe my hotel reservations are at an airport hotel far from the action.

I am pleasantly surprised to find my final Bilbao hotel is about a mile from the festivities and I am able to participate after all.

Walking around town I notice booths are being set up in pieces, mostly from scratch. People hang by harnesses to attach the metal structures that would later form the booths.

A combination of plastic coverings and wood panels are assembled. On the wood panels the artwork is hand painted.

Many of the booths seem to be political in nature but it is hard to tell because most of it is Basque, a local language for the region.

It doesn’t matter if it is somewhat political; it looks like everyone wants to have fun and the group is very inclusive with all ages, races, genders as participants. Seems like my kind of crowd, even if I can’t understand much.

The festival mascot

If you order a drink they give you a string to help you hold onto your drink cup.

I spent a good amount of time watching this band do their sound check. I got bored and walked on. When I got back there was a huge screen blocking the stage. Not sure if they ever performed.

This punk band was great. I could only get a side view because they were so popular.

I walked around for a little more and decided to start walking back to my hotel to plan for my flight the next day. As I walk back I catch a fireworks display.

What an wonderful impromptu day in Bilbao!

Crowds thrashed to these guys as well

Mercado de la Ribera

I love my food markets and I found one around the corner from where I am staying in Bilbao.

Mercado de la Ribera is supposed to be the biggest covered market in Europe. How did I not know this existed?

Anyway I stumbled in this market because it is near my hotel and I was hot and looking to cool down.

Once entering I noticed at least two levels of fresh goods. Many stalls were closed but it could have been a the time of day that I visited. There was no lack of goods for shoppers.

I’m a traveler with no kitchen so what I really needed was the tapas food court located on the second floor.

There are so many different tapas choices that it might not be a bad idea to visit multiple times to try all you wish to try.

Mercado de la Ribera