Thursday, 14 August 2014

First tour

Continued from First morning.

By the time we left the apartment - and this habit would repeat itself throughout the journey - it was past midday. Not the best time to walk; not the best time for taking photos. Having said that, when you're in a place for only a few days, you don't have much choice. You can only do so much in any given time and you can only be in one place at a time. This was the planned route.

Map of walking route from Arriaga to Guggenheim, Bilbao
From Arriaga to Guggenheim

We walked through the park, past San Nicolás church and the town hall, then turn right to catch the Funicular Artxanda up to the summit of the Artxanda mountain. The fare was 0.95€ one way, the journey, a minute or two.

Such is the influence of technology these days that the person before me was trying to swipe his paper ticket somewhere to let him through. He swiped it here and there and the barriers didn't react. I said, no, mate, just push them. Like this, see? Haha. The good old revolving barrier. Reminds me of kids touching first versions of Kindle and getting annoyed that nothing happens.

A short, steep climb and we're there. Looking down on Bilbao. Green, even in the summer heat. Remember what I mentioned about the midday light? Here's how Bilbao looks like.

Bilbao in harsh daylight
Bilbao in harsh daylight
At a different time, under different light, here's how it can look like. See the difference?

Bilbao under more flattering lighting
Bilbao under more flattering lighting
We chilled out for a while, walked around the park, trying to find a shaded bench to sit on.

Mount Artxanda Park

Sometimes, when the light is harsh and shade is scarce, working in monochrome may be the more interesting option.

We hung around for a few minutes, then made our way down again. My verdict? It's a pleasant park, the panoramic view can be interesting. The time of day is important. If, like me, midday is the only option, you won't miss much if you skip the trip. A better time, I'd say is either in the early morning, just before sunset, or perhaps the best option, at night.

The route continues...