Interesting place Bilbao. As I have no doubt said many times previously, while I've always been fond of the Catalans and Catalonia my favourite part of Spain is the Basque Country, the Biscay Coast and Galicia. Maybe that's why I enjoyed Portugal the one time I have been there.
First time I visited Bilbao was before the cleanup. The river was utterly foul, I doubt anything could have survived in there and the city itself was a somewhat dreary, dirty place that few could have admired. Today, it shines. The river is clean, the city is a pleasure to walk through, the Gug is a masterpiece and the riverside walkways an utter delight. Good food, nice people as well.
Yes I agree, I have been several times in Bilbao one of them for the inaugural exposition on the Guggenheim. They had almost emptied the NW Guggenheim for that temporary exposition
not a great permanent exposition however. When you come to Lisbon have a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum.
That time I was there with some good friends and stayed on a small village near by in a traditional several centuries old farm, lovely place. We had dinner two times at a local small traditional taverna on the village. On the first time we asked for the first part of the menu (all of it) the second time, the other half
it was all delicious and we become friends with the owner that turned out loved Portugal and Portuguese music. He had a large collection that he insisted in playing every time we were there.
Regarding Spain, I don'y know if you know it, if not there are other two regions that are also wonderful , Cantabria with the Picos da Europa (done that in detail with a 900cc Triumph) and the berth place of all Iberian countries, Asturias (they still have savage bears). I passed there, two years ago the new year's eve in a small mountain hotel. Wonderful place if you like nature, I mean green one over mountains, in its primeval state.
Zanshin, I am sorry about this out of topic post, I will try to restrain myself