Although I was happy to be no longer climbing Monte Avril, the long first few days on the Camino del Norte, mostly in the heat, had really taken it’s toll. I was sick and felt like laying in the shade under a tree in the park that the Camino passed through as we began to descend into Bilbao. I kept going, as other members in my group weren’t feeling well either. Similar to other Camino cities, the municipal albergue was still a long walk away.
I left my last post, On the Camino del Norte, Lezama to Bilbao, Spain, overlooking Bilbao. If you’re tired or not feeling well, the climb along the Camino up Monte Avril can be bypassed by either walking along the lower main road or even taking a bus from one of the suburbs. Let’s continue into the city, one I had been looking forward to seeing.
Walking along the streets toward…
The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña.
I’m not sure if this tree had a meaning or was significant for something but it stood proudly overlooking the city.
One of the many art pieces you will find along the Camino in Bilbao.
The main entrance of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora Begoña. Construction of the Basílica began in 1511 and took a century to complete. The tower and sections of the church were damaged during wars of the 19th century and rebuilt in the early 1900s.
The gate to the Cementerio Mallona. The cemetery is built over an ancient one but the gate and stairs date to the early 1800s. After many citizens and soldiers were buried during the Carlist Wars, the cemetary was deemed to be at capacity and another site was chosen. A wreath is placed at the gate each May 2nd to remember those lost in the wars of the 1800s.
I enjoyed observing different types of architecture toward the downtown area and Old Quarter.
Euskal Museoa Bilbao was established in 1921 in this much-older Baroque-style building in Bilbao’s Old Quarter. The museum showcases the ethnography of the Basque people.
Continuing through the Old Quarter of Bilbao….
Old meets newer… I believe this upper structure is part of the old city walls.
Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa is a socially concious savings bank.
One of the helpful signs in the city.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Although I didn’t want to take the bus back up the hill, it was a necessity as I don’t think I would have been able to climb. I was so sick and it was great to get a bed in the albergue. I was lucky though because, despite it being only late afternoon, there were only a few beds left. After dinner, I was able to relax and regain some energy. I couldn’t even think of going back downtown. One of my main regrets of any of my Caminos was not seeing much of Bilbao off the Camino. I hope to revisit one day. Please join me on my next post as I leave Bilbao on another hot Summer’s day as the Camino del Norte followed kilometers and kilometers of an asphalt track with little shade.
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