On the Camino del Norte in Bilbao, Spain

July 17, 2016 — 2 Comments

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.

monte avril Bilbao camino del norte spain



Walking along the streets toward…

Bilbao pilgrims camino del norte spain



The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña.

camino Bilbao Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña



camino del norte Bilbao Basílica Begoña



I’m not sure if this tree had a meaning or was significant for something but it stood proudly overlooking the city.

Bilbao camino del norte garden



One of the many art pieces you will find along the Camino in Bilbao.

Bilbao art mural spain



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.

Bilbao camino Basílica de Nuestra Señora Begoña



Bilbao Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña



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.

Bilbao cementerio mallona camino



I enjoyed observing different types of architecture toward the downtown area and Old Quarter.

Bilbao bridge camino del norte



Bilbao stairs camino del norte spain



Bilbao Euskadi stairs camino del norte spain



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.

Euskal Museoa Bilbao Museo camino



Euskal Museoa Bilbao Museo



Continuing through the Old Quarter of Bilbao….

Bilbao Euskadi camino del norte espana



Old meets newer… I believe this upper structure is part of the old city walls.

Euskadi Bilbao camino del norte spain



Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa is a socially concious savings bank.

Bilbao espana bizkaia kutxa



One of the helpful signs in the city.

Bilbao albergue spain camino del norte


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.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


2 responses to On the Camino del Norte in Bilbao, Spain

  1. Hi. Bon camino! Sorry you’re under the weather- I got ill on the last legs of my first camino in 2014 and it was not a pleasant experience!! Had to head for the bushes a few times as I staggered towards Santiago.It really knocked the stuffing out of me while my wife skipped along!(I suspect squid caused it and I couldn’t look a fish in the eye for some time….)Hope you get well

  2. Hi Jeff. I’ve been back a long time. Just blogging very slowly. I got better eventually but the first week was tough. The Summer heat really got to me. Glad you made it to Santiago and I trust, fully recovered by now. Buen Camino 🙂

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