Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Street Life with Txapelas in Bilbao

Sure, berets may not be as omni-present as they once were, but there are still places where one definitely doesn't stand out when wearing a beret (or txapela, really).
Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south of the Bay of Biscay, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed. Its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres (1,300 ft).
Since its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub that enjoyed significant importance in the Green Spain, mainly thanks to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and beginnings of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation which made it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona.
This was joined by an extraordinary population explosion that prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. 
Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Alhóndiga, and the currently under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects.


  1. My grandmother was born in Bilbao, Spain (still residing there) and she is 101 years old! Gabon amona etatik Canada. Ahhh i remember those days in my youth roaming around Bilbao's Casco Viejo drinking cerveza San Miguel with my cousins and watching Pilota. I now just have my trusty txapela and Makila to keep me company on my journeys throughout French rural Manitoba, Canada. Engraved in my loyal Makila i have," Nerekin Inoren Beldur." Fond memories of my beloved Spain.