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The Expat Files: Liz in Bilbao

Liz in Bilbao

Hands down, one of my favorite expat bloggers in Spain is none other than Liz of Liz en España. Apart from the fact the fact that she is another blonde, northern Spain blogger named Liz, we have loads in common and are very similar travelers. In fact, she is one of only a few online bloggers I have been lucky enough to meet in person! Based in Bilbao, in País Vasco on the northern Spanish coast, Liz is only an hour and a half away from Logroño. Liz was patient enough to let me interview her for my latest blog scheme, the Expat Files.

Have you checked out the other interviews up on the Expat Files? Are you interested in traveling to the infamous Basque Country in Spain? Check out Liz’s interview for some insider tips on what to do, see, and most importantly, eat in País Vasco! Gracias Liz!

1. Describe Spain in 3 words:

Variety. Tradition. Deliciousness.

2. What’s your favorite food in Bilbao? Where’s the best place to find it? 

Is it cheating to say pintxos in general? There are so many creative pintxos in the Basque Country, and I know that I’ll leave not having tried them all. I recently had a delicious pintxo that was duck confit, apple, and deep fried, covered in a “frutas del bosque” sauce. It was amazing. It was at a bar called Okela, on Maestro García Rivero, 8, one of my favorite pintxo places in Bilbao.

Liz in Bilbao

3. What do you think is the most beautiful spot in País Vasco? Where’s the best view?

One of my favorite places is San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, just outside of Bakio. It’s an old hermitage on an island that you have to hike to, and once you get to the island, you get an amazing view of the Basque coast. The hike isn’t too strenuous (I’m not the biggest outdoors girl and I can handle it), so it’s perfect for almost anyone. There’s also an amazing cafe halfway through the hike where you can eat some of the best pintxos I’ve ever tried.

Liz in Bilbao

4. How did you end up in País Vasco? What made you decide to move to Spain? Why did you chose País Vasco?

I honestly don’t know why I chose País Vasco. I visited San Sebastian when I studied abroad, and thought it was beautiful. That impression must have stuck with me, because 2 years later, I was moving to Bilbao. It was really quite random being placed in Bilbao, as at the time I would have preferred to be in San Sebastian. However, I really love living in Bilbao, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Basque Country.

5. Name one thing to do or see in País Vasco that is not in any guidebook:

Sometimes I think people cruise right through Bilbao on their way to San Sebastian without getting a good feel for Bilbao. They see the Guggenheim, maybe the Casco Viejo, and then head to San Sebastian. While you can see Bilbao in one day if you push it, there’s way more to Bilbao than the Guggenheim! You can explore the different neighborhoods, check out the other museums (like the Basque Museum or Maritime Museum), or take the metro to one of several gorgeous beaches. Bilbao has a bad rap sometimes because of its industrial past, but in the past 10 years, the city has cleaned up and really is beautiful.

Liz in Bilbao

6. One thing you dislike about living in Bilbao:

The rain! It rains all the time here, and sometimes it can get quite depressing, especially in the winter when it’s dark all the time. Rainboots were one of the best investments I made when I arrived. I think it rained almost 3 weeks straight this May. No beach days for me! However, when its sunny, the rainy days are worth it, because everything is so green and beautiful.

Liz in Bilbao7. Name one funny cultural mishap or misunderstanding that has happened to you in País Vasco:

Last summer, one of my best friends from home came to visit. It was a hot summer night, so we decided to go for a walk along the river by the Guggenheim. As we walked, we noticed someone jogging towards us, which isn’t unusual. However, as he came closer, we realized that the 60 year old man coming into view was completely naked. We watched in disbelief as he jogged past us and towards the city center. Of course, no one else batted an eye. Only in Spain!

Follow Liz’s Adventures in Bilbao:

On her blog, Liz en España

On Twitter

On her Facebook Page

Have you ever been to Bilbao or País Vasco? Are you an expat in Spain? Want to be featured on my Expat Files? Shoot me an email at liz@youngadventuress.com

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6 Responses to The Expat Files: Liz in Bilbao

  1. Liz en España June 22, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Thanks for having me, Liz! Turned out great!

    • Elizabeth Carlson June 23, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      Thank you chica! :) I thought I saw a naked man jogging the other day, but it turns out he was just wearing skin colored shorts that he rolled up like a diaper. oh spain :P

  2. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] June 22, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I literally LOLed at that story. Oh, Spain …

    I have to say I wouldn’t like the rain in Spain, which stays mainly not on the plain (meseta) but in the north! I love my sunshine. I really do have my moods affected by the weather. Let’s hope there’s no rain on July 7! :)

    • Elizabeth Carlson June 23, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      I’m sure it won’t! Summer in Madrid is always sunny! It’s weird bc I am so close to Bilbao in Logroño, but it hardly rains here, compared to PV. I wish it did more though, I love green green landscapes!

  3. Cassandra June 24, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    All this País Vasco-love makes me want to visit again!

    Also, that story about the naked jogger is hilarious and baffling. What a memorable bienvenida for your visitor!

  4. Camila Maria July 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    I can’t believe that streaking jogger!!!!!!! I can’t say I’ve seen anything similar on any of my bouts in Spain!
    But, I’ve heard about Pais Vasco having the best food in Spain…that’s definitely on my list of things!
    Also curious about the Basque language, and the fact it’s not related linguistically to any other language on the planet. Crazy cool….I wonder..did Liz learn any while there?

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