12th October, 2019
Our guests had a lie in this morning as our arrival time in Bilbao was 1000, this due to a high speed run from Bordeaux which is also a tidal port.
With pilot on board at 0830 we had 6M to run into a very well-fortified harbour. Today was yet another Maiden call and so a “plaque” exchange had been arranged. With us all fast alongside by 0930 we had clearance from the local authorities at 1000 and then our guests were free to go ashore. Yet another full tours programme including a “Glimpse of Bilbao”, “Bilbao & Guggenheim Museum”, “Hiking Mount Ermua” and “Exclusive Getaria & Txacoli Wine”.
Bilbao, the largest city in Spain’s Basque Country is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, which has always been to assemble a collection of significant works of art from the mid-20th century to the present day. Highlights of its permanent collection include paintings by Robert Motherwell, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Jean-Michel Basquiat and James Rosenquist. Local Basque sculptors Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza are also represented.
For me it was another 20km cycle ride to the north and along a fabulous coastal path towards a town called Barrika with stunning views out to sea and the seaport of Getxo which is where we actually dock.
Departure was set for 1800 and Staff Captain Simon conducted the departure in some fairly strong winds, but with the thruster and pod power available is was executed safely and swiftly. As soon as we cleared the inner harbour the pilot was disembarked – must have been keen to get home as he boarded some 5 miles further out in the morning!! With us clear of the outer harbour we set a W’ly course for our day at sea and arrival Leixoes on Monday.
Captain Julian Burgess
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