Night Train from Lisbon to Vitoria-Gasteiz
15.11.2013 - 17.11.2013 5 °C
After returning from Madeira, the travel bug couldn't be kept away for too long, so me and a couple of friends decided we should go on a weekend trip to the Basque Country. I was planning to try Renfe's TrenHotel that leaves from Lisbon every night. Since CP and Renfe had launched promotions for this trains, we decided we should give it a go.
The train travels through some rough tracks at some points, but it overall a nice trip. The three of us had a 4 bed compartment and the train was only half full, so it was a calm trip. When I woke up, the scenery outside was beautiful, as we were traveling through a landscape covered with snow.
Arriving at Vitoria (Gasteiz in Basque language) - the capital of the Basque Country-, we had a little breakfast at a cafe and walked around the historical center. The streets were empty as it was early Saturday, we it still a nice place, with beautiful buildings and parks.
We were on a tight schedule, so we took the "slow" bus to Bilbao - well worth it - which travels through the mountains and the villages, on curvy roads but with stunning views.
Bilbao is a big city, but quite easy to walk. Bilbao (and the Basque Country) is one of the wealthiest parts of Spain and you can easily notice that. The restaurant prices are higher than Madrid and the population seems to live a more comfortable life. For our budget it was not that good though, but we somehow managed.
With many sights to see, Bilbao is definitely a place to visit. The nightlife, as in all big Spanish cities, is quite alive and there lots of bars and restaurants you can go. Despite the cold, Bilbao's inhabitants enjoy going out and chatting with friends and relatives, while drinking a glass of good wine or sidra.
We too went and enjoyed the nightlife. Next day was already time to say goodbye, but he still had the chance to have a glimpse at the Guggenheim musem (one of Bilbao's major attractions).
For the return leg of the trip we took the plane (fastest and cheapest option) and we arrived Lisbon shortly after (instead of a 11 hour train trip).