Our journey out of Seville was smooth and largely uneventful. We said goodbye to Max and his crew at Pan Y Piu over breakfast, got a taxi to the airport straightaway and we were through security like premium grade olive oil out of a bottle. Our gate was announced ahead of time and we got a seat near the front of ‘boarding group 3’, in which we were. Seville’s airport announcements are no different to any others. The airline, flight number etc is perfectly clear but the destination is open to interpretation. I hope the passengers who flew with Ryanair today ended up somewhere different to D’Boing. Though perhaps they were going to a clock makers convention.
Arriving in Bilbao a few minutes early, we rang the car park company to ask for our car and were told ‘5 minutes’. Someone then advised us to go further up the parking and see one of the FlyPark reps. Sure enough our car turned up 15 minutes later and off we went faithfully following the satnav. Our hotel is a little way from the city centre and after missing the turnoff once we found it. It then dawned on us that it was Bilbao Marathon weekend (there was a queue of ridiculously fit athletes waiting to book in). Even better, it was taking place tonight…yes, a marathon in the dark, or under street lights anyway..
The hotel manager recommended us a pintxos (tapas) bar and we popped along to sample the local delicacies. Very acceptable they were too.
We ventured out again, just prior to the marathon starting. Resisting the urge to strip down to shorts and warm up, we passed on the chance to run 42km in the dark in a strange city. We had a look at the Guggenheim, which was also hosting the finish of the race, ably manned by an animated commentator, who interspersed his reading of the race with very loud dance music.
Getting away from the race finish we found a small cafe and had nachos, gazpacho and sandwiches. They do breakfast too… Strolling back towards our hotel we crossed over the river and stood once or twice watching runners and trying to work out which lap (of two) they were on. Looking at the degrees of tiredness was no use and we contented ourselves by clapping and joining in with shouts of ‘Wenger’. That’s what it sounded like to us anyway, I suppose shouting the name any other football manager could have been just as much of an incentive to run faster. The Guggenheim is open tomorrow but not on Monday so that’s our objective…