Went to Bilbao for 3 days to spend the week end working in this service design workshop. Second time I attend this “Global Jam” event, first in Madrid few months ago, and this time in Bilbao. Really love the concept of more than 60 cities around the world working at the same time around the same briefing, nice spirit.
Went with an office colleague, and I was quite excited about this workshop, totally willing to involve myself a lot and take it seriously. The first Global Jam I attended was quite interesting and ended up being a really good experience. This one didn’t go out as I expected.
But anyway, as I like to do, I deal with it and sort things out in order for us to spend a great time in Bilbao. Beautiful lunch on friday, amazing rice, nice wine, and for dessert my first “coulant” in years, since it was gluten free; incredible.
Then after the first day of “work”, I went in “socialize mode”, bond with some people, and arranged to meet in the center for drinks and stuff. Also took time to ask locals for nice places to get something to eat. Led us to “Victor Montes”, really nice bar in the old part of town, where we eat probably the best ham I’ve ever had. Turned out to be crazy expensive, which I didn’t know when the waiter recommended us to have it; got tricked by his sincere simpathy, but it’s ok. Then more drinks with a dozen of people from the workshop, and done.
Second day, all day work, concreting our project, and ending up with a really nice concept.
Bilbao is far from being a cheap city when it comes to eat, and specially if one doesn’t eat bread.
Anyway, at night we went bars by bars with my colleague to find “the good one”, later were recomended by locals a nice and calm bar (no beer smell, no 80’s trash metal), met some locals, had the best time pretending we were from New York (we laughed a LOT, I recomend it), joined them to go to some huge club, had some more drinks and to close the circle, all the guys from the workshop came at the same club; had a nice time with them too. The last drink at 6:00, 3 of us remaining, was in a dark kind of clandestin bar where everybody spoke basque and were singing basque songs, really cool. As for the last day we had lunch in some really crappy place, really poor quality food, the worst I’ve had in a long time, and spent the afternoon in the Guggenheim Museum. A wonderful place, beautiful building, nice exhibitions.
So, to sum it up: the workshop, the all purpose of the trip, not great as I wanted to; but all the rest: great.
Bilbao: wouldn’t live there, for sure, but still worth to visit, specially if you’re into architecture. And ‘pintxos’.