Monday, June 09, 2003

A nice thing about Bilbao.

Unlike in many European cities, the centre of the city, the casco viejo, has not been overrun by tourists. As a consequence, the cost of owning a shop there is still reasonable. Therefore, the area is full of shops selling ordinary things: shoes, clothes, furniture, household goods, CDs and DVDs, and a nice selection of shops selling weird crap of various kinds. (Also, the area contains a vast number of bars). In most Europeans cities, the shops selling weird crap have had to move out into less salubrious neighborhoods, which is a shame. In Bilbao, though, it is all still in the old centre. Between about 7pm and 9pm, much of the population of the city seems to be walking through this area, wandering in and out of shops, wandering in and out of bars for a drink and a quick snack, and just generally having an evening walk, mainly because it is a pleasant thing to do. This is one thing that makes Bilbao such a pleasant city.

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