I’m a student. So naturally as soon as I returned to Bilbao a few days ago I went on a two day “exploration” of the bars the Basque Country has to offer. It was very important research that I’m going to have to continue to conduct, and I’m not sorry.
The first thing I noticed, is the fact that everyone is OUTSIDE. They all seem to trot in, collect their beverage of choice and then perch on tables outside having long meaningful conversations. It sounds so much classier than the British binge-drinking messy night out, and I feel like it could be something I could throw myself into wholeheartedly. In addition, the alcohol is dirt cheap. Except gin, for some reason.
Despite the ridiculously low prices, many bars do have a tendency to overcharge or undercharge, depending on what mood they’re in. One bar in particular charged one of the guys in our group €1.80, and then charged the rest of us girls €1.10 when we all ordered wine. Not only is casual drinking common, but also casual pricing it seems. That’s also not including when I went to a metal bar on Friday and they had beer for €1. That was also an experience.
My favourite thing is the food that accompanies it. At home the food stop is normally the final stop, where you groggily pick up some cheesy chips and eat them before you’ve even arrived at your street. Here, eating and walking is pretty much unheard of and they have the marvel that is PINTXOS. These are like finger food or tapas and are found on the bar which they will heat up for you when you order drinks. These range from chorizos wrapped in pastry to little burgers or a variety of different sandwiches. Whoever came up with this is a genius and I would like to personally thank them.
Overall, if you summoned the whole experience up in three words it would be crazily bizarrely wonderful.