October 11, 2014
We stepped out of our hotel in Bilbao and were delighted to find the streets alive with people.
Just down the street a live band played Spanish rock, and then we discovered another band a few blocks down at a dead end, and then another band up an alleyway; ultimately at least a half dozen bands were playing in the narrow alleys.
Many of the crowd were wearing berets along with pañuelos (scarfs) in different colours, and carrying a flag that matched their pañuelos.
Popping into a nearby bar we found frantically efficient bartenders who somehow managed to keep up with the crowds that came pouring in. And then of course, the crowds poured out again, to watch the bands while clutching glasses of beer, vermouth, cocktails and wine.
We figured this wasn’t a usual Saturday event when a garbage truck tried to come down the crowded street and the dancers went crazy, lambada shaking their butts in front of the truck until the poor driver was forced to retreat.
A precarious vermouth at the Bilbao street party.
Later we found this poster at a bus stop explaining the fiesta, although it appeared that most of the party happened on the 11th of October, and Sunday was relatively subdued, siestas anyone?