Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

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Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

Postby footrush » May 12th, 2018, 10:52 am

Going to start this one off should make interesting reading ?. Had to change flights across the tarmac in Dublin Airport last night as the door of the first plane wouldn’t shut , arrived into Barcelona at 1.30 this morning !.
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Re: Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 14th, 2018, 5:55 am

There could be a few more like that. Particularly the full story about the Sat morning Aer Lingus 07.10 departure to Bilbao.

The version heard later in Bilbao was that the airline had to swop one Airbus for another but the second aircraft had a bigger Business Class configuration resulting in less seats in total. This was only realised when checking the actual passenger list. Having negotiated for some volunteers to sell their flight option for cash and later / alternative seats, Aer Lingus discovered when the passengers actually boarded that they had two 'no shows' and one passenger who had surrendered his seat was contacted on his mobile in his car on his way back home. His rapid return to the Airport was part of the two hour delay in departure.
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Re: Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

Postby Thomond Forever » May 15th, 2018, 5:20 pm

Just wanted to share our experience of the final. Six of us Munster fans from Limerick, booked flights back in October in the hope of Munster being in the final :), got Ryanair flights from Dublin to Santander for €215 each, headed out on Wednesday lunchtime, back on Sunday evening. Nabbed a great 3 bedroom AirBnB apartment in Santander beach area for €630 for four nights, excellent value for a top notch apartment with great views of the beach for only €105 each, booked it back in December. Got the match tickets on Ticketmaster in the general sale in January, up in the bowls of the stadium, four rows from the top, €60 per ticket, no complaints with the seats. Checked out local bus/train options from Santander to Bilbao for match day but times etc weren't working for us so arranged bus transfer with one of the Irish tour companies, cost €40 return each, while this was on the expensive side the convenience outweighed the cost, got the bus from near our apartment at 10.00 am and picked it up from near the stadium at 9.30 pm that night, back at apartment just after 11.00 pm.

Really enjoyed Santander, very easy city to navigate, great reasonably priced restaurants/cafes/bars, very friendly people. Met lots of Leinster supporters especially from Friday onwards, also surprised with the amount of supporters from other clubs, English, Scottish, Welsh, all staying there for the final. Considered going to Bilbao for the Challenge Cup Final on the Friday night, but the 9.00 pm kick-off and subsequent late return put us off. Found a great sports bar in the beach area to watch it instead, packed with Leinster supporters, everyone cheering on Cardiff :)

We weren't overly impressed with Bilbao as a city in comparison to Santander, less friendly in general, of course the weather on Saturday didn't help the overall impression :lol: Found that a lot of the restaurants/bars didn't seem to be prepared for the influx of rugby supporters, we tried three different restaurants/cafe bars to get lunch to be told they were full even though there were empty tables to be seen, got the impression they didn't want to serve us (3 couples) for whatever reason. Have to say the stadium staff were very well prepared for the crowd, no delay/que getting in about 45 minutes before kick-off, I had a ruck-sack with rain gear etc, they give a quick look into it and no problem bringing it into the stadium. Cans of Heineken for sale inside for €6 :x also selling what was a pint and a half of draught in a plastic glass for €11! There seemed to be a big local attendance at the game, maybe it was just in our section but a lot of very noisy, very drunk Spanish people who might as well have been watching a game of hop-scotch for all they knew/cared about rugby :roll: While the game itself wasn't the most exciting, it was great to be there to witness an Irish team win.

Overall had a great four night trip away and can say hand on heart every Leinster supporter with met couldn't have been more friendly towards us as Munster supporters, the craic was had and will forever live in the memory. :D
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Re: Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

Postby El Diablo » May 16th, 2018, 6:36 pm

Thomond Forever wrote:There seemed to be a big local attendance at the game, maybe it was just in our section but a lot of very noisy, very drunk Spanish people who might as well have been watching a game of hop-scotch for all they knew/cared about rugby

I felt sorry for the locals around us. Most seemed to be puzzled and bored off their trolleys! I certainly don't think Athletic Bilbao will be quaking in their boots about losing any fans to rugby as a result.

For me the highlight was the old town by Plaza Nuevo and the 7 streets. Great craic on Friday night/Sat morning.
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Re: Travel tales on the road to Bilbao !.

Postby Apixikin » May 17th, 2018, 9:20 am

We arrived in Bordeaux at 9 am Saturday.
After three and a half hours drive we were in the centre of Bilbao.
We had a blast, met a lot of neutrals from the UK and Spain
A lot of Spanish travelled long distances to be in Bilbao, Sevilla, Barcelona...
I come from the Basque Country and I looked into booking a restaurant 10 days before the final and was told most of them were already booked up so we stuffed ourselves on pintxos, not a bad alternative.
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