Differences between Bilbao and Charlottetown

So we have arrived in Bilbao. It is 36 degrees and sunny here — like we magically teleported ahead by 2 months into summer. After a day of walking around Bilbao, here is what I have noticed (I cannot find the apostrophe on this Spanish keyboard, so I am forced to write without contractions — my first year Classical History professor, David Page, finally gets what he wanted!).

  • Everyone walks everywhere. At least on Sunday. We saw more families walking along the river this morning than I have seen in Charlottetown in a decade. Of course I never go outside in Charlottetown, which might explain part of this.
  • Everything is in Spanish. Chock this up to stupidity or North American-o-centrism, but I do find it odd that everyone speaks Spanish in Spain. Bilboans would not, I think, find it odd that we speak English in Charlottetown.
  • Everything is beautiful here. Manhole covers. Bridges. Mailboxes. Bridges. Trolley cars. Urinals. Sinks. Street lights. They say Bilbao is reinvented since the Guggenheim, but I think there must be a strong design ethic bred into the culture here, because you cannot get this beautiful that quickly otherwise.
  • As in Thailand, children are cherished. Interesting 24 hour contrast through Halifax (tolerance), London (annoyance) and Spain (warm acceptance). The mother of the owner of our hotel said that Oliver was perfecto — her daughter explained that she was saying that Oliver was too perfect to be a real boy.
Must return to hotel now and have siesta. It is 15.30h here, which I think means it is 10.30h in Charlottetown. Catherine said she thinks it is 19h. Forced to write in the European style by keyboard, not pretense. More as things develop.


Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on May 5, 2003 - 16:44 Permalink

Glad you have arrived safely.
How did you spend you intrerim day in London?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on May 7, 2003 - 09:58 Permalink

The interim day in LON was an abject failure — we opted to take the bus from Heathrow to Stansted, thinking, naively, that the Stansted ‘neighbourhood’ would offer a day of distractions. This proved not to be the case and the result was 6 hours of airport time. If nothing else, we know Stansted like the back of our hands!

Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on May 10, 2003 - 15:13 Permalink

Poor you!