Friday, June 22, 2018

Getxo and Algorta Fishing Village Near Bilbao

We take the Euskotren from Bilbao to the town of Getxo, 12 km (7.5 miles) away, and explore the old fishing village and port of Algorta within Getxo.  Getting off at the Neguri station in Getxo, we walk through the village of grand old houses on our way to the beach.  The Euskotren system is modern, efficient, and a joy to ride (we'll be riding it to San Sebastian later in the day).

Euskotren train and station

 Grand houses in Getxo

The beach and promenade are quiet on this cold, rainy day, but we walk and enjoy the view.  The beach is fabulous in the storm, with high winds and occasional showers.  A truly fun experience!

 Along the beachfront

The city is up the hill, accessible either by stairs or by funicular.

 Walk or ride to the beach

As we approach the fishing village of Algorta at the entrance to the Abra Bay, we spot the fishing boats pulled up on the pier and the coast gets more rugged as we approach, heading away from the center of Getxo and the water passage into Bilbao.

 Fishing boats

 Rugged coastline after Algorta

We climb the stairs up to Algorta and wander the narrow streets of this old fishing town.  The villagers are going about their day as we walk past their yards, courtyards, and homes.  Good cooking smells are emerging from the windows and, for a while, we feel a part of the community.

Algorta was prohibited from trading by the charters of the towns of Bilbao and Portugalete, so the town focused on fishing and piloting (guiding ships into Bilbao harbor).  The experienced seafarers of Algorta also provided a large supply of crew members and officers for all kinds of ships, in addition to expert shipwreck rescue teams.

 Streets of Algorta

Descending back to the water, we walk back along the beach back to Getxo, a city with more modern port facilities, a cruise terminal, an aquarium, and a sheltered harbor.

 Back along the beach to Getxo, Algorta in the distance

 Getxo harbor and cruise terminal (no cruise boats)

From the harbor, we see more grand houses of Getxo overlooking the harbor and the great views out into the Atlantic, with the moored fishing boat fleet and rescue boat station featuring prominently in the harbor.

 Grand houses overlooking the harbor

 View of the harbor entrance

Larger fishing boats

Rescue boat station

We walk back (up the stairs from the beach) to the Euskotren station and head back into Bilbao to grab our luggage and catch the train to San Sebastian.

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