Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kenw

Triangular mini break to Bilbao - any thoughts

Recommended Posts

Dear all

We're wondering about a "triangular" trip to Bilbao:

  • Caen (home) – Roscoff by train,
  • 1 night Roscoff
  • Roscoff - Bilbao
  • 2 or 3 nights Bilbao
  • Bilbao - Portsmouth
  • 1 or 2 nights Portsmouth
  • Portsmouth - Caen

Either autumn this year or next spring.

Any thoughts?

One immediate query. The website doesn't offer Bilbao as a route for footies. Not possible? Or is it phone only? Capacity issue on board, or the fact that the port is remote from the city centre has persuaded BF that only motorists want to go there?

Suggestions or recommendations for hotels in Bilbao particularly welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there’s no train to Roscoff now it’s a bus from Morlaix, and it wasn’t impossible to get on as a footie to Bilbao before Covid but probably impossible now for a while anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, kenw said:

Dear all

We're wondering about a "triangular" trip to Bilbao:

  • Caen (home) – Roscoff by train,
  • 1 night Roscoff
  • Roscoff - Bilbao
  • 2 or 3 nights Bilbao
  • Bilbao - Portsmouth
  • 1 or 2 nights Portsmouth
  • Portsmouth - Caen

Either autumn this year or next spring.

Any thoughts?

One immediate query. The website doesn't offer Bilbao as a route for footies. Not possible? Or is it phone only? Capacity issue on board, or the fact that the port is remote from the city centre has persuaded BF that only motorists want to go there?

Suggestions or recommendations for hotels in Bilbao particularly welcome.

Put simply Zierbena does not cater for any travellers on foot in any shape or form, you won't even find a pathway. There are vehicle check in booths only and a very simple & small cafe after the check in booths in front of the marshalling lanes.

There is absolutely nothing else.

Santander is much the better option, catch the train to enjoy a day out in Bilbao and the trams stop right outside the Guggenheim.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, kenw said:

 

Suggestions or recommendations for hotels in Bilbao particularly welcome.

We found the Ibis Bilbao Central adequate for all attractions - the red bus tour is really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Zierbena doesn't cater for footies, that suggests we won't be able to go from Roscoff, so will have to go via Santander to and from Portsmouth, then as Jonno suggests, catch the train.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bilbao port guide speaks of taxis for foot passengers from the ship at Bilbao to the nearest metro station - and gives a phone number to call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/05/2020 at 09:54, wortley said:

The Bilbao port guide speaks of taxis for foot passengers from the ship at Bilbao to the nearest metro station - and gives a phone number to call.

Been there loads of times and never seen a single taxi ,taxi stand or anywhere for footies to wait, as said there are no pavements, no pavement markings on the roads and no crossing points. The taxi rank which took passengers only as far as Santurtzi is still there in principle only, there's never a cab there and you had to pay for it to travel to the port hence why it was nearly 15 euros to travel about 3 kms. There is also no dedicated walkways or shuttle bus at the port to allow footies to disembark.

Saying the port is in Bilbao is a bit like saying Chichester is in Portsmouth.

Do BF sell foot passenger tickets on sailings to Zierbena? No they don't regardless of what either the Spanish or English port guides say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very fortunate one year, I think it was in 2012 or 2013, I was able to book as a footie from Zierbena to Portsmouth on the Cap, leaving on a Friday night (it was Good Friday in fact).  I caught the metro from the city centre to Santurtzi and then a bus which skirted round quite near the ferry terminal but higher up on the cliffs/headland overlooking the estuary. The driver had no idea where to drop me off (he didn't seem to even know that there was a ferry terminal) but we could see the Cap at her berth so he just stopped and let me get off and I made my own way on foot, pulling my wheeled suitcase, down a rough track leading from the verge down towards the perimeter fence, found the entrance used by lorries and (as others have said) just walked along the vehicle lanes to the very small terminal building, where there was just a check-in desk and a vending machine.  I was the only footie there until about 20 mins before boarding when a taxi pulled up with a Spanish family who also checked in.  There were no announcements or any of the usual tourist info/leaflets (etc.) and I began to worry that we had been forgotten about. About 30 mins before departure a BF on-board hostess appeared and escorted us out onto the dockside and up the vehicle ramp and onto the escalators on board.

The crossing was quite eventful as it turned out, I noticed on the Saturday morning when I went out on deck that we weren't moving; I asked a deckhand and he said that they had plenty of time to use a lower speed and check the engines(ETA Portsmouth was 1700hrs Sat, but he said 'No, it's much later than that, nearer midnight') which I thought seemed odd.  By midday we seemed to be off Roscoff and were still crawling along and then stopped. There seemed to be a problem restarting the engines - lots of thick black smoke from the funnels. About an hour later there was announcement that our arrival would be delayed, due to problems with the engines. Further announcements followed, saying that our ETA would be 23.00hrs!  The Reception desk was besieged with mostly Spaniards asking about their hotel accommodation in London, seemed to be an organised mini-cruise type affair. The few English passengers who didn't speak French were addressed by the entertainer (magician) who was apparently the only English-speaking crew member!  I had to book myself a hotel in Portsmouth as I missed the last train home to London and beyond, and had to buy a new train ticket, and missed most of Easter Sunday with my family, and BF NEVER offered me a refund or an apology, using the usual check with your travel insurance line. I was always puzzled by the whole event, no real reason was given, though.

 

Anyway, apols for the long story there, but Yes indeed it WAS possible to sail from Zierbena as a footie. I have never been able to repeat it though!...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...