I'm writing this from the airport in Bilbao. I was here for a few days due to a conference. And I suppose I realized that this is the first time in which I have attended a conference and actually liked the city where the conference is being held. Bilbao is amazing, and there are plenty of reasons why one would like this town. And I am not talking about the contents of the conference.
See, I have attended several conferences in the past. Sometimes they were located in large towns, in others in small cities. I suppose I only enjoyed my visit to those cities because of the conference, but due to several other reasons, I wasn't able to fully enjoy my stay in these locations. Either I wasn't fully enthusiastic about the city, or I was a student and therefore I didn't have enough funds to enjoy my stay. But Bibao is different. I suppose I had the right resources, as well as the correct attitude towards the city, that I totally loved my stay even without considering the content of the conference.
Of course, I enjoyed the conference. I learned plenty of new things. But I also learned how to appreciate good food. I learned how the pintxos culture worked, and soon enough, I found myself standing right at the bar ordering glasses of wine to wash the numerous pintxos I have ordered. I also learned to appreciate the architecture of this city, from the ancient to the modern. And finally, I sampled some very high-quality modern art, as Bilbao offers quite a bit of world-class art museums.
In short, I think this trip provided me with a good work-play balance. I wouldn't mind repeating a conference here if there is a chance. Bibao after all is a very sexy city, and I definitely enjoyed my stay very much.
Pictures of course will follow later, so stay tuned.