The journalist Almudena Cacho has had many years of success on the radio, heading such widely-listened to programs as “Green Flag”, “Asteburuetan”, and “Boulevard,” amongst others. She has worked for several different broadcasters and has thousands of loyal listeners who follow her professional work wherever she goes. Now, she directs Radio-Euskadi’s on-air weekend morning magazine “More Than Words”. Between 9:00 and 1:00 she provides the latest in science, culture, film, humor, music….and More Than Words!
Almudena, what would you say to someone who doesn’t know Bilbao to convince them to come visit?
I would tell them that they are going to have a wonderful time, that the people of Bilbao feel very lucky, that they are very open and generous; that it is a city where one can walk everywhere, that there are good connections here, and that Bilbao offers user-friendly culture with traditional and alternative theater, frequent concerts in small venues and auditoriums; various museums, two of which are emblematic: the Guggenheim and Bellas Artes; our estuary with beautiful bridges…and that one can enjoy excellent eating and drinking on almost any budget. I’d say that one has to visit la Alhondiga, I would recommend the shops, that in Bilbao they are very chic—we are known for dressing well—and to finish off, I would try to convince them that, sometimes, the sun does come out. Then, Bilbainos feel not just very, but completely lucky.
What do you miss when you are away from Bilbao?
My friends and the small, every day things, small yes, but so domestic that they make home really home. The little passageways, the shops that have been there forever, the streets of “poteo” or barhopping, packed with people, the Gran Via on Sunday afternoons…
How would you spend the perfect day in Bilbao?
First, I would not get up early. Prohibited.
I would have breakfast at home with fruit and coffee and rice pastries and Swiss rolls. 60,000 delicious calories.
I would digest my breakfast with a looooong walk with my friend Silvia on the left bank of the estuary, from the Arriaga Theatre to the maritime museum and beyond, all the way to Olaveaga or Zorroza, to observe how different the landscape can be within 5 or 6 kilometers, all the while talking a little about everything and laughing a lot about everything. I’d have delicious prepared Vermouth and olives in the Indautxu area.
I would eat lunch with my group of favorite journalists in whatever place where the portions are generous, with fresh, good quality ingredients and where they don’t skimp on salad. I would select a red wine and Roberto would ask for white. I usually get a sweet desert and treat others with the “oh, but I just can’t eat another bite.” The sweettooths at the table don’t take long to take advantage of that. What they don’t know is what I have had for breakfast. (See above)
After lunch, I would spend some time at Gotzon and Arantzas’ in downtown Bilbao: Indautxu, km zero. They always serve a very chilled cava because they know that I love it. My friends are great hosts.
For the afternoon, I would do some girls’ shopping at Alameda Rekalde or Colon de Larreategi or General Concha. I love shoes. I can never escape those at Uno C, at Concha Street. I love to check out a lecture or the latest ideas at Camara Bookstore or to buy a graphic novel at Joker in new shoes.
I would finish my day watching the dancers Israel Galvan and Eva Hierbabuena in a spectacular duet (I hope so!!!) or I would go to the movies, to the Multis.
And a perfect night? Where would you go to dinner, or to have a couple of drinks?
Even though I would have eaten too much, hahaha, I would look for a place with grilled sea bass or a red sea bream. I like to break the norm and have a glass of red wine with fish. I toast with Mr. X. He pays.
For drinks? I am very much one for gin and tonics. If it worked well for the Queen Mother…I would have one on the terrace at the Domine Hotel or at the Alhondiga or wherever Mr. X says, since he is paying.
Is there some little-known corner of Bilbao you would recommend?
I’m sorry, but you’re talking about Bilbao; there aren’t any little-known corners.