Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

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I have been waiting to visit Bilbao with the sole purpose of seeing this beauty shimmering in the light showing off its curves ever since it opened.  San Sebastían was about food and Bilbao was about Frank Gehry’s glorious Guggenheim Museum.  My photos don’t do justice to this building, they were taken in a rush on leaving the city to make our way back home plus it was already 10.30 am which is pushing it with outside photography.  Having waited for so many years to see it I was not disappointed one little bit.  Even Bikerboy who would not be visiting Bilbao to see a museum out of his own volition, on clapping his eyes the words, “Wow…look at that!” came out of his mouth.  And WOW is the right word.

As you drive into the city from the motorway through the tunnel as soon as you come out of the darkness of the tunnel the building hits your vision straight away.  It’s visible from all sorts of angles around the city, and the site of it from the other side of the river (the last few photos below) give you a very different point of view from the main street entrance. It’s certainly a building that requires you to stand some distance to admire it fully.  Do me a favour if you visit, take a photo of it from one of the little narrow old streets, capturing the contrast between the old city street and these glistening scales rising above it at the end of the street.  It was this photo capture in the Saturday Times magazine all those years ago that caught my attention, sold me the visit and is still imprinted in my memory.  I was just too darn stupid not to take it…but there’s always next time, I hope with all the fast moving construction happening all over the city some of those old streets will remain.

The one part of the museum I didn’t like or felt it gelled with the rest was the blue building with the wood panel windows that looks like an IKEA office building.  I do get the choice of blue being part of the sea & ship feel and I’m guessing the wood panel around the windows go along with that but it isn’t what strikes you when you’re looking at it.   The blue building is to the right of the main entrance and it looks as if some child has plonked a lego house between the glass stairways and the beige tiled building, it looks cheap, it has also weathered, emphasizing the IKEA look.

If you want to see this building in peace and quiet don’t go in August, from mid morning there were coach loads of people arriving.  Inside it’s very crowded, and I must confess I got around the building rather quickly mainly because the hoards of people  were making it rather difficult to admire the building or any art you may be interested in.  Bikerboy protested going in because as you walk in once you’ve paid for the tickets, they check the size of your bags, and they refused to accept his rather small racksack that was empty and rolled up inside my bag.  It had to be checked into the  bag locker but they were allowing ladies handbags far bigger than the racksack through.  Bikerboy needn’t have an excuse to sit in the café upstairs and surf, he just wished he hadn’t paid for his ticket, it’s the kind of thing that drives him crazy.  Crazy rules don’t just apply at home.