Bilbao was all about the Guggenheim.Shall we backtrack a few hours??
We left our tiny mountain village, committing to many hours of windy driving, followed by more hours of straight driving, and 30 of the most stressful minutes of our lives in which we drove ’round and ’round the city centre of Bilbao, trying to find the proper locale for dropping of our rental car.
We found our hotel, ate sardines for dinner, and generally relaxed.
The next morning, we went straight for the Guggenheim.
In my opinion (and probably everyone else who has ever been there’s), the Guggenheim in Bilbao is more about the building, and less about the art itself.
It was designed by Frank Gehry, who apparently took inspiration from Fish.
As described in detail by our audioguide.
To be honest, that’s pretty much all I can tell you about the building (go and wiki it in your own time if you’re interested), because after about 10 minutes of audioguide my eyes were tired from rolling at the drama, and I had to put the thing down permanently.
Anyone who has every seen anything at all by Jeff Koons will immediately recognise the flowers, above. He had a real ‘balloon’ phase. While I generally hold the strongest of all distastes for the man and his work, in response to our 2009 trip to Versailles being completely ruined by hanging floaty lobsters and vacuum cleaners, I don’t hate this.
The dog is also him. And I don’t hate it either.
Back inside there were a couple of larger exhibits which really stood out.
I was very into the red and blue light show…. admittedly partially because the colours so perfectly matched my outfit of the day.
Also fairly impressive were a set of huge ‘scrolls’, which looked like this from above:
Back outside once again, we strolled past Doggy, and headed to a small bar to get some breakfast tapas. We had headed to the Guggenheim at opening in order to beat the cues, and Andy was by this stage so faint from hunger that his first instinct was to buy some terrible cold spaghetti from a convenience store.
Luckily, he could be persuaded.
Apart from being beautiful, the museum is also somewhat interactive.
And, in other spooky news, the also have a spider!
You’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that we did walk around a little bit before once again stopping for food.
In this case, percebes, or goose barnacles.
Nadia, our friend from work, once told us that people believed, or at least claimed to believe, that goose barnacles were the larval stage of the barnacle goose. This theory stemmed from the fact that the bird and the triceratops-like mollusc had similar colouring, and because nobody had ever seen a baby goose (they all flew south for breeding season).
Mostly, however, it came about because the church was pro seafood, but not bird meat, during lent and on the holy day. And because people are terrible and will make up all kinds of ridiculous stories in attempts to find loopholes in their own religious doctrines.
Anyway, we spent a fair amount of time working out both how to eat the barnacle, and which parts of the barnacles to eat. All in all, my conclusion is that they are on the lower end of my seafood list, as they mostly taste like seawater, have very little edible meat, and make your hands smell slightly fishy.
Still, always good to try a new thing, especially when it looks like one is eating a dinosaur.
As you can see, we basically spent the day wandering throughout the city and enjoying the sun.
And then we bought pastries. One of which was a rather fantastic custard tart. The other of which was a horrendous dickman-style horror of sugary meringue.
I’ll let you guess which is which.
‘Til Next Time…