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Bilbao and the Goog

and a nasty tram conductor

semi-overcast 17 °C

In the morning we head into Bilbao. We are focussed on the Goog. The good folk at Novotel are Corporate partners of the Guggenheim, so they have free tickets available for us. Ask your hotel, they may too. At the train station we get a 10 Euro credit usable on all transport types. The metro trains run every ten minutes and take only a few minutes to get into town. We hop offand grab breakfast at a bar – more sludgey hot chocolate.
Arrive at the Guggenheim where we descend inside. The interior space is just a huge cathedral of light, stretching five generous storeys up to the ceiling. It really is amazing. But this must be said: compared to the norm there is not much art in the Guggenheim, and to a fair degree the building is the masterpiece, the centre of attraction.
I want one

I want one


BUT having said that and checked out some pretty good stuff from the Guggenheim collection (including one Rothko, my favourite) we then moved on to The Matter of Time by the American Richard Serra. This is a collection of seven or eight pieces arranged in the largest space. These are made up of massive steel plates, all self supported rolled into geometric shapes (sections of cones, spheres , torus, skewed ellipses) creating pieces that you can walk around and through and in, which is like having your reality warped – quite amazing. L was awestruck.
Richard Serra,  The Matter of Time

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time


Inside The Matter of Time

Inside The Matter of Time


We then went into see some modern stuff which didn’t do it for us, ditto Rauschenberg’s GLUTS. Last was Anish Kapoor and his work. This I really liked – he plays very well with light and the tricks that light and shade can play on you – including one piece about pregnancy that I nearly backed into it was so well blended into the wall! Then we went on to his concrete room, which we quickly passed through. He had an installation involving tonnes of red wax being shot through a compressed air cannon into the corner, but our favourite was the mirror room where you could stand and look at your own reflection, and others in a series of different shaped mirrors. It was great to see how people reacted to being in front of the mirrors – some people freaked, others acted like children. That was almost as much fun as looking at yourself.
Anish Kapoor's work

Anish Kapoor's work


That was as much culture as we could take, so we headed up to the Guggenheim Cafeteria to do their menu, as had been recommended to us – and what a hit! The food is fantastic, the servings are good (they do not stint the wine) and there is no rush – a sure fire hit.
Lunch at the Guggenheim

Lunch at the Guggenheim


Cultured out, I took a few photos around the exterior before we got onto the tram for the old town.
Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum


Well that was the plan. We got to the tram which was about to leave, and jumped on and handed our ticket to the conductor, except he was a ticket inspector. He grabbed our ticket and started a steady stream of Basque at us, pointing to a card he had with all this writing in Basque and Castillian. The only thing we could understand was ‘money, money’ We got off at the next stop with him and he showed us the card in Basque and Castillian again and started saying Policia, policia, who we indicated he should call. After a few more minutes of this L called out to the platform across the way to see if any one spoke English (Spaniards have been talking much better English than my spanish), at which point he then turns over his card in Basque and Castillian, and would you believe there it is in English, and it has been all this time! Does not let us read it, but goes over to the validating machine and validates our card – not just three times but five times – he is running out our credit! L grabs the card, which unfortunately rips and he gives a nasty grin of triumph. He heads off muttering and goes over the other side where he is very helpful in showing people how to validate their cards – nasty little man and a blot on our visit to Bilbao.
Around the old town we wandered up and down the streets, dropping in at a few shops here and there, when we found one selling postcards by our favourite, Kukuxumusu. And they had some end of run T shirts going cheap... so I ended up with a couple more, and the lovely girl Gave G a bag of chocolate sardines (don’t worry, they were all chocolate, no fish). We found the metro and headed back to the hotel.

Posted by lostagain 02:07 Archived in Spain

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