Bilbao Baggins

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Wow. I don’t think I could have been more impressed if I were standing directly across from the Pyramids. Having always been in awe of Frank Gehry, seeing his Guggenheim Museum up close and personal in Bilbao, northern Spain, was almost spiritual in intensity.

My London-based (and thankfully Spanish-speaking) friend Maria and I spent three nights in Bilbao this week and despite some damp weather to begin with, had what you might call a marvellous time. The eating was fabulous in a town known for its gastronomy, but the highlight for me was the Guggenheim building. The building is such a powerful experience that the art within the Museum itself is something of an anticlimax – an argument put forward by more than one of Gehry’s critics. I was saved any aesthetic judgement on the Museum’s holdings on the day of our visit due to most of the galleries being closed in preparation for new exhibitions.

Maria and I are planning to put together some travel articles about our adventures in Bilbao to take advantage of her way with a camera and my penchant for the pen. Fingers crossed…

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