Husband and I went to Pais Vasco (the Basque Region) a few years ago for a belated “Luna de Miel”. We stayed in San Sebastian but took some day trips driving around the region. I was dying to see the real Guernika/Gernika after falling in love with the piece during an art history class a couple of decades ago. I also thought it would be fun to see Bilbao and the Guggenheim. I didn’t expect much from Bilbao, if I’m honest. I thought we’d see the Gug and be off. The Guggenheim was neat – again, in all honesty we enjoyed the outside more than the inside (though we were both really into the Richard Serra installation that was there. (We got to walk through the huge, steel panels and I may have snuck a couple of photos. Shh…)
Surprisingly, though, I fell hard for Bilbao. I’m dying to go back. The scenery of the Bilbao from the outside was cool – the outside fog and silver ball installation was very cool. We also got to see “Maman”, the 9 meter tall spider by Louise Bourgeois which was also quite thrilling. (Not sure if it’s still there now, but there is info on the meaning of it all here.)
Most of all, though, I loved the city of Bilbao, itself. As usual, I was enthralled with the contrast of old and new – my favorite view was that of the scaffolding and construction across the river. (I always seem drawn to the rivers.) The one thing that had first struck me about Spain during my first visit (to Sevilla, running around on a hot summer night) was that it was so BIG. Bilbao is no different – the buildings are larger than life. (Of all the countries in Europe, Spain continues to hold my heart. Year ago, I declared that we would move there some day. I’m still adamant.) We both want to return but next time we would stay right in Bilbao for a few days or more, making it our “home base” for the trip. As for the food… well. I could dedicate an entire blog to the food of Spain, no?