Bilbao, the Costa Vasca & San Sebastián

In the morning we drove to Bilbao to admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim museum, one of the world’s most spectacular buildings. We had the opportunity to visit the museum. I chose to do so and was happy that I had made that choice. It is often said that the building is noted more for the architecture than the contents and the audio guide spends considerable time describing the concept and structure of the building. However, the artworks chosen complement the building’s interior. In particular, the very large installations on the first floor both enhance and are enhanced by the structure’s interior.  I attach some photos of the outside of the building and some of the exterior artworks which include a Maman (spider). There is also a good collection of modern works by the likes of Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Miro, etc.  We then had a pleasant drive along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages and stopped for lunch in Getaria. For a starter we all tried a pintxos, (pronounced pinchos) the local version of tapas. The fishing fleet was coming in to deliver their catch to the processing plants (photo).  We then continued to San Sebastián  set on its shell-shaped bay.   The city is known as both a beach town and a centre of gastronomy. It became popular as a seaside resort in the 1890’s when the royal family built a summer palace here.  It is still a favourite spot for swimming and surfing in the wilder waters near the town centre. The northern Basque cuisine is said to be the best in Spain. It is full of bars and restaurants, most of the bars serving pintxos. We ended the day with a city tour, starting with views from the heights of Mount Igeldo and then touring the old part of town to see the 19th century buildings and churches (photos.)  We ended the day with a  dinner at a local restaurant. 

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