Bilbao   Leave a comment

June 28   ***   28 Junio

On Monday night we arrived in Bilbao. Bilbao is an industrial center on the north coast of Spain, and the largest city in Basque Contry. Basque Contry – called Eskal Herria in euskara, the Basque language – is a region of northern Spain and southwestern France that’s home to Basque culture. The Basque language is the only pre-Indo-European language in western Europe, which makes it qute unique from the Romance languages which surround it. The signs in Bilbao – called Bilbo in Basque – are written in Basque as well as in Spanish. The city itself is a bit grim and industrial, at least on its outskirts, mostly factories and apartment buildings. It’s undergone a bit of revival lately, though, thanks mostly to the building of the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Bilbao

June 29   ***   29 Junio

On Tuesday morning we headed to the Guggenheim. This is one of the most well-known pieces of modern architecture, designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 1997. It displays modern and contemporary art, and overall I was quite impressed. I particularly liked the exhibition of works by Anish Kapoor. In the afternoon, we wandered around the city a bit. It’s a bit of an odd mix of industrial infrastructure, highly ornate old buildings in the Old City and the Postmodern architecture which has been constructed here and there in the effort to revitalize the city.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim

Bilbao

We spend the evening on a beach on the Atlantic coast, and when darkness fell we started the overnight drive back to Le Mans.

La playa

I was absolutely exhausted when we got back, and all I wanted to do was to get back to my room and sleep. Which I did.

My week in Spain was fantastic. I’m extremely glad I was able to go. I can’t believe I saw that many spectacular things in just eight days.

As always, more photos are here.

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