Two friends chronicle and compare their families' adventures when one moves There (to Bologna, Italy) and one stays Here (Cold Spring, NY, USA).
Last week’s trip also took us to Bilbao, Spain, about an hour west of San Sebastian, to check out a structure that I’ve seen a thousand times in pictures, and that people universally seem to love or hate, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. I confess that I’ve mostly stood on the hate side of that argument, mostly because it’s always struck me as more architectural gimmick than refined or advanced artistry. But… lo and behold! it’s actually a joy-inducing sight when you first see Frank Gehry’s “silver fish” from across the Nervión River flanked by a modern pedestrian suspension bridge on one side, and another traditional cement walkway on the other, with a regular ol’ city just a few feet behind it. It’s all shimmery and reflective and undulating and what not, like a happy marine animal swim-dancing to its favorite tune. It’s hard not to smile at it, and feel good about the silly ideas that humans can conceive and later actually implement, for better or for worse. I still don’t feel it’s a miracle of architecture, but I’ll concede that it makes the world a shinier place. On the inside, however, the museum is strangely small given the volumes you experience outside, and awkwardly laid out, and the craftsmanship of the surfaces and their upkeep are surprisingly poor. The temporary exhibits, though, were so entertaining that we easily whiled away a whole day in there with only a short trip back outside for a delicious Thai/Chinese lunch! Here are a few pics of our excursion and a bit more information about our favorite bits.