Day 9 - Spain Trip - Bilboa

Day 9
Saturday, June 29

La madre de Jackson esta aqui! That was my roll call this afternoon while in Bilboa.

Our time in Bilbao was spent by wandering for a few hours in the Guggenheim museum. The outside of the structure is inspiring and is a work of art all by itself. The museum is surrounded by art on the outside, the most popular being The Puppy. It is a giant sculpture of a dog covered in blooming flowers. The oddest piece of art outside was fog. Yup every hour fog was sprayed out of pipes over the water in front of the museum. Art? I thought it was weather?

Inside the museum there are permanent and temporary exhibits. An Andy Warhol is featured as well as an exhibit from Jennifer Holtzer. I liked a piece that was made of metal and took up a very long room. It was a kind of swirling maze in which people became the art while experiencing time and space. The sides are above your head and some of the mazes brought you to very tight quarters.

The city of Bilbao surprised me. Based on what the tour guides had said, I pictured the city as being very industrial with not much else around, however, our next stop proved that picture incorrect. We were dropped off in old town and left to explore. In Plaza Nueve we began by having lunch which consisted of pinxtos. These are one piece appetizers turned into art. You go up to the bar where they are all displayed out in the open and you pick which ones you would like. Most are featured on a piece of bread. There are many different combinations to chose from: fish, sushi, ham, beef, vegetable. It is a little overwhelming but so delicious. The streets had an old feeling to them and the entire area was blocked off to cars so the cobbled streets only contained pedestrians.

Unfortunately we were there during many shop owners' siestas, but we still enjoyed exploring. We even found Luke’s Diner!!

Balboa is interesting in that it is in Basque Country. Basque, I am told, is a very difficult language that unless you are born and raised in a basque home, you will never learn. The people who are basque are wanting to separate themselves from Spain and have their own flag and even style and culture. They are portrayed as a bit on the rough side with piercings and tattoos.

After dinner we had the unique opportunity to go out on the town. One of the other parents on the trip has a friend who is here for the summer and she is dating a man who lives here. We took a taxi into town and made our way to a popular hang out. The street was lined on both sides by bars and restaurants with sitting areas in the middle outside. The street only allowed pedestrians which was a good thing since it was very crowded! Apparently comparably it was a slow night! We ordered the regional white wine and a kind of vermouth called Martini which Ry and I both liked. It was so interesting to speak with someone who was born and raised here and get the low down on the culture! A fabulous night out for sure!

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