Guggenheim & Ysios – Architour


I've wanted to come to the Guggenheim for about 10 years now. Although I've been in Spain quite a few times in that period, for whatever reason, it has not worked out so I'm thrilled that we are finally going.We had a pretty incredible morning already, setting off from Marqués de Riscal and visiting the nearby Ysios winery at La Guardia, which was designed by Calatrava. This place was designed to be photographed. With the incredible pyrenees as the backdrop, the undulating roof echoes their curves. There was not a single person there when we visited and we had a lovely few minutes on our own snapping pics and admiring. A bus tour arrived 5 minutes later so we moved on but I will really remember this special moment in La Rioja.


The drive from Marques de Riscal to Bilbao is about 1.5 hours. We went as far as Vittoria-Gasteiz on lesser national routes which I'm so glad of - we really got to see some of the beautiful Rioja countryside and I'm inspired to visit here again with more time.

Now we focussed on the point of our journey - 'the Gugg'.  Arriving in Bilbao was pretty easy, the museum is well sign-posted. Tip - if you can, park across the river from the Guggenheim. You get a beautiful view from here and can photograph it before walking over the bridge to get a closer look.  The sunlight on the fish scales dances and changes as you move and as the sun moves.


Again, what can I really say on this one? It's as incredible as I remember from photos but I'm pinching myself because I can't believe I'm actually here. Every way you look at the building you get a different view or angle. I think you could see it forever and see something new every time.


We walk around to look at 'El Perrito', Jeff Koon's dog sculpture which is hilarious and cute.


Inside, I wonder if anyone looks at the art, the building is so incredible. It's covered in glass on one side so you get a beautiful view of the river from inside.  The audio guide tells me that the central atrium is the heart of the building and that the adjacent galleries are the veins. All lead back to the heart so you visit here several times during your visit.


Outside the public art installations are wonderful and seem to  complement this already imposing building perfectly.  I love the spider  and the bullrushes which look like Koons as well.


The day is really hot and it's just lovely to walk around and look at this thing, this shining tower in the sun.