Guggenheim

I wake up around seven, I can tell mom is awake as well by the light of her phone coming through the frosted glass door, so we confer briefly and decide to get up. We have some crackers and dark Belgian chocolate for breakfast and spend the early morning looking up plant info for the fall’s planting season at home. A bit before ten we dress up in our finest clothes (head to toes, outer to inner layers home made in my case) and head out to visit the Guggenheim museum.

We follow the river promenade to and around the building and take our time to look at the beautiful exterior design. Solomon R. Guggenheim was an American business man and art collector and he established the foundation that funded the building of the epynomous art museums in New York, Venice and here in Bilboa. It is one of the largest museums in Spain, in a building commisioned by the Basque governement to improve the old port area, designed by Frank Gehry and inaugurated in 1997.

It is truly gorgeous, with a silvery golden colour and organically flowing curves, punctured by large glass partitions that show some of the interior and it manages to look welcoming and overwhelming at the same time. The interior is cool and sparse, allowing the art pieces to take away all the attention. I particularly loved The Matter of Time by Richard Serra (super large steel sculptures), the augmented reality poems by Jenny Holzer (to be viewed on your phone) and the paintings by Anselm Kiefer. Though getting hungry, we manage to time our end of visit perfectly and show up at the restaurant Nerua at 1 pm sharp. It’s in the same building and serves the most delicious food ever. I’ve been here before, 5 november 2013 (I called Arne to find out and he checked the book we bought, signed and dated by the chef) and always wanted to come back.

We sit at the chef’s table, at a counter right by the kitchen, watching the staff at work and getting the dishes served by the kitchen staff themselves, always willing to go into technical details about how it is prepared. We make a game of guessing what kind of ingredients are in each dish and I do only so so, but it’s a fun way to learn to recognize flavors.

We walk out, well satisfied, around three thirty and slowly make a roundabout way back to the appartment, ambling through the shopping district. We take an actual siesta and set out again after five to procure some dinner ingredients, buying bread and some olive oil to go with it, smoked meat, anchovies and of course a bottle of Spanish red wine. Belgian chocolates for dessert while writing the blog and sorting the pictures and afterwards quiet evening with a book.

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