Not Starck at all…

We did want to go the Fine Arts Museum, honestly we did. However, unlike the rest of Bilbao it doesn’t close on a Monday, but Tuesday instead. Ah well, there was a plan B.

The tram line we’ve used has it’s terminus at La Casilla, which is in the south of the city, so we sat on this excellent public transport, past the Atletico Bilbao stadium, round the loop which handily drops you off outside the hospital and got off at the end. A ten minute walk brought us to Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao’s multi purpose cultural centre.

Using as a base, an old wine warehouse and utilising the transforming vision of architect and designer Phillipe Starck, Bilbao has a unique facility. It houses conference and exhibition spaces, a movie theatre, fitness club and gym, two swimming pools and a huge area at ground level, featuring thick stubby supporting columns in strange, sometimes wacky designs. There’s a seating area with benches lit from within, a shop, an information point, a restaurant and a huge display screen for future events. It’s simply glorious…

We spent more time there than we thought we would and could easily have explored more, had there been an exhibition open. As it was, we left and headed off back to the tram track, by way of the soccer stadium, which as you can see is another architectural stunner.

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Finding our way to Arana, the nearest tram stop we caught the tram in the other direction and got off near the Zubizuri footbridge, which we wanted to see close up. From there we walked back to the Guggenheim to see the Joana Vasconcelos sculpture that we’d missed the other day. This one is made from gold alloy car wheels, formed into a circle with a white pedestal structure mounted on top. It’s called ‘Solitaire’..

While there we had a snack lunch on the plaza outside the museum bistro and watched two Italian ladies get very stroppy with as many of the waiters and waitresses as they could. When we’d finished our meal, we slowly came back to the hotel and took some things down to the car ready for our departure tomorrow. There’s so much to see in Bilbao, that we’ve only skimmed the surface. We have no doubt we’ll be back…

 

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