My guest blogger this week is Kristen Zern who has been a friend and colleague for many yeas and a devotee of modern architecture. Kristin recently visited the Guggenheim Bilboa and her insight is listed below.

I am a student and lover of contemporary architecture and am a devotee of the architect, Frank Gehry. For the past 22 years, since it was built in 1997, I have been trying to visit this incredible Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Last week I was in southern Spain and discovered that the airline Vueling had a non-stop flight to Bilbao from Jerez de la Frontera for less than $100 roundtrip. I jumped at getting to see the Guggenheim at long last.

I arrived to find this beautiful city rainy and gray. But I was there to see the Guggenheim Museum so the rain didn’t matter.

As I expected the building was the draw, the art on the walls paled in comparison.

Gehry designed the building with curved Titanium panels and he sited the building brilliantly. It’s next to the river and one can see incredible views from virtually any place far or near the building. It has become the focal point for the city.

The taxi left me at the Main Entrance where the giant dog, a Scotty, of real planted flowers is an amazing sculpture by the artist Jeff Coons.

The interior of the museum has amazing curves, light, 4 story ceilings, just amazing vistas from every angle.

I always love to check out the museum shop looking mostly for books on art and architecture that aren’t found elsewhere.

Museums have some incredible food venues, and the Guggenheim was no exception.

I had lunch at the Bistro, the most casual of the restaurants including Nerua a one star Michelin restaurant. I had two delightful “tapas” one with egg and shrimp and one with pesto and fresh sardines. For dessert, I had a little apple cake and coffee. All were absolutely scrumptious. The Basque region is now known for its incredible cuisine and even the simple museum Bistro held to that high level of food preparation and presentation.

The two-day trip to Bilbao was worth every second. I could have done without the rain but one can’t control that. Now I have to see the Frank Gehry designed Marques de Riscal winery and hotel this time in the country. But that will be for another day.

Giant dog covered in real flowers by Jeff Koons


Another angle


The main entrance