Saturday, May 25, 2019


We've been all over middle and southern Spain, but Bilbao is our first trip to the northern part of Spain. Right on the Bay of Biscay close to the French border, Bilbao is about half the size of Sevilla at around 350K pop. Surrounded by green hills, it's definitely more temperate, less dry compared to Sevilla. Our main goal for the trip was to visit the Guggenheim Museum. Situated downtown along the river, this modern art museum is nearly as interesting on the outside as it is on the inside. This giant spider lurks outside:

These large, shiny, stainless steel party favors also adorn the exterior:

 Inside there are a number of permanent and transitory exhibit spaces. I guess my favorite artist in the museum was Jenny Holzer. Her medium is text (very thoughtful text) imprinted on canvas or other everyday objects like paper, stone, or even LED reader boards:

This one was particularly disturbing. An LED reader board with quotes from Syrian refugees surrounded by a sea of actual human clavicles:

These massive steel constructions were designed to walk through. In fact, walking through them was an interesting and somewhat disorienting experience, but the view from above the hall was equally interesting:

 Every once in a while the fog machine outside fires up:

After the museum, Laura and I decided to climb up to the top of a nearby bridge to get a bird's eye view of the museum. After huffing and puffing our way up about 15 flights of stairs, we exited onto the bridge deck... right next to the elevator:

The view was worth the work though. The spider is fun to look at from this perspective:

This puppy in front of the museum is a collection of wildflowers growing on a steel frame:

Our hotel is in an old building away from the center. The hallways are like a maze going up and down stairs as they enter and exit adjacent buildings that the hotel has expanded into over the years:

The bathroom sink couldn't be smaller, but the shadows playing through the shelf above add a nice aesthetic:

This evening, we went to Plaza Nueva for dinner. Along the way, we crossed the river:

We randomly stopped at this place and had a bit of bar food and a couple of beers:

After, I had helado, but it disappeared too quickly to photograph.

Transition Day

I had a relatively normal work day today. I spent a bit of time working with cluster algorithms, read another chapter of Algorithms to Live By, and ran a load of laundry.

I'm back in the habit of walking Laura to her class and then to the gym in the afternoon. The Corpus Christi gate in Plaza de San Francisco continues to develop:

After dinner, I caught the airport bus to... well... the airport. Laura got met me on the bus after her class.

We flew to Bilbao in northern Spain for the weekend. The highlight being the Guggenheim museum. The bus, flight, bus went smoothly and we got to our hotel in Bilbao at around midnight.