Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy

Journey to Bilbao, Spain, and the city’s celebrated Guggenheim Museum, and you’ll no doubt find yourself charmed by the modern-art museum’s ‘pet’ exhibit, Puppy. The 12 meter-tall canine (about 40 feet), modeled after a West Highland White Terrier pup, is comprised of thousands of flowers. It stands guard in front of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum, whichContinue reading “Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy”

Where Tempranillo & Tradition Meet: A Wine Tour of Rioja Alavesa, Spain

As we motored through the Rioja Alavesa wine country in northern Spain, a golden landscape dotted with hilltop monasteries, sweeping vineyards, and walled towns with window boxes overflowing with red geraniums, I reflected on what we had absorbed that day. In a region famed for wine we’d enjoyed much wonderful vino, of course, but we alsoContinue reading “Where Tempranillo & Tradition Meet: A Wine Tour of Rioja Alavesa, Spain”

Basking in Bilbao’s Renaissance: A Walking Tour of the Basque City

As we passed Bilbao’s state-of-the art structures, juxtaposed with timeless buildings flashing Old World flair, I had a hard time imagining what the Basque Country’s largest city was like before the Guggenheim Museum sparked its economic renaissance in the late 1990s. Still new to Bilbao, I was also fascinated with what constituted a Basque identity – what makes the Basque people unique from others in Spain.Continue reading “Basking in Bilbao’s Renaissance: A Walking Tour of the Basque City”

The Pintxos of Basque Country – Spain

In Spain’s Basque Country, pintxos – a finger food similar to tapas, are ubiquitous fare in small bars. Pincho (the Spanish version of the name) or pintxos (the Basque version) means ‘spike’ and helps to distinguish this toothpick-adorned treat from its tapas cousins, which generally aren’t served with toothpicks. Go into a bar – especially in the late-afternoon hours –Continue reading “The Pintxos of Basque Country – Spain”

The Beauty and Tragedy of Sevilla, part II

Note: This is Part II of a Sevilla series. Click here for Part I:  We arrived at Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla in the evening hours. The summer sun was still blazing down, the stadium grand with elegant trimmings. It is Spain’s oldest bullring; its construction began in 1749.Continue reading “The Beauty and Tragedy of Sevilla, part II”

The Beauty and Tragedy of Sevilla, part I

Note: This is Part I of a Sevilla series. Click here for Part II – The Bull Fight. Sevilla. The name evokes a blend of passionate images: Flamenco dancing women clad in vibrant, polka dot-studded dresses, their feet striking a floor with thunderous blows… A matador de toros poised to enter a ring facing possible goring or death… Spirited bodega-goers clinkingContinue reading “The Beauty and Tragedy of Sevilla, part I”