Monday, 19 November 2018

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 20 Nov 2018 - T for museum and giant spider

Good morning T-Party-Goers! 

I am joining the T-Party with a typical Spanish treat. Churros and hot chocolate. Here in Spain the chocolate is like a thick sauce. You dip the hot churro in it. If there is any left after you've eaten the churros, then you can spoon it out.
The text translates: "Good morning; come on, you lazy ones, the chocolate is getting cold!"

One of my postcards last week came from Singapore. It is a map card (which I like). 
Has anyone of you been to Singapore? (I haven't)

It was sent to me by Kay, who says she works for a shipping company, likes to travel and collect stamps and play badminton.
The stamp is very interesting. I can't quite make out what it represents but it looks like fishermen on a pier.

Now I'm taking you back to Bilbao:
There might be some information overload as there is so much to say about each building/structure, but if you are not interested, just skip those bits.
Here is a giant version of the Rooster of Barcelos. (Hubby posing underneath) We found it outside the Guggenheim museum.

We have a Portughese daughter-in-law, so we thought it fun to send her this photo.
The rooster of Barcelos is the most important identity icon of Portugal and is related to a medieval legend. 
One of the several versions of the legend has it that the inhabitants of Barcelos, a small town in the north of Portugal, were alarmed by an unpunished crime. A pilgrim, who was one day passing through Barcelos, was reported as the criminal to the judge. Despite claiming his innocence, the pilgrim was arrested and sentenced to the gallows. Before being hanged, he asked as a final wish to be taken to the judge who had condemned him. At the judge's house, who was about to carve a roast rooster, the pilgrim prayed and said: 'It is most certain that I am innocent as the rooster on the table will crow before the day ends!'. Everyone laughed, but for great astonishment, before the end of the day the rooster stood up and crowd. The judge ran to the gallows and released the poor innocent.
The rooster of Barcelos is nowadays the most popular piece of traditional Portuguese pottery. It represents honesty, integrity, trust and honour and is believed to bring luck and happiness.
 Beijing hosted the sculpture on March 2017 to celebrate the Year of the Fire Rooster of the Chinese calendar. In 2018, it travelled to Bilbao to be part of Joana Vasconcelos's solo exhibition I'm your Mirror at the Guggenheim Museum, from 29 June to 11 November.

And here it is, the Guggenheim Museum. Such a beautiful building. I have wanted to see  this for a long time. I took this picture from the bridge.
Wikipedia writes: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Built alongside the Nervion River, it is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is one of the largest museums in Spain.
One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture, the building has been hailed as a "signal moment in the architectural culture", because it represents "one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all completely united about something." The museum was the building most frequently named as one of the most important works completed since 1980 in the 2010 World Architecture Survey among architecture experts.

Below is a close up. so you can see the material. It is titanium. Again quoting from Wikipedia:

Architect Philip Johnson described it as "the greatest building of our time",while critic Calvin Tomkins, in The New Yorker, characterized it as "a fantastic dream ship of undulating form in a cloak of titanium," its brilliantly reflective panels also reminiscent of fish scales.

Outside the museum stands The Puppy by Jeff Koons.
Although it was October, the flowers were still beautiful. It must take some maintenance!
I searched for some info:
Since 1997, Jeff Koons’ monumental sculpture Puppy has stood sentinel before the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. More than 40 feet tall, the West Highland white terrier is carpeted with flowering plants, referencing the formal gardens of the 18th-century European elite while nodding to pop culture imagery and objects like Chia Pets.
Puppy is a permanent installation, but twice a year, in May and October, all of the plants that make up the sculpture’s exterior are replaced with fresh seasonal varieties, including pansies for the fall and winter, and begonias, impatiens, and petunias for the spring and summer. The museum recently undertook this complex job, which requires 20 people and 9 days to complete, and freshened up Puppy’s coat for the summer with approximately 38,000 new flowers in hues of red and pink.
This whimsical exterior also hides a clever feat of engineering. Anchored to a concrete base, a colossal stainless steel substructure is covered by a layer of turf, wire mesh, and geotextile fabric that secures the turf and stimulates plant growth. The structure also contains five levels of scaffolding and a network of pipes that water and feed the plants every 24 hours.
Walking along the side of the museum on the river side we came across this gigantic spider. Looks like it came straight out of 'War of the Worlds'.
It is called 'Maman', which is 'mom' or 'mummy' in French. The artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) is quoted to say: “The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestryrestoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.”  
Bourgeois' mother died when she was 21 years old.
Underneath is a sack of marble eggs. Although the spider is an unusual symbol for motherhood, I felt strangely protected when I stood underneath.
The bridge you see in the background is the La Salve bridge, but the red part is actually a sculpture called Arcos Rojos by Daniel Buren.
Although it is known as La Salve Bridge, its official name is the ‘Prince and Princess of Spain Bridge’. It is made of green concrete and was the first bridge in Spain to be built with the cable-stayed system and one of the few with a steel deck. It was built in the early 1970s to connect the heart of the city with the suburbs, and now it also links up with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. In fact, on the tenth anniversary of the Museum, a great red gate by the French artist Daniel Buren  was opened on the bridge.

A little further we found this foot bridge called the Zubizuri bridge, a work by the architect Santiago Calatrava. It is a white arched structure which symbolises a sailing boat in the estuary. I liked it a lot and we walked across it several times and I took pictures from all directions. A fascinating structure, and intensely beautiful.

I think this is more than enough for today. Well done if you are still with me. I think our day in Bilbao was the most interesting and exciting day of my holiday. I can recommend it to everyone.

Have a great T-Day all,



  1. It is good to see the Guggenheim. It was mentioned in a book I read a while back and I was wondering about it. It is quite the building. I think the architect was quite creative. Did you go inside? I would like some churros and chocolate to dip them in too. Happy T day. hugs-Erika

  2. LOVED that postcard about the chocolate. How awesome and perfect for T day, too. I barely know where Singapore is, so NO, I have never been there.

    That is a HUGE rooster. It was great your husband stood by it for visual reference.

    The Bilbao Guggenheim looks like a Frank Gehry building. He did the Guggenheim in NYC, too. This one is even more over the top. It's a gem. Loved the puppy, too.

    Thanks for sharing more of Bilbao art and architecture, as well as your postcard of churros and hot chocolate with us for T this Tuesday, dear Lisca.

  3. i looked up how churros are made - and together with the chocolate they´d be right up my alley:)
    oh, i wish that i could see that guggenheim museum in bilbao one day!! thanks for all the great information, i could just jump into the next airplane!! the spider is my taste, too;)
    happy t-day:)

  4. That's a fantastic museum you visited. We have a lot of Gehry buildings here in Düsseldorf in the old harbour, and I love them. Great postcards, too. But I'm more inclined to chocolate and churros than to spiders! Happy T Day, Valerie

  5. That is an adorable postcard I would like to taste a churro and chocolate sometime.
    The museum looks awesome and so did the other photos you shared. I'm not keen on the spider but I loved the rooster.
    Happy T day wishes,
    Yvonne xx

  6. I loved the two postcards allot too-especially that stamp
    Your travels have found you some awesome attractions. I loved everything and learned allot too. The large dog with flowers was pretty amazing and loved the structure of the museum and also the very neat bridge. thanks so much for sharing with us. Happy T Day wishes hugs Kathy

  7. What a great information filled post. I'm a fan of the art of Louise Bourgeois. The rooster information was new to me. I have a tablecloth a friend brought me from Portugal with Rooster images and the bright colors that are used on the sculpture. I always liked it but now I'll think of the famous story and sculpture when I use it.

  8. the churros sounds like such a nice treat:) Great postcards and stamps. I always love checking the postage stamps. What a thrill to get to see the Guggenheim Museum! and that rooster-huge and so vibrant. Love the puppy, and that spider and story is so cool!! Thanks for sharing this amazing trip. Happy T day!

  9. I've never heard of hot chocolate like that, but now I'm wanting some. It sounds delicious!

    The Rooster of Barcelos is striking, and the scale from having someone standing next to it helps me see how impressive it is. I see another Basque reference in your post, which always makes a hit with me. That architecture! I've never been anywhere like that. I'll never go in person, I'm sure, but I enjoyed this virtual trip :)

    Happy T Tuesday

  10. I'd love to join you for churros and the image is adorable 😀. I enjoyed travelling with you and seeing the sights, the rooster is fabulous and oh my, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is amazing and all those flowers look so stunning 😁. Sending you happy T Day wishes! J 😊 x

  11. The picture about churros is delightful. The expression on the little one's face is priceless.

    No, I've never been as far as Singapore, Lisca. The furthest west I've been from North America is Hawaii.

    The rooster of Barcelos legend is wonderful, as is the statue. The architecture of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is incredible. There are so many wonderful installations around the museum. Thank you for the great photos. I'm longing to see Bilbao in person.

    Happy T-day! Eileen xoxo

  12. Thank you for sharing your photos from your wonderful day! I have never seen anything quite like it. Also, your post card and stamp was interesting, too. And love your photo of the sweet cherub serving Churros and hot chocolate! Happy Tea Day!

  13. The Guggenheim is certainly a breathtaking site! I love the greenery and the abstract art outside the building.

    Your postcards are very interesting. The hot chocolate and Churros sounds delicious! And the map of singapore is wonderful. I love maps and the idea of traveling all over the world.

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful art today.

    Happy Tea Day,

  14. I love seeing photos of THe Guggenheim!!!Love the post card too. It's crazy busy here this week getting ready for our big holiday so this will be shot and I'll hopefully see everyone next week!