Bilbao appears in the pre-titles sequence. In the very first scene, Pierce Brosnan's James Bond crosses Iparraguirre, a street that leads to the Guggenheim. As we follow Bond into a building representing la Banque Suisse de l'Industrie, we catch a glimpse of the West Highland terrier, the enormous statue of a flower-covered dog that sits in front of the museum.
|Me looking at the Guggenheim, Bilbao|
The building used as the Swiss bank in fact stands opposite the museum on Alameda Mazarredo. Unfortunately during my visit, the building was obscured by scaffolding and hoarding advertising men's fragrance. There would be no recreating Bond's jump out of the window that day.
|The building that doubled as TWINE's Swiss bank|
|Me on the Puente de la Salve, Bilbao|
Alas there was no trace of Bond's visit, but the city did offer a postscript of sorts. Walking through the streets of the old city, I spotted a poster for 'Bond & Beyond', a concert celebrating the music of James Bond performed by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao. Now, if I could just manage to be in the city on 25th or 26th June...