From one angle, it looks like a futuristic ship berthed at port. From another, it resembles a fish, complete with tail and fins.
There's undoubtedly something fishy going on, given that the thousands of titanium panels on this 24,000sq m structure are designed to catch the light and give the appearance of fish scales. And it's certainly been a great visitor catcher for the Spanish city of Bilbao.
Bilbao's Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum opened in 1997 to much acclaim.
It may not yet be as well known as Sydney's Opera House, Paris' Eiffel Tower or Barcelona's unfinished Sagrada Familia, but the Guggenheim is such an architectural marvel - arguably at least as striking as much of the artwork in its 19 galleries - that is certain to change. And it should be a must-do on any itinerary for Spain's Basque region.
Bilbao near Spain's northern coast and to the west of the mountainous border with France, is not often top of the list for tourists heading to Spain, which is a shame.
Though unlikely to unseat Barcelona and Madrid (or even the southern beaches beloved by the beer-swilling, bacon-and-egg-eating) as a Spanish favourite destination, the region is home to some of the country's great gems and they're all within relatively easy travelling distance.
You can take your life in your hands and taunt 700kg of prime beef at the annual Running of the Bulls on the narrow, cobbled streets of Pamplona; quaff the delicious red wines of Rioja in medieval villages which haven't changed in hundreds of years; replicate the Tour de France by biking the steep back roads of the Pyrenees mountains - preferably without the drugs that have blighted the event in recent years - or meander through the peaceful fishing villages of Spain's west coast.
But it's the Basque people who are as famous as the sights. Staunchly proud and historically headstrong, the Basques have long fought bitterly to gain independence from the Spanish government. One thing, though, is guaranteed to loosen them up - food.
Basque cuisine is divine and, if Pamplona is the historical capital, the beautiful coastal city of San Sebastian ("Donostia" in Basque), east of Bilbao, is its culinary heart.
The crisscross grid of Parte Vieja, the densely packed old town centre, is home to the best tapas bars in the world. Except they're not tapas in San Sebastian, they're "pintxos" in the Basque language.
Whatever you call them they're delicious morsels, which include salt cod fried in beer batter, vinegar- and oil-marinated anchovies and chillies on toasted baguette, mini-croissants stuffed with jabugo ham and smoked salmon, and anchovies with sea urchin roe, black olive paste or even papaya strips.
Pinxtos are supposed to be snacks that tide you over until dinner, but most are so good, it's easy - and more fun - to gorge yourself and forget about dinner.
Many Spanish regions claim to have invented tapas but the Basques are adamant the credit is theirs. Their story goes that in 1843, gastronomic societies, or txokos began to spring up in which Basque men gathered in private clubs to cook elaborate dishes. The evening would then, inevitably, spill into neighbouring bars, so landlords began offering bowls of snack food to maintain control over alcohol intake and thus bad behaviour.
It's an amazingly social experience and each night still, the tapas crawl, or txikiteo, is performed bar to bar by locals and tourists alike.
What fishy incarnation the Guggenheim resembles after a few too many sangrias is then in the eye of the beholder.
* Michael Brown travelled to Europe courtesy of Flight Centre.