Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One last Spanish Adventure

As the weeks are winding down my schedule looks like this:

March 23-26: School
March 27-29: Weekend in Toledo, to include: trip to Consuega, the mall, and a movie
March 30-April 2: School
April 3-5: Rome
April 5-8: Sicily
April 8-9: Rome
April 9-12: Easter in Toledo
April 13-16: One last week of classes
April 17: Trip to Segovia
April 18-19: Studying for finals and a trip to Madrid to shop
April 20-23: FINALS!
April 24: Celebrate
April 25: Graduation
April 26-27: Last days in TOLEDO
April 28: Homeward bound

This is crazy.

What is means is that this past weekend's trip was my last big Spanish adventure.

This is sad. It's true I have now seen five major regions of Spain, six if you include the one I live it. It is also true that I feel nearly done with Spain. Now I am just about ready to start seeing the rest of Europe. At the same time I feel perfectly content to just hang out in Toledo for the rest of the time. Travel is exhausting and I need a break. But I also want to see more. There are so many great places in Spain. I want to visit all the cities again, with a few new ones. Someday, the funding might allow this, but not for a couple of years....sad.

But anywho....Basque Country, March 20-22:

This little trip involved Julia and me spending 9 hours in a sketchy bus station, during which time we did not sleep, had our passports checked, watched a man get taken away by what we thought we spanish police, and almost considered just coming back to Toledo before we even left Madrid.

We got the the bus station Thursday night for our 6am bus....but we didnt sleep after the whole police event. Then we found out out bus was coming at 730, not 600, so that was fun. We went to San Sebastian and Bilbao. Friday in San Sebastian was great. It's a really beautiful little city, not much to see but that's okay. I am a little sick of cascos and cathedrals. The beach of San Sebastian was just enough. Friday we shopped. I bought a new shirt, necklace and gorgeous pink scarf (from ZARA!!). Saturday we spent on the beach. I am nicely tanned to prove it. That afternoon we hoped a bus to Bilbao. A total disappointment.

Our Bilbao hostel was a tren ride outside the city, in the middle of nowhere land. We left only to go to a convenince store for bread and water for dinner (because that was all they had and we feared for our lives). Sunday morning we visited the Guggenheim, which almost made up for the boredom Bilbao inflicted on me. The modern art was unlike anything I have seen thus far. All the collection were the works of Asian artists, including a huge exhibit of the gunpowder work of the guy who designed the fireworks display for the Olympics this past summer. The other exhibit was a strange anime thing. I didn't really get it. Pop art flowers and a statue titled "lonely cowboy" (think about it)....not quite what I was expecting to see...but all in all, worth the 7.50 we paid. So, after that we hoped back on the bus and came home.

Not a super exciting weekend, we were bad tourists. Only one museum, no visit to either Casco, and I didnt even take many pictures....

I feel like that means too things: 1) travel is becoming common and the novelty no longer exists, which leads to 2) Spain is kind of like home. Think about it, traveling the US is a vacation not an "i have to see everything in 2 days" event. This weekend was a vacation and nothing more. I liked it.

I would recommend that, if you choose to visit Pais Vasco, make Bilbao a day trip, bring sunscreen for the beach, bush up on you Euskara (or something like that- it's their language which in no way resembles Castillano), and just relax. This is Spain. No pasa nada. Enjoy the journey!

Un beso from one last weekend adventure!

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