The amount of patience one must have when speaking to one another in another language is huge. I find myself struggling in keeping up with the language, but am thankful that my family tries so hard until I finally understand what is being said. And the same goes for them with my English. It might take up to five minutes to understand a few sentences. But we will get there!
This last weekend was Carnaval in Spain. Lots of people dressed up and celebrated. It was similar to Halloween a bit, and Mardi Gras, but it may have been more fun. I saw some festivities in Barcelona on Friday night but had to go to sleep early as my flight Saturday was at 7am. So at 4:30 I headed to the airport and met up with some friends as we took a 55 minute flight to Bilbao, on the Northern coast of Spain. We were entering into the Basque country, still in Spain, but they are a whole different culture and language. It was so beautiful. Before the flight had landed I observed how green and mountainous everything looked. We landed in rainy Bilbao at 8am and headed to our hostel to drop the bags off. Unfortunately, it rained the WHOLE day and my dumb self didn’t bring any rain gear. Regardless, the city was beautiful and there was so much neat architecture. We went pintxo (small appetizers similar to tapas) hopping from bar to bar and I had the local rioja wine. Later that evening we celebrated Carnaval by finding a parade, and I met some local people dressed up as trees. The people dressed up as trees were an activism group to support the local basque trees, as they have become recently more rare with the plantings of more foreign trees. My friends and I followed these people dressed as trees and we partied the whole night. It was so much fun!
The next day we explored a bit more and then headed to San Sebastian. San Sebastian is a BEAUTIFUL city. The beaches were breathtaking and the whole atmosphere was inspiring. Unfortunately, once again it was raining the whole day. This whole weekend was so wet, but we didn’t let that affect our time there. We went on a walking tour and learned the interesting history of Donostia (Basque for San Sebastian). And of course, we all stuffed our faces with more pintxos and drank the famous kalimotxo (red wine mixed with coca-cola). I’m already planning to go back to San Sebastian at some point when the weather is better. It seems like a great place to rent a bike and see the city.
I have less than 2 months here. Last week I booked my flights home. I do need to get back to apply for the Irish Working Holiday Authorisation. I need to be accepted by mid May, so it doesn’t give me much time. The 8th of April will be my last taste of Barcelona before heading to Scotland (again), and then back to the States on the 13th. I will be spending a week back in Scotland, hoping to do some day trips, and seeing once again, the lovely palace I used to live in.
No time to waste!