So it’s been nearly 5 weeks since I last posted on here with the intention of more regular posts, and a Flashback Friday section. However, in a turn of events, that didn’t happen. But being as it is actually Friday today I guess that gives me the perfect excuse to Flashback over this semester so far. Here goes…
At the start of this semester everything changed. My flatmates left me to return to their countries, I was left without my Bilbao media naranja and my hermanas chilenas. It was sad to watch them leave and even sadder to continue daily life in Bizkaia without the girls that turned this flat into a home. But then I got introduced to a phrase by a new English friend of mine, a newbie here in Bilbao for the second semester…YOBO – You Only Bilbao Once. On hearing it I decided that yes things are different this semester and yes I do miss my old flatmates and friends from last semester, but at the same time, I’m still here, I’m still stuffing my face with pintxos and I’m still having the time of my life. So here continues the story of what’s been happening.
At the start of semester I joined a new project run by the Town hall here in Bilbao called “Idiomas del Mundo” (World Languages) which organises sessions of English classes for locals with the aim of improving English skills. This project has been great for me, it’s given me the opportunity to see the Basque Country through the eyes of the Basques and learn so much more than I ever thought I would about this beautiful region and meet some incredible people along the way.
If we flashback a few weeks again I was lucky enough to be shown some mountains near by and walk in the beautiful sunshine in an area that I’d never seen before. Being in the city you can always see the mountains, but barely do I hear of Erasmus students heading up there to explore. I did. My friend and I journeyed to La Algorta a small town in the mountains and then set of exploring the area.
As a country girl living in the city, getting back to nature lead to the perfect day. The sun on my back and the wind in my hair meant a lovely day of walking, exploring, and trying the traditional food of La Algorta – alubias. What you see above is a view from a high over the river leading into the sea with all the surrounding towns.
This semester has also seen a couple of special visits from friends of mine that I don’t get to see very often due to living in different countries. Their visits at different times left me with a stomach full of Pintxos and a tiredness that is only felt from nights out on the trot enjoying Basque life. It was great to catch up and laugh about times gone by and laugh when asked the standard quest of:
“Wait so you’re English and you’re Dutch, but you met in Spain? Explain” It’s a story that never gets old.
It’s been a mad but amazing time, the weather has been crazy we’ve gone from 22 degrees or so to 5 degrees over night, we’ve had snow, sunshine, thunder and of course a lot of rain. Bilbao may be rainy but Spring has definitely sprung and the blossom on one of the trees at my host university illustrates this perfectly.
Now, as we enter the Easter weekend, procession have been cropping up all over the city for Semana Santa (Holy Week) the sound of the drums and the hats that look exactly like the KKK give a fright to the night and show the extent of some people’s religious beliefs as they walk through the city barefoot.
I think that’s all for now folks! It’s Easter and almost time to eat our entire body weight in chocolate. So I wish you all a lovely Easter full of chocolate and Easter joy!
I’m headed off to the mountains again soon, to hike higher than I’ve ever hiked before, and to make the most of this week off of university that I have.
Happy Easter everyone! 🙂