Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where I walk a lot in Spain

It's 3 am in the morning, I've just been offered a place to crash by a group of Frenchmen (and Frenchwomen? ... or is the collective word just French?). They were intent on partying, and I was just tagging along. Finally they decide that it's time to head back to the apartment. The apartment is officially for 6 people, and they are 11. So, one extra person (me) doesn't really exacerbate the situation.

The next day, I leave early to Bilbao. S is there to pick me up and the initial plans were to visit Bilbao right away and head to S's place for lunch. But I'm too tired. We head to her home. Her parents have fixed the guest room up for me. I wash up and decide to walk around Getxo. Northern Spain is wonderful, green and the towns are totally unexpected from what I imagined them to be. The buildings aren't new, but they look "different" than the architecture one expects in Europe. We end up walking around a golf course, along cliffs overlooking the Atlantic (I guess this means I've visited the Atlantic on both sides now) and through different residential areas ... it's a 2 hour/10 km walk.

Later I walk around Getxo center, attend a birthday party and eat more good Spanish food. I notice that most people live in apartments - spacious ones - and kids (mid to late twenties are still kids, cos I refuse to grow up) don't automatically move out. The party moves to a pub when the hosts' parents come back but I head home to crash. Sunday, we walk around Bilbao and then Plentzia. Long walks and long conversations.

As I head to Santander to catch my plane to Barcelona, I relax. The Ryan Air staff has been chilled out about my bag sizes, and security has been sane. But at Santander, I see some people being pulled out of line to have bag sized. I panic but get stopped only by the security, who don't like me having my shaving razors (Yes, I thought carrying blades wouldn't be bad :P). The wikivoyage site has instructed me well how to cheaply get to Barcelona center, and train+metro+walk up to the hostel.

As I settle up there, free and unlimited wifi appears. I sprawl out on the bean bags in he common room, chatting with other travellers in the hostel, surfing the net. It's evening so I just wander around the Gracia neighbourhood and later we head out with the hostel staff to a shot bar where almost each shot involves alcohol, fire and magic. (Seriously, if you visit Barcelona, stay at Sant Jordi Hostels, they are great!) Later plans include people heading to a disco/club, which isn't my thing, so some of us head back before long, making plans to sight-see together the next day.

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