Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bienvenido a Bilbao!

On Monday the 1st I hopped a train from Toulouse to Bilbao to stay with the lovely Emilie for the week. I had never been to Spain before and I'm still not quite sure how I got to Bilbao saying as my train went into a different town than it was supposed to (Hendaye instead of Irun), all I had was a crude hand-drawn map without street names for the location of the bus station, I only knew about 15 words in Spanish and most people didn't speak English, but somehow I did it. It's funny to watch the progression of my itinerary planning skills. At the beginning I had every detail mapped out, but now I'm lucky if I have the full address of my destination. I'll tell you one thing, long-term travel definitely chills you out. I generally figure everything will turn out okay, somehow, it might just take a helluva long time.

One important landmark of Bilbao is the Guggenheim modern art museum. It's definitely the craziest looking building in Bilbao, but I liked the outside more than what was contained within. Maybe I'm just uncultured, but I have a hard time appreciating most art. It was cool to see some Picasso's, Manet's, Van Gogh's, etc. in the flesh (or should I the canvas..har-har?), but the giant spider filled with eggs outside was infinitely more interesting to me. But, when in Bilbao I felt it'd be a sacrilege not to drop the 5 euros to go inside.

Giant spider filled with eggs! Baby spiders!

PUPPY MADE OF FLOWERS. This is almost as good as a real puppy.

We went shopping for vegan things for me. Spain really likes its meat. Here is me with some soya yogurt and vegan chicken nuggets under a giant dead cow head.

Since Emilie didn't have an oven we decided to make cookies and forgo the baking. She got so into chopping up the chocolate that she broke the plate. CookiesxCore. Oops! In the 4-5 days I was there we maybe made two whole batches of cookie dough to eat, but we won't speak of that.

I think the highlight of our culinary genius, however, was making pizzas in a frying pan. Win! I even had vegan cheese!

In the Guggenheim, this reminds me of some stuff we were shown in our Intro to Computing and the Arts class my last semester at Smith, am I right?

For our second batch of cookie dough, we decided it was definitely a good idea to fry our cookies. It sort of worked.

Me and my little food babies about to go in my tummy. Nom nom nom sugar.

On Thursday, my last full day, we caught the metro out to Algorta--a small Basque village near the sea in an area called Getxo (pronounced something like 'getcho'). It was really pretty and old.

I made three doggy friends! Briefly. Then their mommy came out and I ran away.

Euska = Basque Country

It was very ominous that day, with the clouds eating the mountains and all, but that didn't stop us.

The best thing about Getxo was the GIANT OUTDOOR GYM/PLAYGROUND! We had waaaay too much fun here. This is Emilie on one of the weirder machines.

I really am not very flexible. I have long legs, it's hard!

This was Emilie's take on this machine.

Mine interpretation was a little bit different. But what muscles does this one work?

If I lived here, this is all I would do. Forever.

What a workout.

I decided that I should just pretend it was a canoe.

It took me awhile to realize it was broken. Oh no!

After our "workout" we braved the wilderness! And by wilderness, I mean lots of steps and steep slopes with trees in between! We definitely deserved our dinner.

Emilie on the left, her friend Georgeanna on the right and Gergeanna's daughter at the restaurant.

Her other daughter decided to give Alex a bath while he was clothed. Dirty boy.

Basically, if you fall in front of the train you get fined 6000 euro. I'm not sure how you'd pay it though, since you'd probably be dead. Logic?

Emilie's street in old town Bilbao, Artkale. Bilbao is freakishly clean.

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