Well, today was a gorgeous Saturday. Not a cloud in the sky but still a crisp feel to the air that lets you know it´s Fall (Otoño). I spent a few hours of my day walking around taking shots of the city that I thought you might enjoy. The Basque people live thier lives outdoors and are always walking around during the weekend (well, all days I suppose). They do not have any specific destination, but rather just walk and talk with friends and enjoy the joy of both. I enjoy talking with friends, but am still adjusting to meandering. Americans rush from place to place, always a destination in mind, and I am trying to embrace this new way of thinking. My wandering today seemed to be a good start and produced many good pics!
I started off by my house and caught two ladies standing on thier balconies studying the people on the streets. It´s funny once you start thinking about it, balconies, because they are part of your house which makes them private, but once you step outside onto it, you come into the street, a very public place. Weird tangent, I know. I have always loved people-watching, and still manage to do quite a lot of it here, but it was fun to people-watch someone who was already doing thier own people-watching.
I did not venture too far today, stayed in the Parte Vieja and Centro, but wanted to give you an idea of what the buildings and streets and such look like. I still appreciate the beauty of these historic and massive buildings, but they are becoming normal to me, and I sometimes forget to share it with you. It´s like if you look at your own house, library or churches in your own town, you forget that other people don´t see stuff like that every day - so here are some pics! First stop - City Hall! This building sits right next to (al lado de) the Concha Beach and faces a large plaza with a carousel, benches, fountains and sculptures. I stayed here for some time, reading, relaxing and of course people-watching! After somet time I meandered through the streets towards the grocery store (dang, I still have an end place in mind, can´t just wander mindlessly yet!) All of the streets besides the main Boulevard and a few other large roads are made of grey stones. The sidewalks are all made of white stones and the bike lanes, which run all over the city, are made of red stones. Overall, its a nice mix (mezclav). The buildlings here are what I would normally call Spanish style, which I know is a silly explanation since they are in Spain, but I think you get the idea. They are all right on the street and when you open your front door you are RIGHT there on the stones. They remind me of the buildings in NY for the fact that they are all 4 or 5 stories high and many of them do not have elevators. Supposedly, there were some zoning laws at some point that restricted builders from having too many stories so as a result a lot of buildings here are kind of tricky. The first floor will be named Entrada (entrance) and what I would think of as the second floor is really the 1st floor (1º piso). So when I say that I live on the first floor, it really means that I live on the second story of the building - silly.
I eventually made it to the grocery store where I picked up some raisins (pasas), bananas (plátanos) and muffins (panecillos). Not an exciting trip, but wanted to get some stuff today because everything will be closed tomorrow (mañana). Stopped again at Plaza Guipuzcoa to see the ducks and was not able to find anyone feeding them lechuga, which was a relief ha! Made my way through some more streets and then home where I will take a little siesta and then meet up with friends later tonight for some wine at an outdoor bar to enjoy the weather. I hope your Saturday is going well and Fall is starting nicely! I miss you and will write more later!