Saturday, November 21, 2009

Last days of good weather...

Well, the weather forecast is in, and they basically say that winter will start tommorrow (sunday), so I made sure to take advantage of Friday and Saturday's sunny weather! Friday for class, we went to an art exposition. I wasn't such a fan because it was art from the creator of the movie Alien - HR Giger. Although it was not my type of art, it was quite moving (although it didn't move me to any happy thoughts) and the tour was in Spanish. The funny thing is that the tour guide was the same girl that led the group tour Theresa and I went on last weekend at the Basque painting museum. She recognized us and said she was suprised that we were in a language class because we seemed to have understood most of what she had said the weekend before.

After class we headed to FNAC - a store kind of like Best Buy - where I needed to look for some kid movies. Next week I am watching movies with my students and all of my young kids have seen the majority of movies we have at school. I wanted to show them something I didn't think they had memorized and would like - and in the end I picked Robin Hood. It's been AGES since I have seen it, so I am excited to show it and think the boys and girls will like it bunches! While at FNAC, we found a little room that had Ice Age 3 showing and 3 little kid chairs. We plopped down and watched about 30 minutes of the kids movie, seeing as we really had nothing more important to do. Only when the employee came in to show a customer something and we dissolved in laughter did we decide that 3 girls in thier 20's probably shouldn't be loitering in the kids theater!
After work and some dinner, I was a tired girl on Friday night and didn't get into anything exciting. Theresa and I got up Saturday morning and headed to a neighboring village called Zumaia (pronounced zoom-maya). We started there only because the town we actually wanted to go to didn't have a train stop and we figured it was the closest place and a 45 minute walk along the coast wouldn't kill us. Walking on a sidewalk along the highway right on the edge of the coast, it turned out to be a beautiful walk. We are used to seeing our beaches, which are gorgeous, but it is always nice to have a change of scenery! The water was so clear that on one beach the rocks underwater were perfectly visible. Also along the walk, we saw lots of goregoues flowers in bloom - bright yellow daisies, soft pink roses, shrubs with vibrant light blue pops of color and more - and here it is the end of November! The rain is coming, and although I don't want it to make an appearance, I guess I don't have much room to complain.

After two mandarins, an apple and a lot of talking and walking, we ended up in Getaria - our medival town destination! This picturesque fishing town is home to some pretty famous people, although the village only boasts 2500 people! Juan Sebastian Elcano, the first person to circumnavigate the Earth comes from here, along with Cristobal Balenciaga, probably the most famous Spanish clothing designer. Balenciaga actually opened up his first shop in San Sebastian and had the Spanish royalty wearing his designs!

The town is still very small and the stone roads wind around the massive church that started being built in the 15th century. At one point, instead of making a road that goes around the church, the villagers actually just built a tunnel that goes under the church! On on side of the tunnel is a restaurant where the chef cooks up the catches of the day on a massive outdoor stove and on the other side is the main road into the city, filled with pintxo bars, shops and of course tourists! After wandering around for a little bit we stopped into a small bar and ordered a delicious pintxo with chorizo, ham and fried potatoes. Tasttttty. I also made sure to order the famous Basque wine - txakoli (pronounced chack-oly). This white wine is specific to the Basque Country and Getaria is the biggest producer of it in our county - making 900,000 liters of it per year! The dry sparkling wine is deep within the Basque history, as it has been mentioned in Basque records since the 8th century. You can't come to Getaria and not try the famous wine - so of course I sipped the delicious drink with my pintxo.

Seeing as the town was so small, we decided to catch a quick bus to Zarautz, a surfer town 5 minutes away by bus. When we arrived the sun was trying peek out of the clouds onto the longest beach in Basque Country. Once a whale hunting village, the town now is most famous for surfing - as the world champion right now is from here. Along the beach, I couldn't help but thinking that it looks a lot like my beach in Gros. It is long and has a walkway stretching the entire beach with people strolling all day. The thing that seemed the most different is that the buildings that face the sea look like they were built in 1970, whereas in Gros, you can tell the buidings have been standing since the 1800s and they look classier. After gazing at the sea we headed into the center. In between stopping at shops we stumbled onto a beautiful church, lively plazas, winding stone roads and piles and piles of swirling leaves. Although it is the end of November and the leaves have fallen, it is still about 75º so it seemed like a silly contradiction to wear a light sweater as the leaves fly around your head. We got lost over and over until the 6pm sunset when we decided we were hungry and craving a sandwich from our favorite restaurant in San Sebastian and jumped on the bus and headed home. Twenty minutes later we were back in Donosti - and it kind of seems weird that for over a year I have lived here and I knew nothing about the two towns I had visited today. I think that is why I like living over here so much - there is always something new, somewhere to see.

After our long day you would think we would have been tired but we fired up and went out dancing with friends until 5am! Today it is sunny again, although the weatherman insisted yesterday that it would be pouring all day, so we took advantage and ate lunch on the beach and lounged around all day. At one point, we had a drink in a bar where I had only been 12 hours earlier dancing! Haha! Going to sign off now for a little siesta!

Enjoy your Sunday and the last week of November! Hopefully some of my summer in fall weather will blow your way!


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