This past weekend was crazy! It was so busy and I didn't get much sleep.
During the previous week I signed up for an optional "excursion" where we meet with native Spanish speakers to practice our speaking skills. On Friday we met up with our group and I was so disappointed. My group consisted of 7 people from our program one student "leader" (who was not a native Spanish speaker) and a leader from our program. We barely spoke any Spanish. We made our way to a tram that took us up to the top of the mountain. From there we could see all of Bilbao and it was gorgeous. The Guggenheim museum looked so small from where we were. After that we went to a bar to have Sangria. I was taking my time drinking my Sangria because I'm not a huge fan of wine, and everyone else was finished with their first glass and apparently it's customary for people to wait until everyone is finished before they pour their second glass (I really don't know if that's true). So I tried to finish my first glass as fast as possible so that I wouldn't hold them up.
After that we walked to the bus stop and the bus was going to take a long time to get there so John Franco the program leader in our group decided to order more Sangria at a bar next to the bus stop. We all had a another glass there and then got on the bus to Casco Viejo. Once we were there we went to yet another bar and had more Sangria. By this time I was so sick of it! That was my last drink for the night. Our program leader had to leave so we were left with the student leader for the rest of the excursion. This should have been my cue to leave too, but I stuck around with the group. We walked around Casco Viejo and then went to a restaurant that had the best burgers I've had here.
Later that night we went to Santurtxi for a huge festival. There were so many people! We hung out by the stage and enjoyed the concert for awhile. A few of us left around 1:00am to head back home.
Saturday we went to Gernika a famous city that had been destroyed during WWII. We went to a museum there that explained life in Gernika during WWII and it had a lot of exhibits about peace too. It was such a cool museum! We also got to see a copy of the famous Picasso painting "Gernika". After that we saw the government house and learned more about how the government runs in Spain. Gernika has a famous "promise" tree that is used to make promises to the town.
After that we went to a small town harbor town called Mundaka that had a gorgeous beach. It was so beautiful!! Unfortunately we didn't have time to stick around and enjoy the beach so we basically just looked at it--what a tease!
Saturday night we went back to the festival in Santurtxi. If I thought it was crazy Friday night, I was totally wrong. It was insane. It was literally shoulder to shoulder everywhere we walked. There was trash everywhere and it smelled! People here definitely like to party. They stay out all night long. I made it home around 4:30 am and was exhausted! I don't know how they do it.
Finally, Sunday was beach day. My friends and I took a trip to Sopelana to enjoy the weather. It was a perfect day for the beach. One thing I realized though is that I definitely prefer fresh water and lakes over the ocean. I swallowed so much salt water and the waves were pretty big. Every time I would jump for a wave I would land on a rock too. So I didn't stay in the ocean for too long. About 20 minutes after I got out they changed the green flag to yellow so that's probably why the waves were bigger than I thought they should be for green. That night I caught up on my sleep and went to bed at 10:00 so I would be well rested for class.
And now I'm just continuing my week of classes. I have two papers due tomorrow and an exam on Thursday.
Sorry for such a long post and good job to those who read the whole thing!