Month: June 2013

Kaixo again San Seb

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I studied abroad in San Sebastian the summer of 2009. I was hesitant about studying abroad at all, but how bad could a posh coastal town in Spain be right?! Well it actually took being away from San Sebastian to realize how precious it is.

I met a lot of great people there, and living with a “host family” aka Maite was the right choice in retrospect in terms of discovering my independence and actually speaking Spanish, but I was pretty lonely there. I didn’t ever form the life I have here in Logrono, and I didn’t meet any new basque or Spanish friends…

I also never realized that San Sebastian was expensive. I didn’t know what to expect from Spain, so I thought that’s how the prices were- not far off from Chicago I guess…but compared to the rest of Spain eating out can really break the bank and the pintxos are much more of a gamble than Logrono. (In my opinion).

They all look beautiful, but really who cares how it looks once you are chewing a squishy egg ham cake that seemed normal but turns out to be eggy to the extreme x ham + egg.

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The weather predicted was for a chance of sun, but mostly cool. We got lucky on Saturday and  sat on the beach with some sandwiches for a few hours, but  of course none of us dressed for the occasion or brought towels.  We made do sitting on our scarves and jackets but I happened to be wearing a onesie/jumper/romper type thing and tights…talk about not going to the bathroom with ease.

Luckily Spain is cool with semi/ total beach nudity, and I did a quick job taking off my tights and no one really saw me minus one particular pervert baby that watched the whole act. I swear, one button was popped and the baby’s eyes were like lasers piercing my soul.

Once we said agur to pervert baby and the sun was starting to disappear we headed to the “fun fair/ attractions park” on top of Monte Igueldo.

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Adorable! And NOT pervert baby.

It's almost impossible to take a bad picture of this.

It’s almost impossible to take a bad picture of this.

Here is the view at the top of Monte Igueldo. Aside from being a photographic dream there is a cute little carnival with some lame children’s rides that of course my friends and I had to do for old times sake. There is a roller coaster that has been running since roller coasters were invented. It is quite rickety and the only thing between you and falling off the side into the bay of Biscay is a thin chain. In the U.S I’m sure there would be many legal issues with this but here in Spain: No rules, no problem.

botellon

botellon

Where I lived for 2 summery months with Maite

Where I lived for 2 summery months with Maite

Where I came to LOVE pintxos and Txakoli

Where I came to LOVE pintxos and Txakoli

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Playa Zurriola. The surfer beach.

really a gamble

really a gamble

really a weird choice that I made.

really a weird choice that I made. The “ham cake”

really pintxos.

really pintxos.

The best part of the whole trip is that since we’d all been before we didn’t have any obligations to do anything or see any sights. We went with the flow. I guess I did obligate everyone to walk by the apartment I lived in…and drink txakoli, but that was because what else did we have to do besides absolutely nada? Nada. It was funny that after four years It still felt familiar. Four whole years it took me to travel to a city that is about an hour away. That’s some kind of accomplishment.

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Agur and eskerrik asko ( Bye and thank you)- The thank you is pronounced like “A scary Costco” which is easy to remember because Costco while awesome is scary. So many large items.

Up next, Santander! Just trying to hit up all the playas despite the fact that I have minimal interest  in swimming and sand 😉

besos

When in Wien, Waltz! Vienna

Semana Santa was back in a colder time I know, and now it’s June. But wait- it’s still cold!

No te quites el sayo hasta el cuarenta de mayo

If you have envy of me for being in “sunny Spain” then stop because it has done nothing but be rainy and cool and I’ve had no need for any of the dresses, skirts, or t-shirts that I brought. They have been sitting like lumps waiting to be taken out and I fear they’ll go write back into my suitcase unworn.

I’ve been saying goodbye so much lately that I haven’t had time to document the final leg of one incredible week that happened back in April.

Shcnitzel, Mozart, waltzing, green spaces, friendly people. A place you could live. A place where everyone seems to be going on a run, but there are also fancy cakes, coffees and strudels to be eaten.

The whole trip began with a shcnitzel at figlmueller. There are two locations right off the main Stephensplatz of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

http://www.figlmueller.at/en/

The shcnitzels are giant, so even if you have the appetite of a medium sized bear, you could handle sharing one. And a salad to make you feel slightly better.

 

 

In front of the Opera house

In front of the Opera house

Library

Library

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Crying potatos

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Lots of cool record shops around.

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Flea market experience on Sunday

Flea market experience on Sunday. 

 

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Fancy cake.

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A chocolate that will make you sing! Figaro Figaro!

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In front of Parliament. With Athena.

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In the University library, filled with young minds getting an education at a normal, reasonable price.

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Near the EU building. teehee

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An old old church.

IMG_3926A golden Johann Strauss.

Shonbrunn Palace

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Me feeling palatial. My kingdom in the background.

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Sachertorte

Sachertorte

Apple strudel

Apple strudel

 

The cake face off of Sachertorte vs. Apple Strudel.

We were let down big time in Prague not finding Apple strudel and it was okay that we waited until Vienna because it was on point.  We heard mixed reviews on the sachertorte. Some people said “eh” others said “amazing” and some even said “not worth the hype.”

Well we got to the airport and had some time and so we figured, how bad could it be if we all split a piece….with cream. I say “yes!”

It was the finale to the trip and if I ever went back to Vienna I would eat it again and I’d tell other people to give it a shot at least. I’m a lover of all things sweet so maybe I’m not the fairest judge, but really if you don’t like chocolate cake then you have no business in my life, or travelling to a city like Vienna.

My own personal “challenge” for the trip was to do a waltz, so on the final morning our couch-surfing host cleared out a space, and invited me to a waltz. Trip complete.

 

Now that I’m all finished up at my high school here in Logrono I’ll have my mornings free to keep you up to date on these past months and final days that I have in Spain.

I made it back to San Sebastian recently after 4 years, and finally went to Santander. Both lovely coastal gems.

This week I’m preparing for my own “camino de Santiago” that involves no walking or hardship but rather a car, perhaps one night of semi hardship camping on an Island, and then hotels.

More on that later.

besos