Santander was on my “list” of places to visit in Spain last year. It’s not too far away, has a beach, and I wanted to put an image to the bank that denied me. Ibercaja all the way.
I have my cousin Caroline to thank for the small connection that made my trip possible. She had studied abroad and stayed with a family that I knew about in case of any kind of strange emergency. The emergency was that I wanted to visit Santander by myself and thought it would be convenient to not stay in a lonely hotel or be forced to make friends in a hostel when I just wanted a trip that was all mine.
In the end I did become fast friends with her two daughters that graciously showed me around the city and took me out to go “prom” shopping, eat rabas, and experience that on and off rain that this coastal city is known for.
The first day I arrived was right around lunch time at 3 p.m and they had cooked a lovely meal for me. When asked what kind of food I liked to eat, I said the only thing I wasn’t a fan of were…anchovies, funnily enough in the city where anchovies are as popular as bread or water. Otherwise for all those who care to know, I DO eat mushrooms now. It’s still not a conscious choice, but if they are on the plate I will eat them.
After some walking around and seeing the water, it was time to eat again. My favorite hobby for real. We went into a bar the girls often go to and they happened to be having a special “theme.”
I’ll preface the revealing of the theme by explaining that I told the family just one thing about Logrono…
“it really only has one famous thing; “calle Laurel” for famous pintxos and excellent Rioja wine.”
Well we sat down and noticed these little postcards with the typical Calle del Laurel tile which I initially didn’t register as odd. So upon deciding what to eat I could choose between things that I could eat anytime I want and things I didn’t go crazy for after reading. I can’t even remember what pintxo I ate because really It was not as good as the Laurel pintxos.
I was holding out to try the famous “rabas” or calamari anyways. The form of rabas is different than calamares. They are longer stretched out pieces which I guess tells you they are fresh and more care was taken in preparing them.
With a squirt of lemon and a cana (a beer) or a rueda (white wine). Perfection.
Santander is not a huge city. It has a more stretched out form because of it’s coastal position, but In two days I was able to see the most important sites of the city.
I think one of the best parts of the trip was speaking exclusively in Spanish for the whole weekend, which in Logrono among my U.S friends and what with teaching English…. doesn’t always happen. I know that my Spanish level increased a lot in my second year but I still hope to go back to Spain one day and not teach English. I loved the teaching part, but I since never studied to be an English teacher I’m ready for the phase of my life where I teach Spanish.
Thus, I’m back home in Chicago embarking on a Masters of Ed journey while training to teach Spanish at a CPS school.
Class starts Monday and I am anxious in a good way about the workload coming towards me. It will feel nice to be the student again.
To keep my sane and happy I still have more overdue blogs to write about my journey through Galicia and my very USA homecoming.