Monday, January 25, 2010

The Rain in Spain...falls mostly in Bilbao

Buenos dias lovely readers! After not traveling too much except back to the USA for Christmas, it was about time to take another trip! My good friend Kit, who I met while studying abroad in Sevilla, took a week long trip to Pais Vasco. Pais Vasco is in the north of Spain and she had spent most of the week in San Sebastian which is a small town on the coast. Tory met up with Kit for one day in San Sebastian. Allison, Bethany, and I met up with Kit in Bilbao. On Saturday morning, after getting our much needed tostada and cafe con leche we walked around Bilbao to see the soccer stadium and check out the city. Bilbao is definitely different from the other parts of Spain I've seen. It is much more industrial looking and not as pretty as some of the other cities. It also rains almost everyday for a good part of the day. While we were walking it would rain for a bit then stop, the sun would come out, then it would rain again etc. But what Bilbao lacked in pretty, it made up for in food!! Pais Vasco is famous for their own version of tapas called pinxtos. Pinxtos bars are all over the city and are little tapas on pieces of bread. You go from bar to bar get a drink and one or two tapas. They can be as simple as ham on bread to a quail egg with a steak medallion. Nonetheless they are super ricooooo!!! We spent a good part of the afternoon going from bar to bar trying pinxtos. After a quick siesta we were back out to take a funicular up a hill to see a beautiful, though foggy, view of Bilbao. We finished out the day by going to get some more pintxos and watching Athleti Bilbao v. Deportivo game.

The next day we got up to go see the Guggenheim which is one of the main tourist parts of Bilbao. I have to admit, I think the design of the museum is probably better than the museum itself. The museum is made out of glass, stone, and titanium. It is very striking from the outside because it is built to resemble a ship and is covered in shiny titanium "scales". The museum had a special exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright the famous American architect who designed the Guggenheim in NYC. Although Wright's architecture is not my favorite, it was really interesting to see how he was inspired by how American society was changing in the late 30s and new inventions like cars, etc. After seeing the museum collection, we took pictures of the building! Then after eating some always delicious Doner Kebap we hopped on the bus back to Madrid! And now for your viewing pleasure...
In front of the Guggenheim

Overlooking Bilbao as you can see by my hair, it was quite windy.

Eating Pinxtos!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Officially a Non-Resident of Spain!

I don't think I mentioned this in my blog previously but to remain here in Spain for more than 3 months you have to apply for a Numero Indentidad de Extranjero which is a Non-Resident ID card. The program helped everyone apply for their cards together which was really nice. Then they gave us a date to go to the police station to turn in the rest of our application and get fingerprinted. Our cards were ready to be picked up when we got back from Christmas vacation. I went to the police station and picked up my NIE card woohoo! Although I think I look like a sad and lost duck in my picture hahaha I'm glad I can carry this card around instead of my passport. Here is what it looks like!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back in Madrid

After an amazing 3 week vacation to America I am back here in Madrid. Although I flew through London which has had terrible weather in the last couple days, I made it home with only one delay! The night I came back it snowed in Madrid so Allison and I took a walk around the city center to take pictures and enjoy the snow!!! It is nice to be back in Madrid but I definitely miss home a little bit. I am excited to see my kids and the teachers tomorrow and I have a trip to Bilbao coming up! Until then here are some pictures of Madrid in the snow.