I’m spending my last day in Europe here in Bilbao before I hit a 9:55 AM flight tomorrow (about 24 hours in planes and airports…) I’m kinda anxious because I feel in kind of a limbo. I’m mostly waiting for the long flight, and hoping I make all my connections. Also I hope I get some sleep.
I think I’m going to be over talkative with everyone back stateside…. Cashiers, Attendants, random people on the street. In my head I picture it going like this: “Oh hey! How are you? You speak English! SO DO I!!! Let’s be friends.”
This was my first time back to the city of Bilbao since I first arrived on July 5th. I thought it would be fitting to visit the Guggenheim as it was my first landmark in Spain. I’ve been through a lot, I’ve changed a bunch, and I’m more confident than I ever was before. I’m probably more excited for the future now than I was when I first got here.
Cheers, Spain been some good times.
It’s kinda obvious that I’m feeling some nostalgia leaving Spain…. It’s all bittersweet for me, and that’s the way I’d like to have it. I’d rather be sad leaving, and happy returning to America together rather than just the ladder or former.
In less than 48 hours I’ll be in a plane headed over a big pond to a landmass I vaguely remember being called America.
Is it home? Well I’m not really sure where my home is. I could say that San Sebastian is my home, but I’ve been travelling for the past 6 weeks… I’m returning to Portland where I lived for 3ish years, but after two weeks there I’ll be on another plane coasting into Minneapolis visiting my sister. Then after Minneapolis I’ll be bussing it to Ann Arbor, where I grew up. So I guess I could call that home, and I will be staying there for a while. But even then I don’t plan to stay in Ann Arbor for an extended period of time. Well I guess for now I’ll have to be content with a wondering soul with ties in San Sebastian, Portland, and Ann arbor.
The current plan is to end up in Ann Arbor, where I can live relatively cheaply with my family. I will work in a restaurant kitchen, and probably get caught up in some other projects in town. My plan is to start paying off my school debt as fast as possible, as i would rather pay it off in a year or two rather than have it hang over my head for 10 years. It’s actually pretty exciting prospect to be debt free in such a short amount of time, but it’s only really possible with some diligence. While Ann Arbor’s food scene isn’t quite Portland, it still has a food scene and restaurants where I can learn and gain experience. As of right now I plan to move back to Portland within 2 years.
I´ve been on the road again… My friend Aren arrived from Ann Arbor, MI on the 3rd of January. We hadn´t seen each other for about 2 years, but that didn´t slow us down from me showing him the San Sebastian experience. Drinking Txakoli, eating pintxos, and walking around the sunbathed (that day) city. Sho0ting-the-shit, telling stories, and cracking jokes the whole way along we knew we´d have a good next 3 weeks.
We had only broad plans when we started making up our way as it came along.
First up to Nantes, France in Bretagne region.
Then, Lorient with a brief stop over in Quimperle.
We decided to get a different perspective of France, so we kicked it all the way over to Lyon.
Finally full of croisants, cheese, bread, and a couple extra pounds gained, we decided to pop down to Barcelona (second time for me and I´m still not done with this place.)
Now we are just about to catch a train back to San Sebastian for La Tamborrada one of San Sebastian´s biggest festivals, and to hit a sideria for chuleta, bacalao, and as much hard cider from the barrel as we can manage.
Next it´s back to Portland on the 25th for about 2 weeks, then to Minneapolis to visit my sister for a couple days. And on to Ann Arbor. Much much more to come!
Aren starting to feel at home in a pintxos bar
There are pretty things in France.
Filed under Food, Spain, Travel
Where oh where have I been? Where am I know? Where am I going? It’s been quite a while since I last got around to blogging, and to answer those questions… Well, even I hardly know.
Well first here’s a broad overview of my trip through Spain. I’m not going to get into to much of the specifics because hopefully when I have more time I’ll return through each location with some more in depth writing and photos.
I traveled alone for the first time in Europe… First time out of Basque Country. It went all without a hitch, I found my hostels, train/bus stations, and airports, without missing a departure. Travelling alone is an experience that I enjoyed, but I think now I would rather travel with someone. My best times were when I met friends along my travels, or made friends in hostels. Though travelling alone during Christmas kind of makes one feel all the more lonely.
First stop, Barcelona!
Fantabulous Architecture. Goudi right here.
Then the Roman ruins of Tarragona
On to the Alhambra of Granada
Followed by Citrus lined streets of Seville
Then my penultimate location of sunsets, beaches, and palm trees of Cadiz
And to finish in the shell filled beaches of Sanlúcar de Barremeda
There is a nice little taster! Right now I’m in my Apartment in Lasarte just outside of San Sebastian. Since I’ve been back I’ve been busy planning more travels, having New Years eve with friends, and getting the apartment ready for new occupiers.
Tomorrow my long time friend Aren from Ann Arbor, MI is coming into San Sebastian. After a day or two here we will depart into the wilds of France and beyond! Hopefully finish up in Italy and be back in San Sebastian by the 23rd of January. I fly back to Portland on the 25th of January.
Phew, travelling is a lot of work…. More to come!
Filed under Spain, Travel
My friend Andrew Spittle posted a link of an interesting article about the end of cheap coffee…
The article The End of Cheap Coffee: Why the Diner Staple Is About to Become a Luxury written by Good Magazine covers the rise of prices, and jumps into some coffee culture and business as well.
Two excerpts that jumped out at me…
¨A luxury drink, that is. “Coffee as cheap fuel for the masses is a historical anomaly,” says Peter Giuliano, director of coffee at the North Carolina-based roaster Counter Culture. “There’s no nutritive value. It’s drunk just for the pleasure of it. It’s a total miracle of global agriculture, a feat that spans cultures and countries.”
“We’re going back to where coffee began,” Giuliano says, “as an exotic, beloved culinary experience.”
I think that people who want a boost in energy and awakeness have shifted towards energy drinks, and coffee consumption is moving towards that of tasting notes of wine and ritualism of tea.
I do have to say it´ll be nice to have coffee in the U.S. after drinking coffee here in Spain. Not exactly the epicenter of coffee culture here… Or flavor.
I got into Granada this morning at 8 am on the train from Tarragona. About a 9 hour trip. I stumbled out of the train cold and sleepy showing my passport and getting a coffee in the cafe to try and warm up.
Soon the sun was up and I headed off to find more coffee and my hostel. then I headed off and spent all day in the amazing Alhambra. Reallly amazing. I just got back and I´m going to be headed off to find some food as I have hardly eaten all day.
I leave with two photos snapped from my phone, I have plenty of other photos but I cannot upload them from this computer at the hostel. I´ll have lots of pictures to show when I get back to my computer.
Alhambra and Granada
Lots of felines running around the Alhambra!
Filed under Spain, Travel
Hopefully I´ll get a chance to find a computer in Granada and write a quick blog post. Right now I´m just about to go board a night train from Tarragona to Granada. Had a lovely time with friends here in Tarragona, checking out old roman ruines, eating Paella Mariscos, and other such lovely things.
See you in Granada,