June 16, 2008
Halfway done =(
For those of you reading this, be honored. I am updating you all on my life rather than being at the beach!
Barcelona is still wonderful as ever, but I took a weekend vacation (ha!) to San Sebastian in northwest Spain. The bus ride there was pretty brutal (7 hours...) but it was way cheaper than flying and traveling with friends always makes the trip easier! The city was a big change from Barcelona, though. San Sebastian is primarily a resort town where all the rich Spaniards come to vacation during August, which is so hot in Spain that most everything shuts down for the month and everyone goes to the beach. It´s early still in summer so we weren´t there during peak travel season but there were still quite a bit of people there. It was odd though because in the mornings only the older people were out and about, during midday and dinner time (which is later than you might think.. 2-5:00 is lunchtime, 8-11:00 is dinner) there are lots of families out shopping and eating, and at night the town is overrun with college-aged students. The first day we were in San Sebastian we were a little put off in the morning because it looked like the median age was around 75...! As the day went on we figured out how the cycle went though! Overall it was a VERY fun weekend though I spent way too much money... =( It was worth it though; San Sebastian is the center for tapas (or pintxos when you´re in northwest Spain) and my 4 friends and I basically ate them nonstop for the two days we were there!
Another weird thing about San Sebastian (and Spain in general...) was the language there. Spain actually has four official languages (FYI: the US has NO official language!): Spanish, Catalan (which is what they speak in Barcelona), Basque, and Galician. In northwest Spain and in San Sebastian, they speak Basque and I was NOT expecting it to sound like it did... Spanish and Catalan are such smooth languages, but then we got to Basque country and their words have so many more Ks, TZs.. all these really hard sounds. And when they speak it all sounds slurred together... It was very shocking when we arrived! It´s very interesting, though, that they have FOUR languages in Spain... and I only know English!
Well, now that I´m back in Barcelona that means I´m back to doing schoolwork... We have one more full week of classes and next week is our last week, so we´re really putting our butts into gear now. Next week I won´t have class on Tuesday, though, for the holiday of San Juan. From what I hear, the entire city pretty much shuts down Monday night (except for the nightlife) and the goal of the evening is to stay up until the sun rises in honor of the summer solstice and to soak up as much sun as possible on the lightest day of the year! I´ll make sure to let you know how that goes =)
I´m off now to do some homework (aka walk around the city and take pictures!) and send off some postcards. Hope all is well back in the states!
Posted by LaraHeinz at June 16, 2008 11:23 AM
Three hour slots for meals? Dinner stretching to 11pm? You're in a culture that has its values straight! Thanks for the report.
Comment by: Dennis G. Jerz at June 17, 2008 3:45 PM