A few days late (big test on medieval Spanish literature yesterday, I may start posting permanently on wednesdays though…) but here we go!
No big adventures this weekend, however after three weekends in a row of travel it was super nice to stay home, relax and explore San Sebastián and some more parts of the Basque country (País Vasco)! Friday was a very relaxing day, much needed after such a busy month. I attended a discussion about autonomy and the relationship between the Basque region and the Spanish government at the San Telmo museum. It was really interesting, and the speaker also touched on the current conflict in Catalonia as well. Putting things into perspective with an expert definitely helped me grasp and understand the previous and current political environment in Spain. After the discussion, I acted like a true, american college student and binge-watched Netflix for a few hours while falling in and out of sleep. It felt good to get back to my roots for a brief day. No Friday classes is one of the best perks about my USAC program. In the evening, my roommate Grace and I cooked a yummy, Italian dinner together with some pasta I brought back from my previous trip and we went to bed early. A+ day.
Saturday was one for the books. My roommates and some other students on my program and I took a bus to Arroa Erreka, a very small village in the Autonomous Basque region. It is about 45 minutes outside of San Sebastián in the highlands. Absolutely beautiful. The views were difficult to even photograph because the real thing just was incomparable. It was as if I was in a Disney princess fairytale. Here, we got to take part in some fun apple picking with a local family at their orchard. We picked apples for a few hours, off the ground and from the tree. The quality of the apples, whether bruised or not, did not matter as they were not for us to eat, but to be made into cider. Cider, or sidre as they call it here, is basically just fermented apple juice. It is extremely popular and traditional in the region. They taught us a lot about the local cider making process; the orchard has over 2,000 trees with many different species of apples to create the best tasting cider possible. I only fell once on the hike (and spilled my entire basket of apples). After picking, we got to see all of our apples get crushed up for a new round of cider! The cider has to ferment for a few months, so we did not get to try our own cider, but the family gave us a few bottles with our amazing, homemade paella lunch. We bussed back and Grace and I spent the day shopping around a little and cooked another delicious dinner– curried veggies with chicken this time. Saturday night we had a blast out on the town with some friends. I loved spending quality time with people on my program and my roommates this weekend! Grace and I are starting to make cooking together more routine; it is a great way to save money and spend time together.
Sunday again was a lazy day, full of homework and relaxing. The best part was going to the beach for sunset seeing all of the dogs playing and running around. Since the high tourist season is over, all of the local dog owners let their dogs run off-leash at the beach in the evenings. I am looking forward to more weekends spent here. San Sebastián and the Basque region has so much to offer! I could not have gotten luckier with my beautiful little city. It is a holiday weekend coming up, so for the extra days off Grace, Mariana, my friend Megan and I will be venturing to Paris, France! Until next week, au revoir!