El albergue

El albergue

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moments to remember

My roommates and I went on a little trip through the north of Spain last weekend, and as usually ends up with trips of any sort, there’s just way too much for me to be able to tell you about all of it. So, rather than try to explain every single thing, here are a couple moments from our journey that I definitely want to remember in the future, moments worth sharing.

On every one of the various bus rides we took through the north country:
Everything I see is misty, soft, shadowed, blanketed, and veiled. It’s a world of wet – of lakes, streams, rivulets, and oceans. It’s a land where the wet below meets the wet above, and everything is…well, wet.
The dripping wisps of cloud drift through the crowded hills, completely obscuring what is far away and drawing a gauzy film over what lies near. Tails of mist disconnect and embrace the earth, insinuating themselves into the leaves of the many trees, the lone little houses spread out and scattered around, the blinking eyes of cows placidly chewing their cud in the green fields, the blades of the plentifully abundant grass covering every hillside, and the very particles of the soil itself.

On All Saints’ Day, in Gijón:
There’s a woman standing on the steps below us, steps that lead down to rocks battered by the waves of high tide. Her hands are clasped as she leans against the railing, her whole body expressing a certain sadness as her eyes tilt down towards the dozen red roses she has just cast into the water. The roses drift about according to the wont of the currents. First they spread out in a sort of red blanket, then they are swirled together in a wet bouquet. In their every change of direction, the woman’s eyes follow them, remembering no doubt someone she once loved, someone who is now gone from her forever.

Lunchtime, in Oviedo:
We have been eyeing everyone diner in the packed out plaza, waiting for a table to clear out. Kels sees a group starting to stand up across the way, and we swoop on the table. Success! The two men at the neighboring table are eating something rather on the stranger side of looking. I can’t help but ask them what it is – sea urchins! They kindly offer us each a bite so that we can try this cold water delicacy. It’s so odd…it tastes exactly like the ocean smells, and literally melts away on my tongue. Weird.

Bus station, Santander:
…oops. Luckily, Kels has a rain coat she’s able to let me borrow for the time being…

The streets of Bilbao, nighttime:
We’ve been working our way around a couple of different pintxos bars, tasting an incredible assortment of delicious little pintxos, and now all we want is ice cream. We ask a friendly couple where to go. They point us in one direction. We get to that destination. Sadly, we don’t want frozen yogurt, we want ICE CREAM. We ask a group of young women where we might find some. First, they marvel at our desire to eat ice cream in this cold weather. Then they send us off again. We aren’t really sure if we’re going right or left or straight or what. We ask an old man smoking outside. Yes! Thank you, sir! Heladería Alaska! Girls, it’s right there in front of us! We have found our ice cream!

Serra exhibit, in the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum:
These giant steel sculptures make me feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland. They curve and slant and twist all around. They echo so wonderfully that I find myself filled with the urge to burst out into song…I may or may not actually sing a line of two…

Bilbao airport, in the security line:
Something is wrong, and Kels CANNOT get her boot off. She starts to giggle. I try to help her. We heave and ho. We’re laughing hysterically as I try to pull of that darn boot. The other people around us start to laugh with us too. It’s such a ridiculous sight, who couldn’t?

Bilbao airport, waiting area:
Well, I guess we now have an hour and a half extra to wait around the airport, because our flight just got delayed. Hey, what the perfect opportunity to play a great number of rousing rounds of Scattergories!

We got home late that Sunday night, completely exhausted, but happy we had gone on our trip. It was a good one, filled with even more moments than these, moments of reflection, delicious food, sleepy nights, and wondering wandering. Heck! It even had its moment of bird poop!

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