Monday, April 30, 2012

Post 15: A weekend in Bilbao

For the first time in over a month, I spent a weekend in Bilbao.  It was a nice change of pace to sleep in and enjoy a city that has come to be my home away from home.

La Ría in Bilbao
It was an especially fun weekend to be in Bilbao because the soccer team, Athletic, beat Sporting on Thursday night and clinched their spot to qualify for the Europa League final.  This was especially exciting because it's the first time that Athletic has ever accomplished this.  To say that people were excited after Thursday's win does not do their celebrations justice.  In Bilbao, the Athletic is so much more than just a soccer team.  Athletic flags are literally everywhere.  I would argue that there is not a street in Bilbao that does not have a red and white striped flag or some other representation of support for the Athletic.  It's almost impossible to find anyone in Bilbao who doesn't support and love the team.  To celebrate the victory, I went to an Erasmus party on Thursday.  Almost everyone was decked out in Athletic gear and the night was constantly interrupted by chants for the Athletic.  If Chicago were more like Bilbao, I would be taunted and possibly exiled for being a Packers fan instead of a Bears fan, despite the fact that the Packers are a superior team.

I also did something that I don't do often enough in Bilbao this weekend.  I acted like a tourist.  I went on a boat tour of la Ría, the river that runs through Bilbao.  I had been told countless times before that Bilbao has come a long way in the past fifteen years, but didn't fully grasp how far the city has truly  come until I went on the boat tour.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, shopping, and enjoying time with friends.  The semester is coming to an end, but there is still plenty of schoolwork left to do.  I still have four essays and four finals before I leave in two and a half weeks.  I still have plenty more fun to have though too.  Tomorrow I will be visiting a local vineyard and I will be traveling to Portugal next weekend.

Until next time... ¡Adios!

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