Free Weekend

Along the coast of northern Spain, on the beach of Zurriola was where you could find the waves sending each and every one of my classmates and I into the “washing machine”.  After taking a very brief lesson we headed into the ocean to attempt to surf some waves.  Few were successful, many had tumbles, but there were laughs to last a lifetime. Will was lucky enough to escape post-washer machine hair, unlike the rest of us.  We had a fantastic instructor who taught us the basics of surfing and helped us onto the waves that were very rarely surfed once we got into the water. Going into this experience, I hadn’t expected it to be as challenging as it was, as for the past couple of weeks we’ve been watching many surfers out in the waves during the days and into the evenings on Zurriola. The professionals truly make it look easy.

Regardless of our surfing abilities we all had the best time and again, tons of laughs. However, by the smiles on everyone’s faces and by the fact that we were all able to walk away on our own two feet I’d say our success rate was through the roof!

Some honorable mentions include Will and Maggie, they are on the road to pro!!

Just outside of the bay where the beautiful city of San Sebastián lies would be one of the coolest experiences of my life with a few of my friends. We decided to see the landscape of the breathtaking Basque Country from a new perspective on a sailboat letting the wind lead us on our next adventure. Our cruise was guided by a man native to San Sebastián, who also finds himself spending time on his family farm out in Pamplona. Thanks to his knowledge of the area and love for sailing we learned a lot, saw lots of beautiful sights and had ourselves a night with some gorgeous weather.

Emma had some time at the wheel, but don’t worry, she has her sailing license!

The sun began its descent as we entered back into La Concha bay. Our guide set up an amazing dinner for us.  The display highlighted some of the most famous pinxtos of the Basque Country including the Gilda pinxto and a wide variety of meats.

One of our favorite parts of our cruise was the gorgeous sunset we were able to watch at the end of the night.  We knew how much we were going to cherish this night, it’s not everyday you get to watch a sunset like that.

We had an early morning the next day, rode our bikes to the train station, hopped on a bus and five and a half hours later would find ourselves in Madrid.  We didn’t really know exactly what to expect after spending the last two weeks in San Sebastián, but found Madrid to be just as exciting. There was a lot to see with such little time, as we were spending just over twenty four hours there we first came across Plaza Mayor.  The Plaza was a bit overwhelming at first, the atmosphere had a completely different vibe than San Sebastián.  But the vibrant colors and beautiful architecture was unique in its own way and we ended up enjoying our time in Plaza Mayor.  The Plaza was also where we would later clear our firsts plates of paella, an authentic Spanish dish.  Maggie loved it so much she got it for lunch the next day!     

That same night, trying to make the most of our time in Madrid, we attended a Flamenco dance show.  The theater was stunning, the walls decorated from top to bottom and the stage illuminated by a garland of lights. It was already a sight to see and the show hadn’t even started yet!  There wasn’t an inch of wasted space as people filed in waiting for the dancers to come on stage.  There were five performers: three dancers, one singer and one guitarist.  Watching from our table we were mesmerized by the talent, passion and energy each of the dancers brought to the stage.  There were so many intricate details within the Flamenco dance, from the stomp of their heels to the movement in their fingertips, to say we were impressed would be an understatement.

We ventured to the Royal Palace of Madrid and the Almudena Cathedral for our last day in Madrid.  The Royal Palace was breathtaking, not only for its appearance, but also the fact that it contains over three thousand rooms.  Inside the palace was stunning, the walls were covered in embroidery and the ceilings painted and sculpted to form beautiful works of art.  The Almudena Cathedral would also be a place I would never forget.  There was something to see in every corner and once again the artwork in the stained glass and architecture was picturesque.  Pictures truly couldn’t do these places justice.