In contrast to the busyness of August and September I am finding myself with much time on my hands these days. I submitted my final paper for the last required course for my bachelor degree and then promptly packed my bags and headed off to Greece to climb for two weeks. I’m home now in Barcelona and finally have some time to write about my good friend Leana’s visit way back in late August early September.
I know tons of people who are fiends with people they grew up with, kids that they went to preschool with and or family friends that they have known since birth. I am not one of these people. I’m not the best at keeping in touch with people, especially when interests grow apart or physical distances crop up. Despite that, Leana and I met when I was 12 and have been friends since the 8th grade. Aside from Jamu she is the only other person from high school with whom I’m in regular contact. So needless to say I was super excited when she bought a ticket to come and visit before we had even left.
Seeing as I was fairly busy with school she got up to a fair bit on her own, much of which was taking the time to discover all the best shops in Barcelona which she gladly informed of 🙂 We wandered around and saw most of the city, we had a crazy night out with a Catalan friend and a necessary “recovery brunch” at our favourite breakfast spot the following day.
We spent some time on the beaches in both Sitges and Castedefells. We took the cable car from Barceloneta across to Montjuic and spent some time enjoying some respite in the shaded gardens there.
The highlight of her visit was probably our trip to San Sebastian (Donostia) in the Basque country. As true Canadians we didn’t hesitate to take a 5.5 hour train ride to spend three nights in this fantastic coastal city. Despite a bad first impression brought on by arriving during regatta celebrations (and general displays of drunken messiness) the city won us both over. The pintxos were fantastic, the architecture was beautiful and the shopping cinched the deal for Leana. Despite a minor case of food poisoning on my part the trip was made complete with a bus ride to Bilbao to take in the famed Guggenheim. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is the building all it’s cracked up to be but it’s sufficiently small to see it all in one day.
Located on the northern Atlantic coast of the country leaves means that the ocean brings in strong weather systems. We lounged a little too long watching this system approach from the north and had to make a quick escape from the beach to avoid the mini sand tornadoes it created. We had a good laugh at ourselves as we ran back to our pension in the pouring rain.
Leana was the last of our summer guests and we’re not expecting anyone else now until my dad comes for Christmas. I’m already starting to see displays of extra sweets in the supermarket, it’ll be interesting to see how much of a big deal the holidays are here.