“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling” is one of the quotes I’ve tried to live by during my time abroad this past academic year.
On Saturday after my workout, I tagged along to some coastal towns with my friends Susan and Emily. Our first stop was in Mundaka, a surfer’s paradise. Apparently, it is home to one of the longest left-hand waves in the world (I wish I knew more about surfing in order to properly appreciation this aspect of the small town). Although I didn’t take advantage of the surfing scene because balancing on a board while salt water crashes all around me does not seem enjoyable, I did find Mundaka quite enchanting for other reasons. The port provides lovely views of the surrounding lands and water. The Santa Catalina Hermitage, a nineteenth century shelter located on a cliff on the outskirts of town, also provided amazing views of the ocean and mountains. The Mundaka BC (Basque Country) store exhibited local artists’ photos as well as sold Basque products, including various clothes, shoes, and accessories. I bought a yellow shirt that Susan found in a discounted bin for my Mundaka souvenir. A good twelve euros spent supporting the local Basque country artists!
We followed the walking path from Mundaka to Bermeo, a thirty minute trek along the rock littered coast, which continued to amaze us with its gorgeous views. Once in Bermeo, we enjoyed some yummy calamari, shrimp, and croquettes at one of the port cafes. Our lunch view was of the towering colorful buildings escalating up the hill of the old part of Bermeo. To walk off our lunch and make room for oreo and kinder gelato, we walked along one of the most important fishing ports in Basque Country, admiring the myriad of commercial boats while attempting to balance on the giant metal wave.
Before catching the bus back to Bilbao, we entertained ourselves by guessing the meanings of the Basque titles of the abstract sculptures in Lamela park. When translated, the titles of the twisted metals had a range of different meanings, like moon fairy and black goat. My favorite out of all the artworks was The Warrior; if you look closely, someone drew a smiley face on the left side. 🙂
I returned home from a Saturday afternoon spent breathing in the salty air of the Bay of Biscay sunburnt and worn out. And honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Sure, sunblock would have been advantageous, but a little extra color gives me the warming reminder of my fun day spent with friends under the Spanish sun.
Adventures are never perfect nor are they always the expected outcome. Adventures can be challenging, yet those are usually the most rewarding. Adventures can be spontaneous or well planned; I’ve definitely had my fair share of both while in Spain and I couldn’t choose which ones have been more successful. But I do know that these adventures, no matter how big or small, make life exciting! So if at the end of the day, you aren’t a little smarter or exhausted or amazed or frazzled, then did you really live your day?