I woke up this morning to a surprising, very unexpected white Bilbao! There was talk yesterday about this happening overnight but I distinctly remember saying, "Lo creeré cuando lo vea," or "I'll believe it when I see it." Well, I believe you mother nature, you're capable of dusting Bilbao with snow.
People out in the streets seemed nervous and determined to get to work. They clearly don't know how to handle a snow day. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the snow this only happens once every 50 years here! Don't waste it stopped in traffic, or at a bus stop, waiting for a bus that will never come.
On Saturday, after work I hop in a car and drive six hours to Valencia, Spain, where the Spanish Championships of Beach Ultimate will be taking place. I will join my teammates who hopefully will already have won a few games :). You can follow all the action live at https://ulti.info/39264.
Baeza is a beautiful place. We had a little bit of a stressful arrival, showing up just after dark. We had done the Caminito del Rey that afternoon, hopped in the car, and a few hours later we made it to Baeza. The problem was the "Cabalgata de Reyes Magos" or a parade in honor of the three wise men. In Spain, it's tradition. Think of a Thanksgiving parade, but it's held in towns and cities all over Spain. They had most of the roads blocked and it was a pain in the you know what to get to our Airbnb. Once we got there though, it was worth it. It was cozy, and most importantly, had a fireplace.
We were hungry though so first things first, a comer! Tapas, tapas, and more tapas. It's the type of place that you get a tapa for every drink ordered. The first bar had about 15 or so to chose from and everything we tried was tasty. The second place was a little disappointing, but you can't win them all. Once our bellies were satisfied, it was fire time.
The next day was raining and foggy. I'd been to Baeza ten years ago and remembered beautiful views of olive orchards down into the valley. We couldn't see more than 5 feet ahead of us, so, no views. The city had a unique charm in the rain. We spent the morning walking around and exploring and decided the weather is shit, let's go home. We had kept Saturday night free but because the weather was so bad all over Spain, our trip was over.
Walking down the cobblestone streets and long corridors was enchanting!
The made us wear helmets and gave us a radio to listen to the guide. We didn’t necessarily want a guide, but you have to buy tickets in advance. We got ours the week before and all that was left was the guided tour. Not too bad though; we hung back and kept the the group (12 people or so) within earshot.
For most of the trail, and by far the coolest parts, you’re walking high above the river.
The views were spectacular, to say the least.
The middle of the hike was full of spectacular views in their own right, as well as views through the canyons on each side.
The second gorge we came to was spectacular. Looking down gives you that butterflies in the stomach hibbie jibbies feeling some love more than others.
They even built a glass platform to look down at your own risk.
Always cool to spot some climbers. What a spot they found!
With a video of the bridge crossing to boot!
Wonderful hike. Don’t plan on getting sweaty, but plan on using your eyes. Highly recommended!
We’re starting 2018 off with a bang. Both Alba and I have the next week free and we’re loading up the car, picking up a few blablacars (ride sharing website, they’re essentially paying our gas 😉 and the first stop is Córdoba. We showed up around 8pm and after checking into the hotel we went out to explore the city. It was incredible at night and we couldn’t wait to see it by day.
That next day didn’t disappoint. Being our only full day in Córdoba we left the hotel early and stayed en la calle until after dinner. Despite both of us fighting off a cold we managed to take full advantage.
The Mezquita was the highlight of the day. It started off as an 8th century mosque that the Christians turned into a cathedral after the Spanish reconquista of Spain. La Mezquita has a beautiful mixture of Muslim and Christian cultures. I had been there 10+ years ago while studying abroad but it was great to be back.
Being winter break, the place was crowded, yet still breathtaking. There’s still controversy today, is it a mosque or a cathedral? Walking in, it feels like a mosque, but as you walk around it starts to feel Christianity around you. As I said before, once the Christians took power back in the 1236, they claimed the building as their own. Instead of tearing it down and building a cathedral in its place, the Christians literally stuck their cathedral right smack in the middle of the mosque.
The building represents unity, when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in peace, coexistence.
Call it want you want to call it, it was an awe-inspiring building.
From there, we went off to explore some of the famous floral patios Córdoba is famous for. Being winter, they weren’t as ravishing and some were even closed, but they were still stunning.
The day ended with dinner and a show. We found a restaurant that advertised a flamenco show with dinner. We were apprehensive thinking it would be ultra-touristy but trip advisor claimed otherwise so we gave it a try. We’re no experts, but we loved it.
The show consisted of four entertainers: one guitar player, one singer and two dancers. The musicians were incredibly talented and immediately we knew this was going to be good. You could tell with every song that they lived the music, they were just there to put on a show. The dancers danced “Sevillanas” together,
She started slowly:
But quickly picked up the pace.
Intermission. We thought the guy was just a backup dancer, but he proved us wrong.
Not to be outdone:
Now he's just showing off!
What a wonderful way to end our time in Córdoba! Tomorrow, we’re off to Ronda!
The traditional new years eve Coro vs Cotta @corocottauc friendly was a fantastic way to end the year. After a game a dip in the Cantabrian Sea was just what the doctor ordered. Hasta luego 2017 and hello 2018! Happy new year everyone! ???? ???? ???? ????