Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moments in Spain: Refreshment

Though I've never been a big fan of endless Midwest winters, I've rarely needed winter to end as much as I did this year. Our Spain trip was a Godsend, considering it kept snowing in Illinois through late April.

The weather in the Basquelands is comparable to Seattle. I bought an umbrella in Bilbao and used it often. We were incredibly lucky to have a beautiful weather in San Sebastien, and most of my days in Bilbao were overcast and wet, as you see here. But my last two days or so were much nicer. On this particularly warm and sunny day, I treated myself to a long walk down the Nervion river.

Right now, in the midst of a beautiful, green and blue Chicago September, I don't fully appreciate these pictures. But at the time, it was like a restorative elixir. Just what I needed.

My walk took me to a shopping mall, where I bought a few clothing items. I'm a larger size in Europe.... But I found some cute and inexpensive tops at Zara, which is similar to H&M, so I was happy.

I was also so fascinated by something I saw that I had to take a picture:

This model first caught my eye because she's beautiful. When I looked closer, I noticed that she's skinny--but NOT crazy, unattainable, unhealthy skinny. She has a youthful appearance, but I did see some un-Photoshopped wrinkles around her eyes. It's almost as if this is a real person! I don't care much for the clothes, but I appreciate this ad. How refreshing!

Most of my days in Bilbao consisted of getting up late, venturing out into the city mid-day, then relaxing in the hotel until Erich got back from work so we could get dinner. I could feel bad for my relative inaction, but there truly isn't much to do in Bilbao, especially for someone who doesn't speak Spanish. On this sunny day, I could do some of my sitting around time in a park. So, in typical fashion, I'm going to leave you with one of my moments in Spain:

ETA: I apologize for the delay in getting this video up. There's a 100mb video posting limit, and the one I tried was 99.9. This one is doesn't have Basque people walking by like in the one I tried to upload, but it's the same scene otherwise.

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