Today, Sunday, July, 14, I went on a private excursion that Jen and Dr. Sainz organized for the UMW students. Others could join but they had to pay, and so only a few others went. I am extremely proud and it is a privilege to be a UMW student here because we get access to special experiences. We rode in a private bus from place to place. No traveler would have been able to do this more efficiently.

In the morning, we went to the neo-cave Altamira. First, we toured the museum and artifacts of our human and extinct relatives. Second, we toured the exact reproduction of the cave of Altamira. It has extraordinary cave paintings and an incredible story. I remembered learning about the caves of Lascaux……

You need to check this out: http://www.santillana-del-mar.com/english/altamira.htm. Mom and Ken could have spent a whole day here and bought a lot more from the book store. I bought several beautiful magnets with depictions of the cave paintings and a TVE La España Prehistórica (like a DVD but TVE is a European version). I figured I’d ask my computer-genius grandpa to help me convert it or find a way to play it. It would be a real treat for me and my grandmother to watch this interesting documentary (with English-subtitles for the rest of the family).

Next, we visited the medieval village of Santillana del Mar. I did a lot of looking and not buying. There was a variety of leather goods and food products but I just wanted to inspect the variety. Check it out: http://www.santillana-del-mar.com/english/guide.htm.

Last we went to la Playa del Sardinero in Santander, but I decided to see downtown since I got my share of sun yesterday. Since it is Sunday and all the shops are closed, I ambled through the picturesque town with my girfriends, Jayne and Nikki, for two hours. Words cannot explain the perfection of this local beach and quaint town: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Sardinero#Galer.C3.ADa.

Lourdes came home five minutes after I did. I showed noticed the bottle of red wine I bought yesterday an told her how I spent all of yesterday at the San Sebastían and today at Santillana and Santander. “Oh those are my favorite beaches and the two most beautiful!” she noted my slight sunburn and congratulated me on my rewarding weekend.

Things to look forward to this week

Tuesday:

  1. Las fiestas del Carmen de Santurtzi – So my host mother just told me about the annual Las fiestas del Carmen de Santurtzi. It is happening this Tuesday. I wonder if there is any chance we could go before the group dinner.
  2. UMW Dinner Party – Let’s get together to celebrate our time in Bilbao!
    When: Tuesday, July 16 at 8:30 pm
    Where: Casa Vasca Restaurant (between the Residence Hall and the Deusto Metro: www.casavasca.com/
    Cost: 10 Euros per person. Dress to impress!
    Please confirm with Jen or Marisa your attendance and pay them to reserve your spot. Vegetarian options are available. Champagne toast in the wine room followed by a sit down dinner.

Thursday: Funicular de Artxanda

Friday: Fly to Barcelona for the weekend – at 11pm Sunday evening I just booked the last hotel room available  in the same complex as the girls I’m traveling with!