So it has been taking me much longer than I would like to get all of the information from my trip to Bilbao on the site, I think it is a sign that I take too many photos. Nevertheless, I will continue in hopes of updating everything that has been going on in my life.
One of the beautiful things about Harvard and probably every other university, (I cannot speak to them, since I did not attend them) is that you have friends or friends of friends in every corner of the globe. This happened to be the case in Bilbao. To describe the relationship quickly, Lexie and Beñat were friends in college. Beñat is from Bilbao and happens to be in Bilbao working before moving to DC this spring. Lexie sent him a message to see if he had any suggestions for our trip since she knew he was from the region. They met up Friday night and Beñat invited us to join him and his family for dinner.
So after a quick rejuvenating nap, Lexie and I got dressed to go to dinner with Beñat and his family. I like to pack light. It is just a fact, the less I have to carry the better. However, in this instance this system backfired since I did not bring a dress, or good shoes for that matter, to wear to dinner. Thankfully, Lexie came to the service and let me borrow her extra pair of shoes and a dress. Note to self, never travel on a weekend trip without a dress, you never know where you will be eating dinner. And if you are going to forget such things, make sure you bring along a friend with good taste so you can borrow her extras.
Primping accomplished, we got onto the metro to ride out to his neighborhood. It was the last weekend of Carnival (something that will play into later posts as well) which seems to very popular in Spain. From what I understand it correlates with Lent and that you dress up in costumes like we do for Halloween. As we were riding hoards of young teenagers, at least they appeared to be much younger than us, got on in group costumes. I unfortunately do not have any photos of any of the groups, but I think the scarecrows with the stuffed bellies were the best. We started talking to a group of boys in black shirts and pink tutus to figure out what the occasion was. It turns out there was a huge party two metro stops after ours. From the looks of it, I think they all had a great time.
When we met up with Beñat he gave us a tour of his town. I believe that it is considered its own town and part of the greater Bilbao but I could be wrong. Afterwards we went to a restaurant where we would have dinner. About half of the people there were in costume, while the other half were not. The dinner was in celebration of the wine label that his grandfather was a part of and was for all of the benefactors and their guests. In all there were about 80 people at the dinner. It was one of the better meals I have had in a while and consisted of now fewer than seven courses, accompanied of course with wine, Rioja. Many of the dishes were typical basque cuisine which included Foie gras. We left with our stomachs stuffed to the brim.
Instead of going straight home, we accompanied Beñat to a local pub, where we met many of his friends from high school. Here is a couple of pictures of us from outside the pub:
All in all it was a fabulous evening!