Wow how short was THAT gap between blogs. This may take me a while to type as I’ve stupidly just painted my nails and being me am too inpatient to wait for them to dry so here I am.
So last Thursday, as you will remember, I met with a new Spanish girl, Leire, and Lucil. She was the nicest person and works on the weekends as a vet, so that’s always a good topic to have in common, loads to talk about. I was the first person she’d met from the language exchange website we were both on and she said she was so glad I was real and who I claimed to be! Well, I know how she feels – the amount of people I’ve met online haha, I’ve not had a bad’un yet. Lucky really. Anyway, don’t want to worry the grandparents with that! So we ended up having a couple of wines together, the three of us, and I hadn’t eaten all day so was actually a little tipsy, then I get the call that Ines has come home sick from school so woops – off I go home…! It was fine. The TV looked after us well.
The next morning I went to class and my God was it a hard one. Even Ana, the teacher, was confused with some of the exercises and a lot of the answers were up for debate – but it made for an interesting lesson even if we did all come out with a headache. For the last 20 minutes she decided enough was enough and chatted to us about Andalucia, which was much appreciated and allowed our brains to deflate a little. I was supposed to meet Veronica (original intercambio) after class but we cancelled so I went to Javi’s to do my Insanity. Got out of the shower to a missed call saying can I come look after Ines for the afternoon. Now, I will admit, I had a mini tantrum right there. I was all happy and refreshed from my workout and waiting for Javi to come home for lunch and I threw my toys out of the pram. Of course this is selfish and immature but hey, it happened. I forgot for a minute that I am currently an au pair and do not have a normal life. Please don’t think I’m complaining, because, as I have said many times before, I am very lucky. I was just complaining in that particular moment…
Later on I was pretty excited anyway when I went to Javi’s about midnight when Ana and Imanol came home, as we were catching the 8am bus on Saturday to Burgos. Burgos is the capital of the province of the same name, about 2 hours away by bus, is an integral part of the Camino de Santiago, has much more extreme temperatures than here in Bilbao and is very beautiful. I wish we had more time there and that it wasn’t so frickin freezing as I would have enjoyed more walking outside, along the river etc etc. but we made the most of the time we did have and arriving at 9.15 was brilliant. No one was up and about yet, except people completing their last leg of the walk of shame, and we had seen the Old Part and the Cathedral before the city had even thought about stirring. It was really peaceful. First stop however (after dumping our bag at the hotel) was obviously breakfast. On our way the Cathedral, within about 100yards of our hotel, I immediately purchased some beautiful new little boots. Javi actually casually pointed them out and I loved them and oh look at that, the ones on the shelf are my size and oh sorry, what did you say? They’re knocked down from 35euros to 12? SOLD.
So the Cathedral of Burgos is pretty immense and very photogenic I must say. I enjoyed the photos of the outside but inside was interesting also – even if we did switch off the gadget things after 4 of the 32 audio clips. I know that’s bad, but I was appreciating the culture visually and the auditory experience wasn’t enhancing it, so off it went. We came out of what had started to feel like a stone maze into bright sunshine and a blue sky – gorgeous! – and had a good wander through the old part again, visiting the various statues that I found highly entertaining. A few of them feature in my photos. We then had a little snack consisting of a HUGE platter of mushrooms and cheese and morcilla (black pudding – famous in Burgos) and wine and cider. Yes, I said snack.
After this, albeit a little tipsy, we headed straight for the hotel as we knew our room would be ready by then. After another cheeky crianza (red wine) in the bar we took our key to check out the lodgings. Niiiiiiiiice. Bathroom was absolutely huge. After doing my usual checking of every single drawer and cupboard and light switch and tap and a quick stock check in the mini bar, we headed back out to cross the bulging river to go to the Museum of Human Evolution. I expected this to be much more interesting than it was to be honest, but we made it all the way round and then came out and continued photographing various statues we met along our wander. We then went and had another snack (can’t remember what but it was yummy) and found we simply had to return to the hotel for a siesta. I decided I wanted to change for dinner – oo how posh – which consisted of putting a blazer and my beautiful new boots on (dramatic I know) and back out we went. I had lots of recommendations from a friend who knows Burgos very well, and we checked out the menus on all of the places and in the end chose a restaurant whose name I can’t remember but we were taken up some stairs above the rowdy bar into a gorgeous small room where there was only one other couple eating. At first I thought it was a bit quiet and wanted some ruckus from downstairs but then it was actually quite romantic. Me and Javi continued to be silly and take funny photos of each other – I do enjoy that. After a nice steak dinner we slipped into an Irish pub and had a Guinness or two… I will be surprised everytime when you mix wine and Guinness – the fact it doesn’t make you very sick is so strange. It attempted to snow while we were sitting in the window but sadly didn’t settle – it was too wet from the days and days of rain we’ve had here. When we got back to the hotel we decided to open the bottle of wine on the table and phoned downstairs for a corkscrew. Receptionist said she didn’t have access as the waiters were all gone so we kind of smashed/pushed/broke our way into the bottle but hey, when we checked out in the morning she said it was free which was a nice surprise, we were expecting a bill!
So as we weren’t out of the hotel until midday, the next 5 hours before our bus was spent wandering the streets again. Was nice, just chilling out and being silly and more photos and more food. Had to test out the churros of Burgos too – it has to be done everywhere I go, got a serious comparison chart going on you see. Found the statue of El Cid, which I could have photographed more but by this point the cold was getting to me and I just wanted to cafe-hop. Had a nice lunch in quite a sweet restaurant; our table was in a pretty window looking out onto the river. Slept like a baby on the bus home. Javi no, probably the 5 cortados he’d had that day that did it. I didn’t teach the kids upstairs this weekend so we were home by 7pm and had a nice relaxed evening in to finish off the weekend. Boom. Burgos – tick. Oh, and no I haven’t mentioned food too much by the way because Burgos is the Spanish Gastronomy Capital of 2013, so there, it’s totally relevant.
Today back to au pair life. It’s San Ines day today so we went to McDonalds for dinner and I actually thoroughly enjoyed my McWrap. Didn’t even feel too unhealthy as I probably sweated at least a quarter of my bodyweight out during this mornings Insanity. Sorry Javi, I’ll get that carpet cleaned after the 60 days, vale. Tomorrow am meeting 3 friends – a Brit, a French and a Spaniard, and I asked a German friend to come along too – how multicultural! I will do Insanity pre-meet as I am being naughty and not going to the class of the crap teacher because I’m starting to lose my patience with her and I don’t want The Rage to come over to Spain. I have still been learning my Spanish at home so I don’t feel too bad, and the two hours with Ana on Fridays is always extremely beneficial. Ok, justified myself. Ahem.
Oh also, thanks to my English teacher friend, I am now arranging to do one 2 hour class each week with two young children, in a house 20 minutes walk from me. I am told the kids are wonderful, the mum is lovely and very flexible, and that it consists of helping with homework and then playing – so I am very happy about that – more pennies and for someone starting out as an English teacher here, word of mouth is proving to be an incredibly powerful tool! Am enjoying the networking immensely.
Well, going to bed knackered and happy. Knackered. Not naked. Agurrrrr