Finally, a name for my condition


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Europe » Spain
June 26th 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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At the bus station - saw a Spanish senorita sitting all by her lonesome so I decided to ask her where the ticket office was. Strange ... I've been to that ticket office a few times before and somehow "forgot" where it is located. So I ask her in Spanish and she responds "Do you speak English?" Turns out she's American (bit of a southern accent) Should've asked where she was from, so that I could visit that part of the world one day ...
Geo: 43.3172, -2.67896

Up early to catch a bus back to Bilbao - no eggs this morning, no time! I stuck with toast, milk, and a pale imitation of Nutella. I said my goodbyes - only Rob, Pervez, and Angela were up. I'm going to miss the nights at the tapas bars. I laughed to myself as I thought about a funny incident last night - I told the Aussie girls about the "Spanish Lookaway" maneuver which drove me crazy the first time in Spain.

It's very simple - it's looking up, tilting the head to the side, flashing a radiant Spanish smile, and giggling while looking down and away, and brushing the hair behind the ear. Upon hearing this, the Aussie girls started mimicking the gesture while saying "Hola!" - pretty funny and I must admit ... kinda hot at the same time ...

On the bus - the first song that came up on my iPod was "Salir Corriendo" - it's reading my mind again! On the road, some car almost swerved right into us. I don't know how it happened because we were both traveling in the same direction. The car was pretty packed with stuff, so maybe he couldn't
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View of the old town from Cafe Lago, where I was munching on some ...
see? Difficult to believe because it was such an abrupt movement - maybe he was avoiding something? I'm still shocked that there WASN'T a collision.

Despite leaving San Sebastian, I've still got a huge smile on my face - it's great to be in Spain! I arrived in Bilbao and bought a ticket for the tram ride back to the hotel, in order to drop off my backpack. Funny thing - the automated ticket machine had a computer-generated voice and spoke English with a Spanish accent. Only Spanish could make a computer-generated voice sound sexy ... it's pretty pathetic that I found it kind of hot!

It was warm and sunny in Bilbao - it got hot wearing my crappy convertible pants. I checked in quite early and went to the old town, which was pretty dead, but picked up soon after. I stopped at Cafe Lago for a cafe con leche and some food.

Rob mentioned last night that he felt bad for checking out the Spanish women, but I asked him "Why?" He seems quite devoted to his girlfriend and he's done nothing more than look ... when in Spain, it's what you do! Us three guys got to talking
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... tapas! Tried another triangulo - kind of a BLT with too much mayo. The first triangulo I had a few days ago in Bilbao was definitely better. The quail egg on serrano ham tapa was better, but still not as good as what you get in San Sebastian. I sat and ate for awhile on the outdoor terrace, watching the scenery go by ...
about my "condition" last night. Guys that like Asian girls have "Yellow Fever", but how do you describe the Spanish affliction?

I've tried before - perhaps Sangria Fever, Saffron Fever, or Paella Fever, but none of them sound that great. But thanks to Rob, we finally have a term for this incurable condition - from this point on, I can say that I have the "Spanish Flu".

I also taught the guys a bit of Spanish - "Dios Mio!" means "Oh my God!", and I told them that they should say it whenever they see a beautiful Spanish woman. Needless to say, though I'm not a religious man, while in Spain I praise God ALL the time!

Off to Guernica - the first stop was Restaurante Arrien, on the beautiful Jardines del Ferial. Spain is a great country for al fresco dining. I liked that the waitress was so honest - I asked her if she liked a certain dish and she shook her head, saying "absolutely not!" So instead, I chose the rice with mushrooms and fried cauliflower to start.

The bread was bad. The three course meal came with an entire bottle of chilled red wine! No way I was going
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Why did I take a picture of a urinal at the cafe? Because it made no sense! Spanish guys are pretty short and from what I figure, anybody under 5´9" would have to aim upwards.
to finish that and be able to see the sights!

A vendor came by selling trinkets - I declined but told him he could have the wine, because I couldn't finish it. He thanked me and told me that he couldn't, I think for religious reasons. Overall, it was a good meal - and for 12 Euros who could complain?

Guernica is famous for almost being completely annihilated in 1937, as it was shelled non-stop for almost three hours. Future Spanish dictator General Franco himself ordered the bombing, and it was carried out by German forces. Franco hoped to deal a pre-emptive strike to the Basque uprising, and Germany was able to test out its strategy of mass bombing civilian targets to achieve quick military victories. Hundreds were killed, thousands left injured ... both Franco and Germany had something to gain from this, but unfortunately the people didn't.

The Peace Museum offered a beautiful, profound, and simple message of peace. But of course, the first thing I noticed was that the girl selling tickets was the typical beautiful senorita. The museum was definitely worth the price of admission .. and the beautiful ticket girl was a bonus!

There isn't much else to
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Plaza Moyua, looking beautiful under the Basque sun.
see or do in Guernica, but it really is a beautiful little town with many lush, green parks. On my way back to the bus station I grabbed some gelato - the Basque pastry flavour was terrible (doughey tasting) and the Guernican pepper tasted exactly like bell peppers, which was impressive in a way, but definitely wasn't tasty.

Back to Bilbao for a walk - the beautiful women were out in full force today, like an army marching triumphantly down the streets. Spanish women can conquer me any time! Back to the old town - I stumbled upon a plaza that I didn't even know existed. Kids were playing soccer and locals were chilling out, talking ... I sat for awhile, resting. It's been a pretty hectic few days.

I returned to the same place I went to my first night in Bilbao for another kebab and San Miguel. I'm kind of sick of tapas and needed a change. While delicious, pintxos (as the Basque call them) are quite rich and it's nice to have a break from them. San Miguel is a little bit bitter ... fitting, as it matched my bitterness at leaving Spain tomorrow! But at least
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Bilbao!
I'm not headed home for a long time - there's still plenty more places to visit on this trip.

Didn't stay up too late tonight - I needed to get up early for my flight to Norway. I watched Germany beat Turkey in the Euro Cup semi-finals. It was friggin' hot in the room tonight! I was in one of the newly-renovated rooms, but too bad it doesn't have air-conditioning!


Additional photos below
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Can't remember what this was ... maybe the theatre?
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In Guernica - view from Restaurante Arrien.
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There's nothing better than including a whole bottle of wine with a meal, except maybe having a beautiful Spanish senorita to drink it with!
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The starter - the rice was a bit mushy, but the mushrooms were succulent and flavourful. The fried cauliflower was a bit greasy. Some fried garlic slivers were sprinkled on top.
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I opted for the duck for the entree - three roasted legs, crisp, tender, and flavourful. The accompanying fried potatoes were greasy. I wondered if Daisy Duck would be hot with a Spanish accent? Perhaps it was the wine talking ...
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Dessert was a San Marco tart - crap! Lots of whipped cream and butterscotch - the coffee I ordered was also very weak.
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A pillar in the peace museum. The inscription says "Not forgetting, not seeking vengeance."
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Translation: Only when the last tree is dead, the last river poisoned, the last fish caught, will you realize that you can't eat money.
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Translation: The most unfavourable peace is better than the most just war.
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Translation: Reconciliation is nowadays a basic tool in the resolution of conflicts and as such, it's significance is rich and at the time complex. So, everyone understood that to reconcile, you want to say to convert those that had been enemies, into friends. For that it is necessary that the agressor admits the blame, and accepts the responbility of the acts of the past. Nowadays, Guernica is an example of progressive reconciliation; the process has not arrived at its conclusion, but its journey is long. In its origins, it had to face up to its serious deficits, already since Germany was late in giving the first steps for the damage it caused. OK - I really don't know why I included this photo, because it's not really all that profound. But I only realized that after translating half of it, and figured after all that work I might as well upload it!
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No, this isn't the JabbaWockeez of "America's Best Dance Crew" fame - it's a Basque independence protest.
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Public mural of Picasso's Guernica.
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An abandoned child's bike - on a hot day like today, I considered stealing it to get around town faster. But then I realized I can't ride a bike ... but then I saw the training wheels ...
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Guernica's symbolic tree - this is where leaders of the seven Basque provinces used to meet, and was one of the few things that survived the bombing in 1937. The tree recently died, but I'm not sure why, and is now preserved here.
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A new tree has been planted.


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