Welcome to my first post on my travels in the Basque Country (and get ready for a long-ass post). The first destination we got to explore was Bilbao(with theexception of the first night spent in Biarritz, France). Bilbao is an old industrial city known for its old town and of course the Guggenheim museum. The city is quite large so I would recommend renting bikes for the day (10 e) since it's an easy and a fun way to explore the city. On the first day of our stay in Bilbao we went to the Guggenheim museum. The museum does not only contain a diverse array of exhibitions but the building also is an architectural wonder in itself. One tip that I could offer for those traveling in August is that go on a Monday to avoid the crowds, since not everyone knows that Guggenheim is exceptionally open on Mondays during August.
After a day in the museum we spent the night drinking sangria and restaurant hopping, eating pintxos, (the basque term for tapas).
On the second day we decided to make a day trip to the Urdaibai natural reserve. The views were breathtaking and I will publish a photodiary of the trip because otherwise this post will literally become a book and ain't nobody got time for that. However, the reserve wasn't exactly what we expected, since the tourist guide we read showed a picture of woods and a tropical waterfalls. So imagine our surprise when we get there and suddenly the trail takes us basically to countryside with houses on the road. In addition to this the trails were very badly marked and we got lost. Of course I found some comical relief in the situation because I found it so hilarious that we had expected to be hiking up adventurous forest trails and here we were lost in the countryside, eating our packed lunch next to some barn. At that point I was relly feeling the name Urdaibai which to my childish ears naturally sounded like 'Ur-DIEBYE'. On the brightside though, we did end up walking for 4 hours straight and spent up the day hiking like planned. I would say that the place is not worth a full day trip since only a part of the park was inhabited and the trails are lacking. However, we did find a super beautiful part of the reservation, and most of the pictures I took are from there. That part was definitely worth seeing, so if you wish to take a train there, I would recommend getting off the train at Forua, as the stop is located right next to the most beautiful part of the reservation. The trip by train takes approximately 54 minutes.
At night we went to the area near Guggenheim and ate at a restaurant, which served Spanish dishes. The paella we ordered tasted better than any paella I've tasted so far and the restaurant served local rioja wines in the menu, which one simply must taste while visiting the Basque Country.
On the last day we decided to rent bikes and ride 22 km (one way) to the Playa de Sopellana, an amazing beach full of surfers. The great thing about it was that you could ride the subway back to Bilbao with your bike. We did not survive the trip without any complications though but I think at this point of knowing myself, this shouldn't be a surprise... You see, after 7 kilometers suddenly the petal (yes, the PETAL GUYS) falls off. At this point we had been biking for almost 40 minutes already and we still had 15 kilometers ahead so biking with only one leg wasn't really an option. Now in hindsight I do wonder though if someone has set a guinnes world record for biking with only one leg... Anyways, the guy from the bike rent shop ended up coming down with a taxi and brought us a new bike. See, some saviors do not come with a white horse but a taxi and a rentable bike. That's it for Bilbao. You sweetie pies will hear from me in the next post.
I find myself surprisingly content on the countryside. I mostly spend my days going for runs in the woods and reading. Nothing with literary merit, really. Mostly entertaining stories of heroes and heroines and unknown lands. I've always had my heart set on fantasy. I'm the person who makes lists of made up books with invented content for the fear of someone asking what I'm reading. God forbid I'd have to start reading real 'adult books'.
When I do manage to tear myself away from the books I spend time with family playing mariokart and jenga. We also watched two horror movies that left the back of my neck tingling for the next couple of days. It feels so good to do nothing after such a hectic year of studying. I can practically feel my brain generating new rested brain cells (ok, I'm fairly sure that the science doesn't work that way but just treat it as a metaphor). When I'm removed from the city I also feel removed from the obligation to be social. It's like I have a permission to just lounge around and read my books. Just goes to show that I'm a slight introvert. Also, I find myself doing things I normally wouldn't bother to do, such as going fishing, painting window sills, or scrubbing down the handrails of our porch. All these things that require mere physical effort prove to be quite therapeutic.
Not just that, but I also love the freedom to dress and look exactly as ugly as I want. It kind of makes me feel powerful in a sort of unapologetic way. I have to admit some days I've even tried to find the most careless combinations I could possibly muster. In fact I tried to dress so uncool it became cool in its own right. If grunge ever breaks through street fashion properly again, all I'm saying is that my unapologetic country style will have its time to shine. Event though I love the city and can't wait to get back to the civilisation, my time on the countryside has been a well appreciated break from the reality. Exactly what I needed.
For this look I wanted to go for something fun but comfy to wear to the amusement park. I think that the flowy tribal pants were a perfect fit as they paid homage to the colorful and fun atmosphere of an amusement park but did not compromise in comfort either. I love simplicity in my looks and dislike when there is too much going on in one look. The hack for me is to have one 'show stopper' piece and keep the rest of the outfit to as neutral as possible in terms of color and pattern. The key thing to realize, however, is that neutral does not automatically translate into boring. What I mean by this is that one should still have fun with the cut of the other pieces in the outfit. For example, my top is kept to a simple white to accentuate the pattern and beautiful blue of the pants, but is by no means boring due to the fun criss-crossing cut.
The day itself proved to be so much fun. After days of binge watching Netflix, Elna and I decided that it was time to resurface into the real world and do something active. The smart human beings that we are, of course we ended up being hungover that day. In addition to this, we both suffer from motion sickness, a clear proof that we are internally sixty years old. Needless to say we did some heavy water drinking and nose-breathing that day. Still, the intellect bunch that we are, we went to every single head-upside-down roller coaster we could find. Emphasis on the word roller coaster though. One life-lesson from experience that I will gladly pass on to anyone who cares to listen is the default rule to avoid all non-roller coaster rides that go head upside down. Seriously, don't do it. It's highly a 'ride or die' situation with less 'ride' and more 'die'. Now that I have saved you all, I will return back to my Netflix account. Until next time.
It was nice to be home in Finland for the weekend! I still have another period of uni to get through before summer holidays, so it felt so good to just worry about nothing and kick back. The weather also was on my side for once, as we got to enjoy the 8 pm sunshine typical for a Finnish summer. My sister and I had a little road trip as we drove up to another city to see our friends. Everything was just so calm and peaceful and it just felt so worthwhile despite the short stay.
I've finally gotten on board with the cap-craze. I own quite a few and have been meaning to also wear them. Honestly, I just haven't gotten around to it because let's face it, they are pretty darn hard to pull off. The cute girls in caps abundantly seen on social media make it seem so effortless with their symmetric faces and sleek straight hair. It can then feel a bit discouraging to stare at yourself in the mirror with your face seeming super wide all of a sudden and your hair just going all over the place, manically trying to swipe it back. (This is of course just, you know, hypothetical. Obviously I am, like, too good for these kind of problems. Cough. Cough.) So, you may think to yourself in a fit of rage 'how the **** do these social media bloggers do it, goddamn it??' Well no worries, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for girls like me who do not have a sleek straight hair or any other attributes as such. Number one trick is that your hair is a lot more manageable if you pull your hair into a sleek loose pony with only a few strands framing your face. Suddenly all that hair falling too thick around your face that you are desperately trying to swipe back to get that sleek long effect is not an issue anymore. (I tried putting my hair behind my ears also but with thick wavy hair like mine -notice my sneaky self-compliment- my ears protruded weirdly out of the cap. If you have this problem then you know what I mean). Another tip, if you do not want to tie it, is to straighten it. If however, you turn out to have none of these problems I mentioned then, the odds are, that you are one of the sleek-haired-symmetric-face biatches I just mentioned earlier. Congratulations, you could have just skipped this section all-together. Also, for the record, when a blonde short girl appears in your room and shaves off your hair and steals it whilst you sleep, then...Ahem... it wasn't me. As for the rest of you, if I could pull it off then you can too. <3 p="">3>