Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally an update from me :)

Buenas dias!

This weekend was really busy - and this week is going to be busy with a lot of homework too! Finishing 6 credits in 4 weeks is definitely going to continue to be intense, but being here, completely immersed in the language, is MORE than worth it.

On Saturday, we had an excursion to a nearby city called Gernika. To this day, it is still known for the tragic bombing that occured there. Franco, the dictator of Spain during that time, sided with Germany. The city of Gernika was openly against Franco and the crimes he had been committing during his reign in power. Hitler bombed the city to set an example for the rest of Spain not to contradict Franco. Needless to say, the history of the city is one of tradegy and loss. Today, it is a small, quiet town that has been restored...but still holds a powerful message. In the middle of the city, there is a museum called 'El Museo de Paz' that rewrites their history in a message of peace.

I am pretty sure that no other museum that I will see in life will ever beat this museum. The first floor that had pictures portraying peace and tranquility with quotes about peace from famous leaders around the world. There was another room that connected to the main one. It was dark and had only a table, chair, and a single window - a re-creation of a room from the WWII era. There was no way out - and we all thought that there was supposed to be more to the museum. Later they told us to go back in the dark room and sit facing the mirror... we were still really confused. We sat down and a voice recording started playing. It was a woman's voice and she was describing the town and how peaceful it was before the war. She talked about the church bells and the children playing (and we heard the various sounds as well). As she began talking about the war, the room got darker and darker. Lights behind the mirror started to light up, revealing the ruins of the old town....stones and bricks and people's possessions were right behind the mirror.

The lights came on and a door to the rest of the museum opened....but we all just stayed still for a couple minutes because the whole experience was so powerful.

We got lunch and had free time in Gernika later. We then traveled to a small town called Mundaka, which is another small beach town. It was gorgeous, just like all the other beach towns here. How did I get so lucky? We walked through the city and past the beach and then got back on the bus to come home.

On Sunday, my friends and I went to Sopelana (another beach town :D) to spend the day at the beach. It is widely-known for its surfing....and there are some very talented surfers that were just down the beach from us. We spent a couple hours on the beach and came back to Bilbao to finish homework.

One of my very best friends made me a very cool journal to document my whole trip in ... and right now, I am trying to catch up on it :)

It's a beautiful day here, no rain like they had predicted. I have class tonight from 4:45 to 7:30PM. I stayed up late last night, so I'll be in bed early tonight.

Enough of me talking, here are some pictures :)

Alissa and I at lunch

Mundaka harbor with Alissa

Mundaka beaches - this is only a SMALL portion of it...there is a ton more!

Keep emailing me, I really appreciate it!

Paz y amor, Lana Nicole