Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, July 16, Day 6

No classes today:  Bilboat
We decide to take the Bilboat tour up the river, again to Santurce, but this time on a boat.  It is relaxing and a feast for anyone interested in bridges, architecture, industry and history.  There is so much to see during this two hour cruise, and we gain a better sense of how the city has evolved.  Afterwards, we ride our bikes to the bus depot to buy our return tickets to Madrid, and along the way we pass by the Bilbao Athletic Soccer Stadium known as San Mames.  It is closed today, but we are considering catching a game next week, but we discover that would mean traveling to Valencia.  We then take a longer bike ride to see how far the trail goes through the city.  The end of the trail is at "Mozart Park," really just a playground in the courtyard of a weird apartment complex.  We are learning how to get around in this city.  Except for this unusual park, the other parks are very nice, and there seems to be at least one in every neighborhood; kind of like Milwaukee. 

On this day, I take full advantage of the "siesta."  Well rested, we take a walking tour through another part of town and run into a politcal demonstration consisting of over three thousand people marching up a long street for blocks and blocks singing, chanting, playing music and holding banners etc.  Most everyting is written in the local Euskera language so we have no idea what it means.  We were warned earlier in the day, coincidentally, that we should never ask any questions in these situations, so we remained obedient to avoid any trouble.  It was very peaceful, and I got the impression that their demonstrations are as common as our weekly sporting events.  We then went to the Corte Ingles (think Boston Store meets Walmart) to buy saffron and some snacks.  The crowd there was also big, but dressed quite differently than the demonstrators.

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