Saturday mornings were my favorite in Bilbao. Since my school was a thirty minute metro ride away, and we started class every morning at 8 a.m., getting to sleep in a little on Saturday was a pleasant change of pace. I didn’t like to sleep in too long though; there was too much to explore in this new city I now called home, and too many opportunities for adventure. I always started my morning with a leisurely stroll to my favorite café, to get a delicious café con leche and warm croissant. The smell of freshly baked bread was usually too tempting, so I’d often pick up a baguette to eat for dinner that night. If it wasn’t raining, I would usually keep walking through the busy streets lined with fruterias, shops, and a café on every corner. I would then make my way to the pier, to see the suspension bridge, Puente Colgante, transporting cars and people across the beautiful Nervion River. There were plenty of benches lining the pier that looked out at all the boats, as well as providing views of the neighboring towns, beaches, and cliffs. After finishing my coffee while gazing at the scenery, I would leisurely walk back home, taking a different route nearly every time.
By the time I made it back to my apartment, my roommates were usually already awake, discussing what adventure we would go on that day. Whether we wanted to relax at one of the many beaches near to us, go on a hike which would lead us to find old military bunkers, hunt for twelfth century abandoned castles in the woods, or simply spend the day getting lost in the streets of downtown Bilbao, we always managed to have fun and experience something I never dreamed I ever would have been able to. Living in Bilbao changed my life forever. Having the opportunity to live in such a fascinating city that I hadn’t even heard of until 5 months before I decided to move there truly opened my eyes to all the opportunities the world has. If I could have such an incredible experience in a city I didn’t even know existed, I can only imagine what other experiences I am going to have in my future international endeavors.