Blogs from San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain, Europe

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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 7th 2014

Right after the week of my disputation I was at a conference in San Sebastián, the 9th Conference of the International Test Commission (ITC). We had four poster presentations there, two of the posters I had to design. I did that just in time, prepared them on Sunday evening after getting back from the Karl-May-Festspiele in Bad Segeberg, took them – with Achim and Richard’s posters – to the copy shop on Monday morning on my way to work, and picked them up on my way to the airport on Tuesday morning. Richard and I arrived in Bilbao on Tuesday evening and met our Swedish colleague Mats at the airport. From there we caught the shuttle bus to San Sebastián, the journey took a bit over an hour. The weather was horrible, it was raining and ... read more
San Sebastián beach II
San Sebastián city centre
Palacio Miramar

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián June 17th 2014

We started out very early as we had to walk a few blocks to the Maria Christina Hotel to meet our guide at 8am for an all day Rioja wine tour. Our guide from San Sebastián foods was Lourdes and the driver was Pedro. Our group included a young couple from Australia and a gal from Cleveland. Off we went in a large Mercedes Benz van on our discovery journey of Rioja wines. We drove about 1.5 hours through countryside that varied from reminding us of Colorado with the rolling hills by Genesee; to some pretty good sized mountains to vineyards as far as the eye can see. Very beautiful and as much as we dislike long coach rides while on holiday, this was really enjoyable. We arrived at our first vineyard of the day, Muga ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián June 16th 2014

Another magnificent day. We awoke and immediately pulled the curtains to enjoy the sea view of this beautiful bay. There was a lot of activity going on early in the a.m. A street sweeper/washer was cleaning the boardwalk and a large piece of machinery was combing the sand (remember space balls movie where they were combing the desert!). The tide is really varied here as in the early a.m. it was very high and minimized the size of the beach as the waves splashed up towards the sea wall. By noon, the tide was so low that it was out away from the sea wall about 100 feet. We ate lunch at La Perla right on the boardwalk and enjoyed 2 glasses wine with lunch and the waitress told us that by 3-4pm the tide would ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián June 15th 2014

We arose early so we could eat breakfast before we had to have our bags outside our cabin for the crew to take them to the staging area. Katell arranged for a cab at 9am to take us to the bordeaux st jean gare (train) station. He dropped us right at the car rental side of the station. Unfortunately it's Sunday and they open at 10am so we had to stand outside and wait. I was annoyed we were so early but by 9:30 there were probably 30 people in line and we were #2. All thanks to Jim wanting to be there early, Yeah, so glad he insisted we get there early. The agent gave us a really nice Opal SUV and to top it off the numbers on the license plate is 077!!! That's ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián August 18th 2013

San Sebastian to Bilbao to Burgos 13 to 17 August 2013 On arriving in San Sebastian we left all the ‘bon jour’ and ‘merci’ behind and entered Spain so now hearing ‘buenos dias’ and ‘gracias’. The Spanish language was a lot more familiar to us after travelling through Sth America for 3 months in 2011 and learning Spanish back in Brisbane. We found a suitable park and rode our bikes into the city centre. Wow, we were struck by the busyness and summer celebrations that were going on in the centre of town. There were people everywhere, listening to the street music, watching the street puppet show, the painter at work and the unusual live statues as well as the clown blowing up balloons. Walking through the narrow streets we also saw peaceful demonstrations for political ... read more
Bilbao in Basque Region Spain (5)
San Sabastian in Basque Region Spain (8)
Bilbao in Basque Region Spain (1)

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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 22nd 2013

When I got back home from Seattle, I went straight back to work as there was a lot to do and I had only 1.5 weeks, then headed off for San Sebastian, Spain, for the European Conference on Psychological Assessment. This time, I managed to finish both presentations before heading off for the Congress, so much less stressful . I flew through Frankfurt, where I met Dennis who works with my former employer and is also working on his PhD, to Bilbao, from where we caught a bus to San Sebastian. Our hotel was conveniently located between the university, where the congress would take place, and the beautiful beach. Of course we had dinner outside and not far from the beach. Dennis and I had both signed up for a pre-conference workshop, where we also met ... read more
View towards the Old Town
Monte Igueldo
San Vincente Cathedral

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 12th 2013

San Sebastian is a popular beach and sailing destination, located a few hours away by bus from Bilbao. On the day at which I visited, unfortunately, the sky was overcast. The whole city appeared gloomy and brooding. Still, it was a nice trip. We went for a short boat trip, so that we could appreciate a view of the city from the ocean. The tapas in San Sebastian are well-appreciated for their elaborateness. They are certainly precariously tall! My friend Felix enjoyed them very much. So, it would seem that their reputation holds true! We gave a go to the aquarium. It was quite nice. If you've seen the entry on this blog about Long Beach (California) and about Zaragossa, you know that I am partial to going to the aquarium.... read more
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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 17th 2013

Crossing from the long straight, empty roads of France in to Spain, where they were suddenly a tangled mess of twists and turns, was a bit of a wakeup call as we headed to Camping Iqueldo near San Sebastian. The sat nav had more in store for us though: as we passed through the town, it directed us off the main road and into the hills. The roads became narrower and steeper and it was clear that the three of us were lost (that’s Steve, I and the sat nav!). Steve persevered, as there was nowhere to turn around anyway, and negotiated Petit Van Blanc around hairpin bends and along skinny tracks with a sheer drop to one side! We eventually found the main road again but took one last wrong turn from which a local ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 14th 2013

A peaceful night except for Woolly’s snoring! The clouds were a bit lower this morning but the view was still stunning, the Pyrenees were still there and we hadn’t dreamt them. Woolly says – Snore, me….never! We seemed to be ready and packed into Oliver in good time and were at The Grottes de Betharram by 9.30am, although it opened at nine we were told by a sweet French gentleman with beret that the trip would start at ten past ten, we hovered around before getting on a coach. The coach took us further up the mountainside before we alighted at a building. Paying over 13 Euro each (approximately £11.90 GBP), we hoped it would live up to the price. We entered the caves with another bereted French man who split us into groups of French, ... read more
The Grottes of Betteeram
Cool Lighting
Mites and Tites

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 6th 2013

It's so hot when we wake in the morning (well, actually early afternoon) and my mouth is dry and almost bleeding from the amount of pippas we consumed last night- now I know how a gerbil must feel. However, I cheer up the moment I look outside and see clear blue skies- definitely a beach day at last, yay! We get ready quickly and head out in search of some brunchfast. We head down towards the beach and stop at one of the bars on the promenade as we don’t want to be too far away from that elusive sun, sea and sand. In these restaurants there is a succinct lack of menus (I get the whole pinxto thing at night where you look and point at something on the bar, but what about during the ... read more
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