Blogs from San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 12th 2019

We left Barcelona early on a stormy morning and caught a fast Renfe train to San Sebastian in Basque country, all the way across the other side of the country on the west coast. 5 and a half hours later we were in San Sebastian or Donostia in Basque language. The Basque language, we quickly learned, is vastly different to any language we've heard and we learned that no-one actually knows the origins of the language though we were later told there was a study to find out the linguistic origins of the Basque language and it was established that it's the closest language to the caveman surprisingly. But everyone speaks Spanish of course, and really I only heard Spanish around me, even bar staff speaking amongst themselves spoke Spanish so I'm not sure of the ... read more
Truffled rice with foie
Squid with 3 sauces
Pinxtos bar

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 31st 2019

Things we’ve found through painful experience: In planning for the trip, we chose medium size luggage (to meet the airline limit of 23kg per bag (50 pounds). Our criterion for the bags was mainly weight. Why buy a bag that already weighs 11pounds when you could buy one weighing 9 1/2 pounds and give up two to the airlines? We settled on Swiss Army bags, slightly different models in different colors. They have compartments for small items as well as a waterproof bag for medications. They appeared strong enough, so we went with them. We’ve had them for some time now, but the work we are putting them through is starting to show. With 43 pounds of clothes in the bag and another strapped to the top, we have both struggled with train platforms and stairwells, ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 25th 2019

Bonjour à tous, Hier au soir pour manger, je demande au réceptionniste, gracieux comme une porte de prison, il m'indique un resto, tout proche, à 20 minutes de marche, si non, il y a rien dans le coin, en sachant que je suis pratiquement en centre ville. Je pars, mais je n'ai pas l'intention de me faire encore 40 minutes de marche ce soir, je suis déjà à plus de 13km aujourd'hui. À 300 mètres je trouve une rue piétonne, où des bars à tapas il y en a sur 300 mètres, les terrasses sont pleines, plaisantes cette rue est pleine de vie. Je choisi une rotisserie, le menue me convient, la serveuse qui ne parle pas un mot de français, me suggère une spécialité Basque. Avant de me lancer, je demande des précisions. Ça spécialité, ... read more
Le Guggenheim
Maman Bilbao

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián March 10th 2019

Tag 2 – Bayonne, San Sebatián & Llanes Unser Wecker klingelte um acht. Wir machten uns schnell fertig und gingen in Stadt. Auf dem Weg kauften wir uns in einer Boulangerie was zum Frühstücken, beziehungsweise bestellte Namid für uns „deux croissants“ sowie noch zwei weitere Blätterteigteilchen. Ich nahm noch eine Dose Kakao dazu, was Namid sehr merkwürdig fand. Aber die Milch kam aus Frankreich, es waren keine komischen Inhaltsstoffe enthalten und ich dachte auch, dass Metall ja wenigstens ganz gut zu recyceln war. Mit unserem Proviant im Rucksack liefen wir in die Altstadt. Als erstes liefen wir zu einem Garten am Flussufer. Hier in Bayonne wurde irgendwie überall gebaut. Wir folgten den Schildern, die uns als Piétons durch die Baustelle leiteten. Von weitem konnten wir einen Blick auf die vielen Blumen erhaschen. Wenn der Park nicht ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián October 29th 2018

Left Haro Monday morning....very cold....and as soon as we drove a little way out of town could see snow on the small hills and that just got worse the closer we got to Bilbao, sleet, ice on the road and lots of snow. Wanted to go via Bilboa to see the Guggenheim and we were not disappointed, glad we made the detour there. The drive from Bilboa to San Sebastian was even hairier......a lot of the roads were covered in icy sludge and snow....quite slippery in parts but we finally limped into San Sebastian around 3.30pm. Our apartment is in the middle of the city.....a beautiful place...we cannot believe the value we are getting with our AirB&B choices...we are on the 6th Floor overlooking the city.....our host Andrea is just lovely....she tells me their whole family ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 27th 2018

Even 'though it is off season San Sebastian is a party town. Imagine South Bank, New years eve, with a surf beach and thousands of merry tourists. It was good fun, the sun shone a warm welcome, the surf wasn't the best and it was crowded but Carl rented a wet suit and enjoyed himself. The food was the best part. All day and most of the night hundreds of bars and restaurants offered Pintxos or Tapas. Sea Urchin was delicious. I felt I left no more personal foot prints on the lives of the people of San Sebastian than I left on the sands of its beaches. But it was fun. We went to the Guggenheim. What a fantastic building, such imagination and creativity shame most of the exhibits inside were a bit disappointing. MONA ... read more
Carl Surf
tapas 01
tapas 02

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 18th 2018

I really enjoyed my week at the Spanish school and I learned a lot. The entire week was spent on one of the four past tenses, the past perfect. That is an action is finished but the time period continues. e.g. This morning I ate breakfast, because the day is continuing it is a different past form. There is a picture of me with my graduation certificate. The AirBnB we stayed in for two weeks was a challenge. The room wasn't much larger than a good sized en suite bathroom. There was a closet, bookcase and display case but they were all chockers with the families stuff. We had no choice but to live out of our suitcases. If we wanted something from the suitcase, one of us had to sit on the bed or stand ... read more
manuel's family2
Bacchus and Ariadne Sebastiano Ricci

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 25th 2018

One of the most fun long hikes we’ve done The Haute Route Pyrénées, (HRP) is a long distance hiking trail that follows the mountainous divide along the French-Spanish border. These grandiose mountains are home to some of the most dramatic scenery in all of Europe. The 497 mile (800 km+) long HRP trail follows the backbone of the mountain range all the way from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. On average it takes about 45-50 days to complete. It took us 40 hiking days to complete (excluding rest days in Lescun, Salardu and Gavernie) – we wild camped* the majority of the trail which was just magical as often only us were camped by glacial lakes or in meadows and we also enjoyed beautiful Refugios (staff serviced huts ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 27th 2018

I left the hotel with a case load of laundry. It took me nearly 40 minutes to reach my destination. Oh, how the universe provides. Instead of a sit and watch the machines spin around it was full-on meeting two wonderful women with conversation flowing as if we were life- long friends. One, a Finnish woman, 7 months pregnant as well as mother of a 3 year old girl and the other a Spanish lady, an economist and mother of 2 boys, 14 and 10. They helped me work the machines; okay, they set them going and then we interacted as friendly humans. 3 people from 3 different countries talking and laughing and sharing. As if in a blink the hour and half passed. We exchanged communications, hugged and went our separate ways. That’s travel. Buoyed ... read more
Surfer Girls

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 25th 2018

We walked. We talked. We laughed. We photographed. We posed. We videoed. We looked. We listened. We interacted. We mingled. We ate. We marvelled. We drank. We rode. We got wet. We got dry. We sweated. We rested. We read. We made agreements. We met people. We made friends. We tasted. We critiqued. We gave. We received. On returning to the hotel, tired and fulfilled, we looked at each other … and … smiled. Yes, we had had a good day indeed. As way of comment: Part of our day involved us walking along La Concha Beach. Beautiful and awesome as it may look, it is very sad to comment negatively … humans, can’t be ‘anything’ else, have polluted the beach no end. One could not walk 30cm, and that is being generous, without seeing plastic ... read more
Morning scene and Jane is 'up-and-about'.
Rock structure
Picturesque. Calm.

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