Blogs from San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain, Europe


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 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.

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián May 24th 2018

Departure mode without speaking. Vast majority of preparation had been done the evening before. Each of us knew what to do. Loaded up, walked to Atocha Renfe underground and 25 minutes later we were at Chamartin and in no time comfortably in our spacious seats waiting for the train to depart. No stress. We drifted in and out of ‘doziness’ even though we had had very little sleep during the night. The countryside consisted of rolling, undulating hills with farmland plus wide flood plains and narrow steep valleys with the customary village clinging to the sides, interspersed with the occasional large town. Numerous tunnels were passed through ranging from a few seconds to 8 minutes. We were very pleased to reach San Sebastian and on stepping only a few metres from the station we were greeted ... read more
View to La Concha Bay from our room at Avenida Hotel
Dog attack!
Feature door.

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

Slow day today in San Sebastian - weather changed from cloudy to railny to sunny many times throughout the day. Went for a walk, found a church, and the river, then stumbled across the shopping mall (and a shopping centre). Maurice decided to keep walking, I had a look around - lots of up market shops, but ventured into the supermarket again, in the frozen foods section, you can buy seafood and vegetables loose - just scoop up how many you want. Then made my way back to the hotel, to Bar Swing - the bar in the lobby. Have been trying to get in here since we arrived, but very popular - views onto the beach. So managed to sit there for an hour or so before Maurice arrived back, then had late lunch there ... read more
Church in San Sebastian
Frozen Seafood
Frozen Vegetables

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