Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I love Donostia! (San Sebastian)

San Sebastian.... known to the locals as Donostia, is my new favorite city in Northern Spain. A big group of us decided to go up to San Seb together last weekend to hopefully catch some of the last days of the year when it would be warm enough to go swimming. My roommate from Belgium has a car, and she said she could drive so we decided to pack as many people as there are seats in her car. That was a bad idea- her car is tiny. But we survived the long and cramped drive and finally made it without getting lost too many times!

La Concha- the tourist beach, and the harbor on the other side of the mountain

Since we left pretty late, we didn't get there until after most of the pintxos bars were closed, or were closing. The first bar we went to had already closed the kitchen but they had a small selection of pintxos still out. I don't even remember what they had on them but they were so delicious! Also expensive. San Sebastian is known to be one of the most expensive towns to live in, and I believe that now. After the bar we were at closed down, we went into the old town area to see if we could find any more pinxos and after a fruitless search, we decided to go home and try again tomorrow.

The next morning it was a fabulously warm day so we decided to go to the beach. First we had to get some food, because we were starving! We went to a little sandwich shop right on the beach and Clint (our friend who lives in San Seb) saw some friends out of the window and had to go say hi. Then he came running back in telling us that this guy from Australia was about to play the didgeridoo for a while on the beach so we had to go down and watch. So we all went down to the beach to see this guy play the didgeridoo. It turns out he was actually giving a presentation to all these kids, but it was cool to see anyway. Actually, I couldn't stay away from the ocean so I went and put my feet in during the presentation :).

The didgeridoo presentation. The guy on the right was translating into Basque for the kids.

Then the kids got a turn to play- the guy in the yellow was so excited, super cute!

Zurriola, the surf beach, 5 minute walk from Clint's house

Another view of Zurriola
After that, we all had to go change, but we went swimming! The water was pretty cold- 19 degress C. Getting in took my breath away! And it was still so cold that I had to swim around for a while until the outer layer of my skin went numb. Anyway, we couldn't stay in long but once we got out and started soaking up the sunshine it felt so good! Love the ocean!

In the afternoon we went for a "hike" up the Jesus mountain. It's the mountain in the picture above, right in the middle of the two bays in San Sebastian. There is an old fortress ruin up top as well as a HUGE statue of Jesus. It's also the perfect location for a spectacular view of the city.

Breathtaking view of the city and the Pyranees behind. 

What is left of the old fortress, flying the Basque flag

Zurriola from up above
The bay, the island, and the sunset

Another sunset picture..
Sunset panorama- stolen from Kevin!

That night we had a night out on the town! Pintxos y caƱas por todos! I felt like it was ok for me to drink beer here in the Basque country. First of all, it's not the wine capital of Spain. And second, I ordered a cheap wine and *gasp* it wasn't delicious! So I switched to beer. But the pintxos were delicious! Here are a few pics of the town itself:

The only part of the original town that is left from when the whole thing burned down in the 1800's

One Cathedral

Directly behind is another cathedral! 

Pintxos! Take what you want and pay later

The next morning we decided to shake things up a bit and go to the beach! But we decided to go check out La Concha, the beach that San Sebastian is known for. It was quite a walk from Clint's house, but it was fun to go see. 

Finally, we went off the beaten path to go check out a cliff diving spot where Clint and his friends used to hang out a long time ago. We literally had to climb through a fence to get back there. It was fenced off for a good reason, the waves have been pounding the landscape so hard for so long that is is literally crumbling. It's not safe for just anyone to go back there, but of course, we had to ;). (We didn't actually do any cliff diving, just looking)

The cliff diving spot- right at the end of this finger of land

Dinosaur rock on the way out to the cliff diving spot

The mountain we had to climb over to get to the cliff diving spot
Thanks to all my roomies and Brian for allowing me to use their cameras/pictures from San Seb as I was an idiot and forgot mine :) Besos!

1 comment:

  1. Is the cliff diving spot faraway from La Concha? Where is it exactly?
    Please answer me