Week in beautiful San Seb...

San Sebastian Travel Blog

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Last year I spent a wonderful week in beautiful San Sebastian, with my dear Irish friend Kevin. San Sebastian is on the north coast of Spain, in Basque Country. The town is surrounded by mountains, and is based around 2 bays, each with beautiful white sandy beaches. One of the beaches is a surfing beach. The other bay has a big island in the middle of the bay called Santa Clara Island. There are a couple mountains on the sides of each bay that you can hike up for nice views of the city. The top of one of the mountains has a statue of Jesus, similar to the one in Rio. The other mountain requires you to take a little train to get to the top of, and the view is absolutely breathtaking.
I can't say enough about the beauty of this place!

Kevin and I tried to spend as much time as possible at the beach, especially considering we’d been in Ireland for the summer and were in desperate need for some sunshine! It did rain a bit one day, but was nice for the rest of the trip. On the really hot days the beaches were so packed that we could hardly find a spot to lie down.

We spent one afternoon trying to surf but ended up getting battered by the big waves the whole time!!! I did manage to get up on the board a few times, I’m proud to say! Loads of fun! We rented kayaks and kayaked out to the Santa Clara Island in the middle of the bay. Had a bit of an embarrassing moment that day…..I wasn’t ready for a wave and the wave broke on me while my kayak was perpendicular to it.
The kayak capsized, throwing me out of it, only about 10 feet from the beach, in perfect view of everyone there. I wound up with a bruised body and a bruised ego!

We hiked up both mountains to see the nice views of the ocean, town and beaches. An artist named Chilida created these funky modern sculptures along the coast, called the Comb of the Wind. We spent some time wondering around the area looking at them. The waves were pretty strong crashing up on the rocks in this area, which made it even more impressive.

In the evenings, Spanish culture consists of going to tapas bars and drinking sangria. Tapas are hard to describe….they are very small portions of food…usually bits of bread with different toppings, like fish, meat, cheese, egg omelette, or combinations of each.
Some tapas don’t have any bread and are just different foods on toothpicks. Each tapas costs about a euro or two, and you walk around town, going from tapas bar to tapas bar, trying the different tapas. The tapas are laid out on the bar, in a sort of buffet style, and you just pick whichever one you want and eat it standing up. Very yummy! San Sebastian also has its own specialty of sangria called txikito. It is the same as sangria, but made with white wine instead of red. Also very yummy!

So, the Spanish spend their evenings in these tapas bars and then go for a big dinner around 10 at night. Most nights Kevin and I were too stuffed on tapas to make it to dinner though! We did go all out one night though….we got dressed up and went to a really nice restaurant on the beach.
We sat at a window overlooking the bay, island and mountains. So nice!

The actual town area of San Sebastian is gorgeous. The buildings are all very old, with beautiful architecture. There are two big beautiful churches as well. There is a big square or plaza in the middle of town that used to be a bull fighting ring hundreds of years ago. Now is a nice area to sit outside and have a few drinks.

From what I'm told, San Sebastian is the area in Spain where the Spanish people go to vacation. There were very few English speaking people there, which made things like ordering food and getting a taxi very difficult. We had learned a few Spanish words beforehand, which helped. But we had several very very frustrating moments…guess that is all part of the fun though!

All in all, it was an amazing, relaxing week, that I would highly recommend to anyone. You get a relaxing beach vacation, with Spanish culture on the side! Learn a few Spanish words before you go, and get ready to eat amazing food and drink amazing sangria!
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