06.28.2012 - 07.01.2012
Thursday I was given permission to leave work early to catch my flight to San Sebastian where I would meet up with one of my friends who is studying culinary arts there. I would happily return for the food and the scenery. I caught a flight there because there wasn't any available train seats when I originally went to schedule the trip via train so - 30 euros got me a plane ticket on Ryanair. Yes - only 30 euros.
Small airports are cheaper to fly out of, but it is important to note the shuttle costs to and from the airport. 16 to get to the airport in Germany that I flew out of and then 16 Euro to get from the airport in Spain I flew into, to San Sebastian where I would actually be staying.
My friend met me in the evening in San Sebastian and we went to dinner with a woman I met on the bus who spoke 0 Spanish - so I wrote a few key phrases and words for her as she was planning on doing this specific trek across Spain over the next 6 weeks.
My friend and some of her friends ate, drank, and hung out. My friend was planning on going to Madrid and had convinced me to go with her, but the bus was full in the morning so I figured fate would have it I stay in San Sebastian and I am so glad that happened, Saturday on the beach is exactly what I wanted.
First some pictures from Thursday evening into Friday...we rode around the town on bicycles at night which was incredibly peaceful and didn't make it back until 4am on Friday....the bus for Madrid left at 9am.
So after our nap we headed to the bus station where I realized on the way I left my cell phone at my friend's place and then we discovered I would not be getting on the bus. I ended up going back to my friend's place where I took a nap because I had not gotten enough sleep. When I woke up, her wonderful roommates fed me a traditional dish from Segovia where one of their friends had brought back this giant legumes. The stew was delicious! Her roommates were amazing and fed me all kinds of baked goods - living with cooks is good for the palate, but maybe not so good for being health conscious. Also, is is not easy to be vegetarian here in San Sebastian so I induced my inner omnivore and enjoyed the some traditional cuisine - pinxoax as they are called in the region I was in, but what are known to many as tapas. The region i was in I heard Basque spoken which is an interesting language and something that is not likely to be heard in other parts of Spain - fun for me considering when I went to Spain 10 years ago I did not have the opportunity to visit the Basque region.
Friday, after my nap and lunch with my friend's roommates, I went to the aquarium, picked up a map of the area at the local tourism center, walked around, ate delicious food, and attempted to find a good jazz bar as I was in the mood for some jazz and red wine. The music was not live music and was okay, but the wine was nice and it was a good end to my evening.
Pictures from Friday!
My friend lives right by playa de Zurriola (Playa = beach) so the evening pictures of my feet are there. There is also Playa de La Concha and Playa de Ondarreta which I also visited during my stay. I had wanted to go kayaking in the Bay of La Concha, but there weren't lockers around that I could lock my stuff up in so I did not do that - maybe if I ever get to return to San Sebastian I will get to kayak in the bay, take a boat trip out in the ocean. The water was blue and lovely - I want to live on the beach (Galveston does not count).
Saturday I slept in which was really nice as I feel like I'm busy rushing around most of the time. I got up and went to buy some fruit for my day at the beach, ate some breakfast on the terrace of a restaurant in Old Town - the part of town where I mostly consumed food. An important note is that food is more expensive if consumed outside on the terrace than if it is eaten indoors. San Sebastian is not an inexpensive town - the polished stone walkways near the beaches should indicate this. Also, I've never seen so many people walking around with sweaters slung over their shoulders as they do in posh yacht clubs in the movies. If only I had on my boat shoes, I would have looked more the part. (laugh with me here family and friends).
I decided instead of heading straight to the beach after breakfast that I would secure my bus ticket for bright and early Sunday morning so that I would be able to make my flight back and from there I thought I would ride my friend's bicycle all around the coast line of San Sebastian - it was beautiful and fun even pushing against the wind. After riding the coast line I stopped at Playa de Ondarreta to dip in the ocean and lay in the sun - which I did until the clouds rolled in along with a strong wind. A falafel for lunch and then back to my friend's place to schedule my shuttle ride from the airport in Germany to my place in Nijmegen, Netherlands (I almost forgot to do this!). Then I ate some fruit on the beach and went to town to walk around, indulge in more delicious food and people watch from the steps of the church in the center of old town. I did go inside the church which was ornately decorated and where I sadly did not take photos because my camera which was showing signs of lens trouble before my trip - died due to sand in the lens. I have plenty of pictures from before the camera's death though which I will share. I will be making an attempt at surgery on the camera to see if I can remove the sand from it so that I will not need to use my ipad for photos for the duration of my time in Europe, but I may have to do that or buckle and find a place to buy a new camera here. The memories must be documented!
Photos of my final day before I would have to wake up at 5am today (sunday) to catch my flight back to my temporary home base.
ANNNNNDDDDD a video of the view looking towards Playa de La Concha
View of Playa de La Concha