We spent two weeks in beautiful, charming San Sebastian and it wasn’t long enough. We loved our apartment, not a block from the sea, and our sweet and helpful apartment manager, Ane. We hiked a lot and also spent time enjoying the city, food and a few other things. Ashley took a surfing lesson and spent as many minutes as she could physically endure swimming in the freezing cold Bay of Biscay. Grant improved his Spanish with hours of lessons from Begoña at the Lacunza Spanish School www.lacunza.com. Ane found the school for us and I would highly recommend all of them (Ane, Begoña , and La Cunza). The Spanish School offers all kinds of classes and even combo classes like “Cooking and Spanish” or “Surfing and Spanish.” Grant needed a tutor and Begoña was so sweet and whether or not she was actually interested in the video games Grant likes, she had him enthusiastically talking about them in Spanish by the time we left town. Oh, and he had also told her all about the Spanish Soap Opera or “Novella” that Scott and I are watching on Netflix. We started watching it because we wanted to watch a movie one night, but I can’t usually stay awake through movies so we looked for something shorter and found this show about a Mexican woman who is all mixed up in drug dealing in Mexico and she flees her country for safety in Spain. It was in Spanish with subtitles and as corny as it was to begin with, we now actually look forward to finding out what Theresa Mendoza is up to on occasion, and have even learned a few things like Spain has cities on the continent of Africa. Yep, bet you didn’t know that, the port cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and we learned that from watching a Soap.
This was our living room.
This is the rooftop view from our patio on the 6th floor. There was an elevator but we went up and down the stairs for the exercise the majority of the time.
Scott took this photo from our patio of me bundled up and jogging in place on the beach and Ashley playing in the water. I gave her a thirty minute time limit so I wouldn’t freeze and was surprised when she emerged with five minutes to spare. She told me that she couldn’t feel her toes and that was a bit worrisome for her.
Ashley’s room had a window into the living area.
Scott made some tasty dinners in our kitchen like my favorite that he is working on here, Tuna Casserole. He also had some adventures in our kitchen like cleaning it and cutting his finger.
Ashley snapped this picture after she very responsibly escorted Scott to get his finger stitched up. I offered to go with him, I really did, but I just don’t like blood or needles all that much and honestly Ashley is better company and a more competent navigator than I am. He cut his finger attempting to separate two scrubbies in order to clean the stove in our apartment. Ashley and I returned from shopping to find Scott making dinner with one hand while he tried to stop the bleeding in his pinky. I called our wonderful apartment manager, Ane, who recommended a local clinic about a fifteen minute walk from our apartment. Ashley took took the map and navigated Scott to the clinic and a very nice doctor stitched up his finger while the three of them practiced their Spanish and English. In less than one hour, Scott and Ashley had returned 39 Euros poorer but with a repaired finger and a new adventure.
And here we are all reunited with a bandaged finger and Scott’s homemade version of the Carcamusa Stew we had first tasted in Toledo, Spain. It was delicious.
Grant in front of our apartment building waiting for us…
…while Scott and Ashley choose some snacks for our hike. It was Sunday morning and everything was closed. All one really needs to get by is chocolate anyway. These little snack caves were all over Spain, at least everywhere that we went, and this particular cave was conveniently located across the street from our abode, perfect for a late night candy bar or afternoon school break.
The choices were impressive. Bob’s hot snacks…
…hot drinks (good coffee!) and there were other vending machines holding soda, ice cream, candy, chips and crackers. Talk about convenience.
Va Bene Disco
This is the “American Diner” near our apartment that we found one night after a long hike because it was the only thing open late on a Sunday night. The burgers and fries were great (Trip Advisor concurs…I looked just as I was writing this blog weeks later) and we ate here one more time just because it was the first food that wasn’t an adventure on some level. Spain it seemed for us was fraught with food adventure. The last night we dined here we heard two college kids speaking English and learned that they were exchange students from our very own Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, finishing up their semester abroad. Small world for sure.
There were a lot of signs in Spain and I mean a lot of signs. I’m fairly certain a whole safety book would need to be written to replace this sign!
This is the best “photograph” I have probably ever taken and it was pure luck. I was taking pictures of this “people watching” cat in the window when the woman stepped into view and sweetly kissed him.
A statue of Don Quixote and his buddy Sancho Panza, characters from the classic Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. Grant had to write a couple of paragraphs (in Spanish) for his Spanish class about Cervantes and helpfully Scott found this monument a couple of blocks from our apartment.
La Concha beach was just half of a block from our apartment. There is another beach behind Monte Urgull (the hill with the statue of Jesus), the surfer’s beach called Zurriola Beach where Ashley took her surfing lesson.
There were walking and biking paths everywhere in San Sebastian and on the days we stayed in town to work on school, we would take runs or walks around the town. If you walked out of our apartment and to the beach and then turned left you would get to this side of La Concha Beach.
This is just higher up the hill.
A view of Zurriola Beach (taken from Monte Urgull) where Ashley took her surfing lesson in the foreground and La Concha Beach near our apartment in the background.
This is the near Zurriola Beach. One can enjoy a great walking path around the base of Monte Urgull and some impressive wave watching. I got drenched by one of these waves crashing over the wall and I had even crossed to the far side of the street against the hill.
San Sebastian is a wonderful place to visit. There is something about the bustling, big and clean city set against the sea and the mountains. We noticed that people are outside all of the time and the biking and walking paths are full of active people of all ages and I mean from babies in strollers to elderly being pushed in wheelchairs and many of them attached to stylishly outfitted canines. Happy people populate the sea walls drinking coffee and watching surfers catch waves. There is an interesting, and if you are an educated and/or adventurous foodie, amazing and inspiring food scene. There are museums, shopping, parks and nature everywhere with enough hiking and walking paths to keep even the avid hiker busy for years. France is not half an hour away as are other interesting Basque cities, towns and villages. We wish to go back someday soon to San Sebastian.
http://www.emyrent.com/ We stayed in The Terrace Apartment and Ane managed our lives! Ane maybe you should consider going from apartment manager to holiday manager or life coach! Thanks again!
http://www.lacunza.com/spanish/spanish-school Begoña is a wonderful, talented and patient tutor and the staff is helpful and accommodating.