San Sebastián is famous for it’s Michelin-starred restaurants, but also for ‘Txikiteo’, a Basque word for hopping from bar to bar enjoying small snacks and drinks. The snacks are ‘pintxos’ or tapas, and the most famous as ‘antxoas’ and ‘txangurro’. A popular drink is the local sparkling wine called ‘txakoli’.
So the problem is you have to order at the bar, with everyone listening…
It was quite a relief when I figured out ‘tx’ was just ‘ch’. Not that it made my Spanish better, but at least I could give it a try!
The bars are loaded with the cold pintxos, while you order the hot ones. The other problem was trying to take pictures, without looking like a total tourist, while you are standing at the bar.
I never tire of the walk on the beach or promenade to the Old Town. It was 23oC yesterday and people are still swimming. But what I love the most are watching the dogs run – around their owners, into the surf, after balls, with other dogs. I don’t miss having a house and ‘stuff’, but I would love to live here and have a dog. They just seem so happy.
The promenade is 6 km from my beach, all along La Concha to Zurriola Beach, and you can do without crossing lights or streets. And it is easy to do because it is so beautiful. I also did it the other day because I was chasing waves!
There were huge waves, and wherever I was, it looked like bigger and better across the bay. It was fun as people were out, and occasionally getting soaked! I took dozens of pictures, but trying to take pictures of waves is like taking pictures of fireworks. A static shot without sound just doesn’t capture the right feel.
Along the promenade there is a outcrop of rock that separates Ondarreta beach from La Concha beach. Depending on the tide, you can go around it on a small path with steps, without having to get wet. Above there is Miramar Park, which was the Royal summer home.
San Sebastián is also on the northern coastal route of the Camino de Santiago. The route begins just across the french border in St Jean-Pied-de-Port, and would take about a month if you walked the whole way. It also passes through Pamplona, and I saw the shell markers there too. The most popular leg is the last in Galicia, where people can do the minimum 100km to qualify for a ‘Compostela’ certificate.
The San Telmo Museum is in a 16th century Dominican convent, which was one of few buildings to survive the 1813 fire. In 2011 it was renovated and a very interesting modern building was attached to provide a new entrance, administration and classrooms.
In 1929, when it was first restored, the ‘Sert Canvases’ were commissioned for the chapel area. There are 17 huge paintings that depict important events of the Basque culture. They are done with colour varnishes over a metallic background, and just GLOW!
Maria Christina bridge
Buen Pastor church
Love my home for the month – bright and sunny, across from a park, two blocks to the supermercado and bus, and only four blocks to the beach. And I have a washing machine and dishwasher which I enjoyed because I did so much cooking – such a treat as the vegetable markets are great here.