Last week I visited a city many have recommended to me, and I think I visited at just the right time. I took the train to San Sebastián, which is in the north of Spain near the border of France. As some of you have heard from me or read in my last post, it is unbearably hot in Madrid right now. It’s a lucky day if the high is only in the 90s. If I’m inside my apartment, I spend most of my time taking cold showers, chugging ice water, and sitting in front of my fan since air conditioning is still not the norm. So a weekend journey to the beach where temperatures were in the 80s sounded wonderful. I have to say to all those people who recommended this town, I wholeheartedly agree! It’s definitely on my top 5 places in Europe (speaking of, many of you have been asking about my favorite places, so I might just make a post about that soon…). I took a solo trip, but in the end made several friends from my hostel and by just putting myself out there and talking to people. Onward to photos!
Fresh off the train, and this was the first thing I see.
Then it was time to find the hostel. Got there in no time only to find out I was at the wrong place. I showed up to Pension Amaiur when I was actually booked for Pension Amalur. Apparently this happens a lot, so I was kindly given directions to where I was really staying.
Commented on the crown molding to a girl staying in the same room as me, and I got a weird look. Hey! It’s pretty fancy for a hostel. In general, it was a great place to stay. The owner was super sweet, and while he could only speak Spanish, I understood him completely and felt like he was family.
The beach was about a two minute walk from where I was staying and man was it crowded.
See that statue waaaaaay in the distance? It will make an appearance shortly… just you wait.
Decided to wait on hanging at the beach and did some walking around instead. Laughed at this shop name, mostly because I had a history teacher in high school who would always say this.
Cute idea, but a bunch of corks strung together gets pretty heavy… and dangerous.
Visited a museum that was basically empty, which has always been a dream of mine (doesn’t it sound fun to run around). But an empty museum isn’t usually a good sign, and it ended up being a weird experience. Found this fun display though. Think I can take a class on this?
Eventually, I passed enough people with ice cream to decide I needed some. Bought some then decided to stroll over to the surf beach.
Lots of people, not much surfing.
Turned back around to see more of the old town. Always a plaza to be found. Here’s Plaza de la Constitución which used to be a bullring.
Then I decided to take a hike, wanting to get a good view of the city. From here, it almost felt like the beaches weren’t full of people.
Sometimes, my favorite part of my trips is getting out of the city for a bit.
Remember that statue? Tah-dah.
I have a bad habit of holding my phone a certain way and getting my finger in the shot. Anyway, here’s a cannon. Where I’m at used to be a fully functioning fort during the Siege of San Sebastián and later the Carlist Wars.
Saw this little hole in the wall and thought it would make a cool shot. Didn’t realize it was also next to the pee corner, so I quickly got out of there.
I decided to be a brat and video chat my parents from this vantage point.
There was even a cute little snack area to enjoy a drink and one of the best views of the bay. (Hey is that my finger again?)
Spent quite a while up here taking everything in. And wishing I was on that boat heading out to sea.
The beach got pretty empty come sunset. That’s because everyone was headed to the old part of town to eat. San Sebastián is known for its food, and many people love to travel from bar to bar eating pintxos (the word for tapas in Northern Spain).
The next day was a bit more overcast but pretty nonetheless. Stopped by this “palace.” That’s what it’s called, but I’m not really sure what it’s for or that I would call it a palace.
Then I walked to some famous statues on the other side of the bay called “Peine del Viento” (Wind Comb). My mission was to get a shot without this man in it. C’mon man… you know you’re in the most photographed spot.
And I did it! I was even lucky enough to get a bit of ocean spray in the photo, which only happened once during my time over there since the waters were fairly calm.
Not a particularly special photo. Just took it because the ocean really does have all my favorite colors. (AKA shades of blue…)
Went up one mountain already, so why not go up another! This one was a bit higher, so I took the funicular instead.
Got up to the top, and what did I find… An old amusement park? Well it’s still functioning but not the most impressive thing.
Look at the great time everyone is having… right?
A bit dreary looking, but the weather was actually great. Met a girl up here from New Mexico who had just arrived a couple days ago and was studying abroad in San Sebastián for the summer. I was super jealous!
Decided to visit the aquarium after my ride back down, and there was actually an exhibit on the maritime history of San Sebastián first.
Just some terrifying underwater sea creature appendages.
I love finding the stingrays in aquariums. Their “faces” always make me laugh.
Found some clown fish, my favorite fish (even before Finding Nemo came out!).
A bunch of people walked by these, but I found them pretty cool once I found out what they were. A bunch of baby sharks. I could even see them squirming around.
And of course these ridiculous eels… They always look like they just told a joke and are waiting for you to laugh.
Headed out to the beach one last time and saw this weird structure.
Through old town once more. At night the streets are completely packed. I had gone out the night before with some new friends to eat but forgot to take pictures, whoops.
And finally, it was time to go back to the hostel, grab my things, and catch the train. Luckily, this cathedral was a good landmark for where my hostel was (once I had finally found the right hostel).
The train ride back was pretty boring. They played the same two movies from my previous train ride, so I listened to some podcasts instead (a godsend for those of us who get motion sickness). Caught some windmills along the way (waaaay in the distance).
There you have it. I absolutely recommend you visit. There’s a big film festival in the fall and year round the food is great. I hope to visit again someday, hopefully with friends and family!
P.S. To all my devoted readers! I will be visiting St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August and would love to see you! (The whole point of my trip is to basically see you.) Feel free to contact me about it. Don’t know how to contact me? Check out the “Contact Me” section of my blog 🙂