Donostia San Sebastián

A weekend in Spain

We took a trip to San Sebastián last weekend to make the most of the unseasonably warm October weather.

The harbour and bay area
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

Boys in football gear

San Sebastián is a beautiful, lively city in the Basque region of Spain. The busy shopping area is located right next to the beach. Spanish families eat ice creams and mingle with tourists in the old city. Children play football in the streets, or enjoy the park on the seafront.

Basilica of Saint Mary of the Chorus

Carousel in front of City Hall

Children dressed alike
Adults dressed alike, maybe they’re brothers


 A stroll through the narrow city streets led us to tapas, and more tapas. Or Pintxos in Basque. Delicious. Although (and I have a hazy memory of a forgotten new year’s resolution) my Spanish did let me down badly. The words came out in Italian, in French, even in Irish (!)…  But we still managed to eat well by pointing and gesturing. The locals are used to the influx of tourists, especially French (it’s only a half an hour from Biarritz) and switched easily from Spanish and Basque to French and English.



The best views of the city were to be enjoyed from Mount Urgull. We climbed up through the park to the historic castle and the statue of Jesus overlooking the city. My calf muscles are nearly back to normal now, thanks for asking.

Playa de la Concha was ideal for people-watching. A bride and groom arrived down from the city hall for a photo shoot–the bride struggling through the sand with her long white dress, the groom carrying the Champagne and glasses for that perfect photo. Children played in the sand–often naked, as seems to be the norm. The melodious tune of a saxophonist on the promenade wafted down towards us. A businessman arrived after work with a novel, stripped down to his boxers, and went in for a swim. Then he lay there reading until he was dry enough to put back on his shirt and tie and head home. Made me wish I lived closer to the sea.


Certainly the nicest city beach I’ve ever visited.




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