We’re actually in Spain right now, doing the most German of things and holidaying in Mallorca over Christmas … I’m currently sitting in the hostel common room listening to some of our adopted-countrymen chatting away at breakfast… Not a spanish word in ‘sight’.
But I still didn’t put up the final (two) installment(s) of our Grand Summer Holiday in Spain.
Andy’s face shows his disappointment in my tardiness:
Let’s try to get this done before the end of year eh?
Here we go.
After the shortest of stops in Bilbao, we headed east to San Sebastian.
San Sebastian is one of those crazy places that every man and his dog goes to for the Summer.
It’s getting to be a bit much: there are discussions about whether it can continue to survive as a real city (and not just a shell filled with brits and germans), and walking around the centre you definitely see (literal) signs of the rising anti-tourist sentiment.
We, in the traditional Armarniewski tradition of terrible timing (think: trying to book a hotel in Stockholm when One Direction was in town, trying to travel in Indonesia during the last week of Ramadan…), booked a stay in San Sebastian during the Big Week (Semana Grande).
Which means that there were a lot of people.
The main beach looked like this:
… which made us look like this:
But don’t worry little friends. For those of you who are terrified by people, and prefer a bit of peace… it turns out that San Sebastian has more than one bit of sand near a bit of sea.
Walk just 10 or so minutes up the road and you’ll find this:
Much more relaxing!
I didn’t swim, because I am Australian and therefore a total wuss for swimming when the air temperature is less than 35 degrees. But, Andy did manage a dip on at least one of the days, and we both enjoyed strolling around on the water’s edge.
In Berlin, I greatly miss the smell of the sea, plus the drama of the whole sea+sky thing.
Because the weather was great, and we had nowhere to be in a hurry, we spent most of our time just ambling around the town, watching the people and soaking in the sun…
… and then, because Andy is Andy, we had to climb up to the top of the highest nearby hill, to look down at things.
Possibly the man is part pigeon.
^Jesus also likes looking down on things.
On the way back down the hill, we played ‘spot the lizard’. I tell you this, because it is important that you know that I spotted all of the lizards.
(I could not spot that darn frog in Salamanca though… )
On the second day in San Sebastian, much like on the first, Andy made us walk.
And go up a hill.
First we headed to the west of the main beach (which, by the way, also contains areas of sand and sea which do not have 10000 German/British tourists per square cm), to see some sculptures which looked like this:
Can you tell what they are supposed to be?
How about if I tell you that they are supposed to be an animal?
Apparently ‘bulls’ is the right answer.
Though I suspect this one might just be the letters S and R.
Luckily for me, and my poor little lung, the journey to the top of the second, much-higher-than-the-first hill involved a funicular.
Which in itself, made the whole thing worth it.
But the view from the top was also pretty great.
Ok, for the people whose tastes lie outside of the subject of ‘Andy’:
Bizarrely, the second hill had a kind of amusement park at the top of it.
Which meant that I got to go in bumper cars, for what I believe was the very first time in my life!
And that was pretty much that for San Sebastian, with the exception of the crazy festival-related stuff (more on that later) and the fact that we checked out the Museum, which had a great hipster-y cement/plant outside, and a very cool churchy inside:
Or final day in Spain was in Santander, which was sadly kind of grey.
Once again, we mostly spent the day walking around, and meeting the locals:
The highlight of the day was definitely the penguins, which apparently just live their normal lives in this little enclosure as part of the Santander palace grounds.
They also had seals, which are great and all…
Although let’s be honest… try as they might, they are just no penguin.
.. and Andy liked it so much that he decided to be one:
And then we walked on along the beach back to our hotel, and flew back to Germany the following day.