Spain
Arriola

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  • Day4

    What's in a name? Donostia/San Sebastián

    March 28 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After three sunny days of traveling through Belgium and France we reach the northern coast of Spain and arrive at our first real stop in the autonomous region of Basque Country. It’s a small town with a big reputation: Donostia (in Basque language), San Sebastián (in Spanish language), or Little Paris (its nickname).

    Basque, the language actively spoken in this region, is a unique language unrelated to any other language in Europe and has been spoken for more than 2000 years. Hello is not “Ola” but “Aizu”, thank you is not “Gracias” but “Eskerrik asko”, and to order tapas in Basque region one asks for “Pintxos” instead. The language is one of the beautiful characteristics of this region that has kept its autonomy for centuries: Vikings, Romans nor dictator Fransisco Franco could break the nationalism of Basque Country. As a result of Franco’s oppression, however, Basque Country could not obtain independence from Spain. While regaining significant autonomy after Franco’s death in 1975 some wanted full independence and turned to violence and terrorism: the armed organisation of ETA (“Basque Homeland & Liberty”) has been responsible for more than 800 deaths including Franco’s successor, Spanish military, police personnel, other political administrative figures, and 340 civilians. The now so peaceful streets of Donostia / San Sebastián and other cities in Basque Country were filled with riot police and locals were living in fear for decades. ETA only stopped their attacks after (not their first time) calling ceasefire in 2011, and have said to completely dissolve and dismantle the organisation as recent as 2018. Yet a drive for Basque independence remains, and peaceful Basque nationalism is very much alive amongst the locals.

    As we arrive in the afternoon we start off with a 8 KM walk through the hilly coastline right outside of Donostia / San Sebastián. The surroundings are beautiful and quiet; a silence that’s only interrupted by the bells of grazing goats on steep green slopes and an occasional cow mooing. The surroundings are exhausting, too: all the sitting we’ve done the past three days is rightfully compensated by some serious leg work going up and down the paths! Coming back to the tiny town of our camping for the night we join the regulars for some pintxos and a glass of wine in a local cafe. Life is good.

    Donostia / San Sebastián is most known for two things: its beautiful beaches and its food. In the morning we decide to first explore the sight of beaches. We take the local bus to mountain Igueldo and ascend with a funicular train to the summit to enjoy fabulous views of the La Concha bay. After taking it all in, we descend and take a walk on the boulevard along the beach and towards the old centre of the city. This old quarter starts with the magnificent Town Hall, situated in a building that was originally built as a casino in 1887. It was the extravagance of this type of buildings that contributed to the city earning the nickname “Little Paris”. The rich and wealthy of Europe came to this place for spectacular parties. During the First World War the casino was home to European political refugees and spies, including the Dutch Mata Hari. In 1947 the building became the city’s Town Hall. The rest of the old quarter is no less beautiful. We walk the cobbled streets, past various churches and Plaza de la Constitución. This is where the Town Hall used to be and where people would pay the government for a seat on one of the numbered balconies to watch bull fights. As we are walking we are soon welcomed by the scents of that other thing the city is famous for: food!

    Donostia / San Sebastián is ranked #1 as “best food destination in the world”, before Tokyo and New York. The city of just 180.000 people has nine (!) Michelin-star restaurants and on every corner you find a bar serving delicious pintxos (tapas). Therefore it’s no surprise we see some food loving Singaporean tourists walking around! Tim and I skip the Michelin-star places and go for the small local pintxos bars instead. For both lunch and dinner we indulge in a variety of little bites and some wines, including the local Txakoli wine. What a feast!

    Between lunch and dinner we do some more leg work and hike up another mountain. Here we find the ruins of a castle, a sunny terrace for drinks, and views that might be even prettier than those from Monte Igueldo. Definitely worth the climb! Ending the day with a stroll past the city’s river and collection of bridges and into the newer part of town, one day of visiting is enough for us to understand why so many people are raving about this place. No matter the name used, and aside from political aspirations, as per Shakespeare’s wisdom: “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”.
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    Al veel gezien deze paar dagen. Mooi en het zonnetje er bij. Liefs Ingrid [Ingrid]

    3/29/22Reply
    Jack van Delft

    Wel goed voor ons English... mooi daar. Hier krijgen we weer nachtvorst.

    3/29/22Reply

    Bedankt voor de uitgebreide geschiedenis- en literatuurlessen 😄 Lekker genieten al lees ik, dat doen jullie goed. Hoe is het om te rijden met het bussie? [Evelien]

    3/29/22Reply
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  • Day12

    Playa de la concha

    September 22, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Muschelsuche am schönsten Stadtstrand Europas in Donostia. San Sebastián ist eine Stadt am Golf von Biskaya im bergigen Baskenland in Spanien. Sie ist bekannt für die Strände Playa de la Concha und Playa de Ondarreta, die von einer malerischen Uferpromenade gesäumt werden, sowie weltberühmte Restaurants mit innovativen Köchen. In der gepflasterten Altstadt (Parte Vieja) grenzen luxuriöse Boutiquen an beliebte Pinxtos-Bars, in denen lokale Weine mit den regionalen Mini-Spezialitäten vereint werden.Read more

  • Day52

    Luxus Stadt mit drei Stränden

    May 16 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Welche Stadt hat denn bitte drei Strände?
    Und unzählig viele: -alte schöne Gebäude, -prunkvolle Straßenlaternen, Brücken und Unterführungen, -sehr gut bewertete Restaurants und noch vieles Me(e)hr zu bieten?
    San Sebastian!☀️🍦🥰🍷🏖️
    In der Welthauptstadt der besten Gastronomie fühlen wir uns natürlich richtig wohl und genießen hier ein paar Tage das leckere Essen und die schönen Strände.
    Die letzten Reisetage sind (vorerst) gezählt und vergehen wie im Flug 🌝
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  • Day36

    Coast Track - San Sebastian

    October 8, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Endlich wieder am Meer ❤️
    Heute sind wir in San Sebastian einen wunderschönen Küstenwanderweg zum nahegelegenen Fischerörtchen Pasaia gegangen. In Pasaia haben wir eine historische Bootswerft besucht, wo ein Team aus acht Handwerkern eine Replika der San Juan, eines Walfangschiffs aus dem 16. Jahrhundert, nur mit Hilfe der damaligen Mittel und Werkzeuge baut. Damals hat man so ca. 6 Monate gebraucht, um ein solches Schiff zu bauen, heute bauen sie bereits seit 5 Jahren und ein Ende ist noch nicht in Sicht. Ziel soll es sein mit dem Schiff später nach Kanada zu segeln, wo die Basken früher Wale gejagt haben - natürlich ohne das Walejagen! Ebenso wie der Bau, soll auch die Überfahrt genauso ablaufen, wie zur damaligen Zeit. Sprich ohne Sonar und moderne Hilfsmittel - Der Steuermann steht zwei Etagen tief unter Deck und bewegt auf Anweisung seiner Kameraden das Ruder in die entsprechende Richtung. Eine ziemlich verrückte Unternehmung, aber die Tatsache das damals die Matrosen mit 3l Cidre pro Tag anstatt Wasser versorgt wurden, da sich dieser länger hält, stellt wohl einen entsprechenden Anreiz dar 🍻Read more

    Mira Schneider

    😱 was für eine tolle Farbenpracht 🤩🥰

    10/8/19Reply
    Mira Schneider

    😱was für ein hübsches Pärchen 🤩🥰

    10/8/19Reply
    Janina Lampe

    Ja wir hatten einfach mal Bombenwetter und Morgen soll es den ganzen Tag regnen - Einfach mal Glück haben :P

    10/8/19Reply
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  • Day11

    San Sebastión to Logroño by Bus

    July 12, 2021 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    It rained overnight and drizzled all morning as we prepared for and left San Sebastián. Hit a Starbucks on the way to the bus station to see if we could get an American coffee instead of a cafè americano. No dice. Took the bus through the coastal mountains and into cool dry overcast of the interior. It’s really been nicer weather here than the record heat you are experiencing back in the PNW. The private albergue we wanted to stay at in Logroño had closed due to covid so we went ended up at the Logroño municipal albergue. It’s a clean, dormitory style place. The nice thing about albergues is the people and the Camino orientation. People noticed they hadn’t seen us on the trail and introduced themselves. The woman running the albergue strongly suggested we get reservations each night because so many albergues are closed and the ones open are restricted to half capacity. We picked a relatively easy 9 mile walk for tomorrow to the small town of Ventosa and she called ahead and made reservations for us. Really nice people associated with the Camino. Did laundry for the first time on the trip. Things were getting ripe after the effort of the near vertical trails on the coast. Talked with Debbie, got dinner, and back in bed because they close up tight, lights out at 10. Calling it a day now. See you in the morning for our first day walking on the Camino Frances!
    Buen Camino!
    Phil
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    Patti Correll

    Starbucks? Something seems wrong about that. 😵‍💫

    7/15/21Reply
     
  • Day10

    Layover in San Sebastián

    July 11, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    No room at the albergue in San Sebastián but we got good sleep at our clean but funky and expensive pension in the old section of town. San Sebastián is the vacation capital of Spain and much of Europe & Britain. It is a par-tay town this time of year. There are great beaches that are full of people and the streets of the old town full of restaurants/bars. When a couple of old dudes with red scarves come hobbling into town on a Saturday night, watch out San Sebastián! So anyway, we slept well and in the morning, decided we needed to reassess our situation and decide if it was necessary to revise our plan. We immediately set up a situation room at a nearby bar/coffee shop (photo below). After coffee and ibuprofen, it became clear to us that the Camino del Norte is no country for old men. Spectacular scenery, but the terrain… It’s supposed to get easier after the first 5 days, but we still see a lot of “Sierra del …) on the map ahead. The towns are farther apart, which means less flexibility if you want to either stop early or walk later. And there are fewer pilgrims on this route. We haven’t really felt that Camino kinship with fellow travelers because fewer people walk this route, especially with the impact of Covid. We talked about continuing on as penance for our sins, but couldn’t really come up with anything we had ever done. So we have decided to (drum roll) head inland and pick up the Camino Frances. Dale has already done the Frances, but many people have done it multiple times. We will catch a bus to Logroño tomorrow morning and resume our walk on Tuesday having had a two day rest. We spent the rest of the day moving to an albergue and walking on the beach. After a seafood dinner, I’m back in bed writing up the day’s events. Speaking of food, the Basque people are famous for their cuisine, specializing in seafood. Pintxos (the x is silent) is a class of small cheap finger foods that can be a snack or a meal. It is served everywhere. It is typically served with a young acidic wine called “txakoli”, which is poured into the glass from about 3 feet above. We ate well. That’s all the news from Spain. Going to get some sleep now.
    Buen Camino,
    Phil
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    Connie Merrell

    Great descriptions. Feel like I am there except for the physical hardships. Connie

    7/12/21Reply
    Patti Correll

    Sounds like you made a good decision to adapt your plans. There's The Plan and then there's Life.

    7/15/21Reply
     
  • Day30

    Tag 30

    April 30, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Heute endet mit dem Monat April unser erster Monat im Nomadenleben. Acht spannende Monate stehen uns noch bevor.

    Folgende Zahlen können wir zusammentragen:

    3613 Kilometer gefahren
    1851 Franken ausgegeben
    5x Fäkalientank geleert
    1x Gasflasche gewechselt
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    Roland Lässer

    Ca. CHF800 für Diesel? + Autobahngebühren. Bescheiden gelebt. 👏👏👏👏👏

    4/30/21Reply
     
  • Day2

    Ziel heute span. Grenze

    February 28 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ -3 °C

    Bei - 2 Grad wach geworden. Heute Nacht suchen wir auf jeden Fall einen Campingplatz. Die Räder hatten leichten Frost
    Wir sind in San Sebastián gelandet. Direkt am der span. Grenze. Zwischendurch 21 Grad. Am Abend wieder kühl. Jetzt gibt's noch Abendessen und ein groooosses Bier.
    Der Campingplatz in San Sebastián ist prima als Transitplatz geeignet. Günstig Dank Acsi (22€)und ganzjährig geöffnet und Rezeption geöffnet bis mindestens 21 Uhr. Den merken wir uns.
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    juergenft

    Nachts kühlt es stellenweise sehr ab. Wir hatten auch schon Eis auf dem Wohnmobil und alle Wasserhähne auf dem Platz waren zugefroren.

    2/28/22Reply
    Mo Cassel

    spätestens übermorgen wollen wir in Fuseta sein, da wird der Frühling sich durchgesetzt haben gegen den Winter... 😍

    2/28/22Reply
     
  • Day32

    San Sebastian - bloß koan Hund am Beach!

    September 10, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    ... der macht zum Schluss no den Sand kaputt...
    Stadtführung mit Arantza, meiner Bekannten aus Peru. Jakobsweg Etappe nach Zarauz mit Alberto - el loco - und Jeremy aus Paris, der dank Alberto die erste Etappe überlebt hat...
    Suche nach Hundestrand ohne Erfolg - weitergefahren auf nen Campingplatz und die warme Dusche genossen 😊
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  • Day13

    Restaurant

    August 11, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Eine Empfehlung des Hotels inkl Reservierung- wir tapern an der Schlange vorm Restaurant vorbei und können direkt zu unserem Tisch.
    Aufgrund der leichten Verständigungsprobleme gibt es Pommes und Kartoffeln 🤷‍♂️🤣Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arriola