Aside from the beautiful, intimate wedding at La Durantie, my favorite part of my recent vacation was our two days in San Sebastian. If I suddenly disappear from the internet, it’s because I found a way to move there and am living in a little hut near the beach with no wi-fi.
No, I’m serious.
Let me preface this by saying that normally I’m not a beach girl. I don’t love sand or sunscreen or really even salt water. And from a fashion standpoint, I’d much rather wear gorgeous winter outerwear and elbow length gloves than a bathing suit. Not to mention I’m so pale that I practically glow in the dark…
And despite all of that, I am so head over heels in love with the Spanish coast that I don’t even know where to start!
Fashion: Given its beach-side location its pretty easy to guess that the fashion uniform for the women of San Sebastian tends towards dresses, breezy skirts and slim fitting Capri pants. Lots of white and lots of bright colors. The clothes were pretty but fairly basic, the fashion was definitely all about the accessories. Lots of beachy totes and shopper-style bags, chunky jewelry and big, ornate necklaces, and embellished sandals. Not a heel to be seen! What was I most surprised about? The city-wide pastime appeared to be tanning and as a result, the women had awful skin. Awful. My boyfriend described them as “beef jerky in bikinis.” Not cute. Sunscreen ladies, listen to your mothers!
Fitness: In addition to two days of walking around the main city and Old Town, I got in my first run and my first swim of the trip while we were in San Sebastian. The main cove that the city sits on has an island in the center so its perfect for swimming, especially after working up a sweat watching the swimmers and sunbathers as we had verano de tinto overlooking the beach.
Food: San Sebastian is on the North-Western coast of Spain so in addition to traditional Spanish influences, the cuisine also has French and Andorran (Basque) undertones. Quite a combination. Lots of seasonings and interesting spices, seafood, vegetables and bread. We found some great wine and some cute little restaurants during our wanderings. My favorite dish was the patatas bravas, which I tried at about half a dozen restaurants.
Lodgings: In an attempt to help me “relax” my boyfriend planned the second half of our vacation, including booking the hotel for San Sebastian. I was skeptical, I’ll admit, but it turned out quite nice. Well… Except for the two twin beds aspect. But we had a pool and a view, and a spacious, clean room.
Sights: The San Sebastian that we saw consisted of an older part of town with beautiful architecture and old buildings, a more commercial, modern downtown and a touristy section near the beach with hotels, restaurants, cafes and small shops.
Travel: The trip from Bordeaux to San Sebastian consisted of a 5 hour train ride to the French-Spanish border and then a 20-30 minute ride on a smaller, local commuter train through the mountains near the border and over to the coast. When we left San Sebastian (sob) we went to a different train station for a very early morning train ride to Madrid.
Highlights: I don’t think I can narrow down my favorite part of this city, I loved the view of the beach, the sangria, the chevre salads… Let’s just saying leaving it was my least favorite part of the trip!
Stay tuned for the final part of the trip, steamy Madrid, and my second celebrity sighting!