Monday, 6 August 2007

San Sebastian

Just 21km west of the French border, within the Basque country, lies Donostia-San Sebastian, the summer capital of Spain. During the summer months, every day in San Sebastian is a party!

Out of San Sebastian’s three beaches – La Concha, La Zurrlola and Ondarreta, our guide informed us that La Concha was made popular by Queen Isabel and is considered to be one of the most beautiful city beaches in Europe. I completely agree with Her Highness!

The highlight though was the tiny Santa Clara island right in the centre of La Concha Bay. Breathtaking!! A few friends of ours, an Australian couple actually swam across from the bay to the island – clear blue waters, silver sands, not to strenuous either.

When I talk of an aquarium, you might think, “oh, that’s just a kid’s thing, it won’t really be worth seeing.” It was actually quite the contrary! I was surprised by the sheer size of the aquarium, complete with an underwater tunnel called the oceanarium. It is an underwater tunnel where you are completely surrounded by water and feel that you are really submerged in the deep blue sea. It is so cool, it gave me a 360° view of electric rays, Morays, Lion Fish and loads of other marine life including a shark!

We also took a short hike to the top of a hill which had an old castle and a fortress built at the top, along with a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The view of San Sebastian from here is stunning, you can see the entire cost line with amazing surfs coming in!

The place we stayed was located in the heart of Parte Vieja (the Old Quarter). The entire area was dotted with San Sebasti├ín's famous tapas (the only place in Spain were tapas are called pintxos, yum!!). The cobbled streets lined with Cathedrals, beautiful buildings and street musicians – gives you a lazy, cozy feel about the whole place!

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