Well, followers...I am back from Spain: 700 pictures later, exhausted, laundry out the wazoo, and safe and sound!
Since I visited four different cities and took hundreds of pictures (I guess my mommy taught me well) I am doing a blog entry for each city! I will post some of my favorite pictures along in the blog, but the others will be in a slideshow at the bottom!
San Sebastian was perfect, but having to be at the trian station at 6:11...not so much! It was freaking early and I had been up the night before watching my old guilty pleasure: The O.C. We had a picnic in Bordeaux for breakfast because we had an hour wait for the next train. Then, we finally made to Spain! We walked outside the train station to a beautiful new city! Full of life, sunlight, and places just dying to be seen by us!
|We had to cross a bridge from the train station to get to the center and we were constantly surrounded by water.|
It was Friday afternoon when we arrived so we decided to find the Office of Tourism (our favorite place in every city) and checked into our hotel. We passed the beautiful Cathedral of El Buen Pastor, shops shops and shops, a pit stop at the beach, and, wait for it...GELATO!!! For those of you who don't know, gelato is my favorite thing in the whole wide world apart from the Jonas Brothers and BWW. I first had it in Italy when I visited Europe for the first time and was instantly addicted. It's basically ice cream, but a thousand times better. More flavors, creamier, and just wonderful. I should have kept track of how many I ate while in Spain, but I will say it was one day, and sometimes two :)
Enough about wonderful gelato..we made a pit stop at the beach, found our hotel and got ready to sight see! Our first night was pretty laid back. We walked halfway up Mount Urgull and found lots of exciting things: a big Dieu (God), a lizard, flowers, and wonderful sights of San Sebastian!
|Dieu was always watching over us. He sat atop Mount Urgull and looked over San Sebastian.|
|The Victoria Eugenia Theatre.|
|Cathedral of El Buen Pastor|
|The beach was right below us! It was beautiful. |
At the top of Mount Urgull, we met some kids from Nevada, Ohio, and Kentucky who were all studying abroad and passing some time in San Sebastian. It was nice to see students taking advantage of the opportunities the world has, and I am blessed to be a part of it. We visited the History museum where pictures were our best friend because it was all in Spanish! We saw surfer's beach, sat on top of Mount Urgull and talked, relaxed, keeping cautious to not fall off the edge. Friday night we grabbed dinner and decided to head to the beach. I was determined to swim in it, but after seeing how cold it really was, I changed my mind. Plus, the evenings got kind of chilly anyway! We bought a bottle of this cider that was really cheap and really, really gross. Klara and I weren't about to waste our 3 euro, so we eventually finished it and I got the great idea to put a message in a bottle! I know it sounds silly, but I think it would be really cool to see if someone finds it and writes back. I wrote to a stranger what we were doing, how we liked San Sebastian, and threw my bottle into the ocean Saturday morning. I will patiently wait for a response and probably forget about my bottle in the next two months.
Saturday was a dreary day. It was rainy, chilly, and ugly. We weren't going to let that stop us! We walked along the ocean where we found HUGE waves, more churches, took a coffee and spoke French all the day, and shared the joy of Klara's having her very first churros, or "Churritos" as they came to be known. At the top of Mount Urgull, we found an English Cemetary and there was a small path that invited us ever so nicely to cross it. We began to climb and climb. Did I mention it had been raining all day and that equals mud. One can only guess what happens next...
|Yup, I fell. Right knee and both hands as my feet were sliding down. Quite the event. I'm so graceful :)|
Thankfully Kelli had some water that I could wash my hands with. It was quite the adventure of climbing the hill. We then walked to the complete other side of San Sebastian to see this art stuff that was on the coast. No one knew it was a 45 minute walk. In the cold, drizzling rain, it seemed like it lasted five hours. We were all bundled up in our jackets trying to stay dry and hoping what we were about to see was worth it. I think I should become a spokesperson for North Face because my North Face rain jacket that I have is my new best friend. It was soaked from all the rain, but I never got wet. It was warm, has a hood, and kept me quite dry. You should know I wouldn't remember my umbrella but at least I remembered my coat!
After walking the mountains, walking the coasts, we went for dinner at a cafe and then decided we wanted to go out that night. We found a bar on one of the streets around the corner from our hotel and decided to go there. Klara kept mentioning Sangria and I figured what better place to try it than in Spain. Apaprently the bar tender thought so too, and probably realized we were tourists because it was 6 euro! Granted it was a big glass, but that is a lot of euro for one drink! Obviously this bar wasn't the hopping place because we were three of eleven people in there total, so we peaced out.
|Klara and I with our 6 euro Sangria's from the sketchy bar.|
We went to another bar when disaster happened. Klara went to the bathroom and I ordered us 2 more Sangrias. When she came back and reached for her wallet, it wasn't there. We immediately checked the bathrooms, all over that bar, and the previous bar we visited. Klara was a disaster and none of us knew how in the world it happened. We were all wearing our purses the same way, none of us had been alone, and we were not at all throwing our wallets around. It was terrible. We searched everywhere and then Klara's dad said we should go to the police to get record of it. That took us another hour to find the police station. Thankfully, a nice waitress from our place at dinner saw us. She spoke English and helped us out a lot. During the disaster, all the bars and restaurants we went into were nice, except for the one with the 6 euro Sangria. Even the Police were nice for police. Eventually we made it home. It was quite the long day, but we had done all we could. We had an early train to Madrid so we finally went to sleep.
|Gelato. I was in heaven! It was so cheap too!|
Honestly, I loved San Sebastian and would jump at any opportunity to go back. Especially when it is warmer to just lay on the beaches or on top of Mount Urgull. We had a nice and cheap hotel with a great location, and there was gelato everywhere! How could I not like it? I kept thinking throughout my entire trip just how lucky I am. I saw so many beautiful sights in all three cities and it makes me sad to think that some people never get an opportunity to see what else the world has to offer. I thought to myself that I am living in landlocked Oklahoma (which I love) when I could live somewhere where I could swim in the ocean while looking at the mountains in the background. I cannot describe how thankful I am that I get to see the world. I have this desire now, more than ever, to travel. I feel there is so much the world has to offer in big and small cities, beachfront or mountains, hills or flat as home, it is just amazing. The Earth, history, art, cultures, lifestyles of different ways of life are fascinating to me. I am sure my Mom will disown me if I go abroad again, but I can't promise that I won't do it :) Not for studying, but for working or vacationing or even backpacking across Europe. I want to see it all!
Sorry for my serious moment. I just really appreciate what opportunity I have in front of me right now and I want to share it with everyone.