On our family's Eurotour, my parents learned a crucial lesson: there is a vast, vast difference between "travel" and "vacation." A vacation is crashing on the beach for a week, where your only physical activity is turning the pages of Southern Living and your only mental activity is deciding whether you want a margarita a or cold beer.
Then there's travel - worrying about whether or not you printed your RyanAir boarding pass ahead of time, full-out sprinting through the Paris metro to your next train, arms burning from hauling luggage (I call this "travel-robics," but that's another post for another time). It is fun, it allows you to see so many things, and it's ultimately rewarding. But travel, in heavy doses, is exhausting.
After a week and a half of hardcore travel with my parents, I was ready for a vacation. Luckily B had a long weekend off work thanks to Bastille Day. He suggested we head to San Sebastian, Spain.
I had never heard of San Sebastian before, but I won't be forgetting it in the future. It's a perfect, small beach town on the Bay of Biscay, just barely across the France/Spain border. It's big enough that there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and things to do, but small enough that it wasn't stressful.
Our first day, Saturday, was cloudy and spitting rain, but we took the opportunity to climb up to the Jesus statue on Mont Urgull. It was a steep hike, and we got rained on (and seagull-pooped on), but it was worth it for the views. Our second day was spent napping (and, um, burning) on a nearby beach of Zarautz after a pitcher of sangria at lunch. On Monday, our last full day, we simply walked around the town and surrounding area all day, enjoying the sights. I wound up with a lot of pictures (so what else is new?).
San Sebastian is famous for its food - typically tapas. I loved that I could get teeny portions of deliciousness. And wine was cheap. At a super-fancy and delicious tapas restaurant, a glass of the local white Txakoli was only 1.40 Euros - a fantastic bargain. We bought several bottles to take back to France with us.
San Sebastian, previously unknown to me, wound up being one of my favorite places we've been thus far. Big cities in Europe typically take precedence, what with their museums, monuments, and general fanfare, but if you ever find yourself in Spain, make a beeline for this little coastal town. We promise you won't regret it.
E & B