Thursday, April 29, 2010

San Sebastian, Day 3

A bit late with this, but the wifi at the hotel was not functioning on Tuesday. I'll just post one day's adventures as I can. I'm in Bilbao now, with only semi-functional wifi, so no pictures. Later!

Staying in town today, relaxing.
First thing is a long stroll up and down the main beach. With the tide this far out, the central beach is connected to the one further west, and it even looks like you could rock-hop out to the island. In the rocky part of the shore, people armed with plastic bags and pointed sticks are chasing shellfish. There's a large tractor out raking the sand beyond the tide line, a sort of beach zamboni.
I go all the way to the famous sculpture at the far western point, beyond which is onlt the sheer rocky coast. This is not where yesterday's trail takes up again to go to Compostela. No path at all. The sun is out in force today, clearly warmer already than the past two days. The waves lick the rocks, but not seriously. The wave of high school students and their chaperone comes and talks loudly and smokes, and goes.
Back east again, this time barefoot, along the edge of the gentle surf. The die-hard tanners are out already, setting up for the day with their towels on the sand above the tideline, though they have hours and hours before it gets that high again. The tide rises about eight vertical feet here. For a beach this flat it's quite a change.
I don't usually visit a lot of museums, but the San Telmo's art collection and local culture looked interesting. Ah. yes, it's in one of the massive old buildings currently shrouded in the scaffolding and hammering and sawing of renovation. Closed for the year.
Lunch (lunch figures large in this blog!) is finger food in one of the ubiquitous bars. There are 44 platters of little tasties lined up two deep along the bar, and only a dozen stools to sit on. Happily for me there's a table free, and not too many people crowding around the edibles. I'm getting the hang of getting a plate and picking what I want, not too shy waiting for the staff to do it for me.
Four bits and that's lunch. For the last one I pick something that looks like goat cheese drizzled with caramel or honey, with a walnut on top. Unexpectedly, the waitress wants to heat it for me. As she whisks my chosen away and shoos me back to my stool, I wonder if those were onions I saw, peeking out from under the cheese. That's fine. I love onions. They're just not usually dessert.
On to the Aquarium. It's not a large one, but nice. About half is not an aquarium at all, but a museum of San Sebastian and shipbuilding and fishing. Lots of models. And yes, live fish. Oh, and here comes the big school group. A small place, but effective. Some tiny tanks, but mostly they give you multiple views of a few large tanks, including one built over and around the walkway so you're in a tunnel of fish. The little spotted sharks in that one like to hang around motionless, in large groups, just on the surface of the plexiglass tunnel. They look like stickers of sharks until you notice them breathing (er, pushing water through their gills).
After the visit I just wander about, looking for a good picture book of the town. I don't find one. The various bookstores I come across all have the same three, none of which is particularly well done. So never mind. I might find a pretty book in tomorrow's destination, Bilbao.
More tapas for dinner (no, nobody says "tapas", it's "pintxo" here, like a 'pinch'), and I'll try that sangria, thanks.
Better internet luck later, I hope!

1 comment:

steven said...

nanu the words paint great pictures all on their own!! steven