San Sebastian – a pretty city

San Sebastian is located on a beautiful bay IMG_1521
with about 4kms of high-walled seafront
promenade along the Playa de la Concha and the Playa de Ondaretta. The high-walled Rio Urumea makes for pleasant walking too. The walls make sense when the tide goes out – a daily tidal variation of some two metres. When the tide turns, the depth of the water changes very rapidly and most of the beach disappears.

IMG_1525

The Isla de Santa Clara gets its own tiny beach when the tide is out.

Steep hills surround the bay, making for Monte Igueldo at 800m makes for a challenging walk if you don’t use the funicular. The views are superb!

The wealth of the city is reflected in stately buildings, tree-lined boulevards, manicured gardens, public sculpture and very few empty retail spaces. The financial crisis is not apparent here – very high end stores have substantial retail space. People are fashionably dressed (from elderly couples – the hombres always in a suit and tie, the senoras carefully coifed and suited up – through to  families with their children looking like they’re off to a fashion shoot); and the bars and restaurants are mostly filled with local families having a good time.