February 10, 2014 by Caroline Leland
Seaside Hikes and Barside Bites
The highlight of my weekend — which I largely spent sleeping in late and journaling in cafés — was the 10-mile hike Brooke and I embarked on Sunday. We took an early bus from Pamplona to San Sebastián (which I have learned that locals call by its Basque name Donostia). My Lonely Planet guide book had made me aware of a seaside hiking trail that runs 8k from San Sebastián/Donostia to its neighbor Pasajes — but the book failed to adequately describe the breathtaking cliff-top views over the ocean and the deep serenity of the quiet moss-covered woods through which the path took us.
|Brooke got really excited about this mossy rock|
|San Sebastián from above, as the sun is setting|
Those few hours being physically active in nature were even more refreshing to me than they might have been otherwise. I had spent the prior couple of days in a funk over an philosophical semi-crisis regarding life and love — something to which, as a chronic over-thinker, I am often susceptible. But trekking through the woods by the sea was, for me, an easy fix to that.
Brooke and I found Pasajes itself less than charming, so we stayed there just long enough for a slice of tortilla to hold us over until we got back to San Sebastián. Upon our return, I sampled for the first time San Sebastián’s vast array of pintxos, something for which the city is deservedly famous.
Second best to this weekend’s San Sebastián hike was Friday night, when I went to a small concert in Casco Viejo (downtown) with Massi, Georgina, a Spanish woman Massi tutors in English and her friend. I was more interested in the opportunity to chat with a Spaniard than in listening to a Spanish band playing in a bar — but I enjoyed both immensely. We went to a different bar later and I forced myself to stay out to a “reasonable” Spanish time: an excruciatingly late 5:30 a.m. That would be why I spent half of Saturday sleeping — something I’m trying hard not to regret/resent. Vive la vida de España, ¿no?