Monday, June 30, 2014

We ride antique funicular to best view of San Sebastian

The next morning we set off for a walk through the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town to the port. We passed by some picturesque three- and four-storey buildings faced with lovely blue ceramic tiles that peeked out from between the laundry hanging outside the windows. There were a few restaurants right on the quay that looked like they might be good for lunch.

At the end of the port we stopped to watch the people swimming their dogs down a large boat ramp. The Labradors were definitely the most enthusiastic picking up whatever was thrown for them, as well as for the other dogs. Moving along we came to a long, wide promenade around the promontory. Overlooking us on the hill was the giant statue of San Sebastián. The walk was lovely with no cars and not that many people. It led us right back to our hotel.

It was becoming quite warm so we decided to take the bus past the long stretches of beach to the other side of the bay and within walking distance of the 102-year-old wooden funicular. On the way up we shared a car with a Dutchman and his bike. He had biked all the way from Holland and was continuing on to Santiago before meeting up with his wife. Quite a trip.

At the top the views were stunning with long stretches of golden sand and the island of Santa Clara sitting in the middle of the bay with little boats plying to and fro and San Sebastian overlooking it all from his hilltop across the bay. Of course all this was set against a remarkable blue sky.

We wandered around the top of the hill, which is occupied by a hotel at one end and an old fashioned fun fair at the other. It seemed like an odd combination. Eventually, it was time to take the steep ride back down to the town. We thought we would catch the bus back but ended up taking a long walk around the promenade back to the port. Since it was 35 degrees, our progress was a bit slow. Our experience has been that restaurants right on ports are pretty good but this was not the case today with some mediocre service, stale bread and drowned salad.

Later that evening we made up for our disappointment having some lovely hake, called merluza in Spain, while watching the Spain football match on the restaurant television. Every restaurant in the old town was tuned in to the match. But the excited pre-game buzz eventually became quite muted - Spain, unbelievably was out of the World Cup.

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