Sunday, April 7, 2019
Distance: 8 miles on the Camino, 10 miles around town
We did end up having one other perigrina with us last night, Alma from Mexico City. No need to worry about making morning noise however as our our hotelier has a policy of turning on the lights at 6:45.
Our day’s first destination, the 8:00 foot ferry. Well, after café (and pastries for some), of course!! Our day’s distance was presumably shorter than yesterday at 7 1/2 miles given the changes in our agenda. And we chose to stay at a different albergue at the far end of San Sebastián instead of at the entrance to the city – Ondarreta Albergue Juvenile.
San Sebastián is renowned for its beaches, cuisine and the Basque people. “Probably founded by Basques, it later hosted a Roman fort and monastery before becoming a Navarrese Military strongholds. Conflicts between France and Spain left a mark an San Sebastián. The most serious threat came in the Peninsular War, when Napoleon’s forces took the town and the Duke of Wellington besieged it for 2 1/2 months. The British finally broke through and celebrated by looting the town for a week. Ultimately, only two churches and 35 houses escaped this clash; the population was halved: Sebastián has been burned to the ground a dozen times over its history, and thus most buildings date from the 19th century.”
Our day was still quite grueling and though we started in fair weather in spite of the forecast of rain, come the 10:00 hour it was pouring and by the time we arrived at our destination we were soaked to the skin. There was a marathon going on (as in distance running) and we walked by several portions of it. Between the spectators and people just out enjoying their Sunday, we were amazed at the number of people out in the pouring rain with her umbrellas! In fact on the trail, we passed many a day hiker going in the opposite direction with their umbrellas!
Once we dried off and got settled in, we headed out for some adult beverage refreshments. Luckily for us, the sun came out and the sky was blue – so we hit the beach! Peter actually stripped down and jumped in! But he quickly bundled back up because it really wasn’t warm water or warm air for that matter. It felt great to walk in the sand and wave action though, for sure!!
What a Beautiful, Beautiful City!! I will so have to come back!! I am so very glad the sun came out as we had a wonderful afternoon strolling the Boulevard (as did HUNDREDS of others) and enjoyed some Amazing seafood at La Mejillonera! It was like an Spanish Ivar’s Seafood – as we yelled our orders over the bar!! I had delicious calamari and Padrón pimientos and a beer I had to hold on to with two hands (I shared). Day two of walking in the books!
The Catedral del Buen Pastor is a Neo-Gothic 19th century cathedral modeled after Cologne’s cathedral. Another gorgeous Gothic structure is the Church of St Vincent built in 1507. Also striking but with a more recent exterior us the Basilica de Santa María del Coro. The Museum of San Telmo within the 16th century Dominican Monastery of the same name, “contains a number of golden murals documenting Basque history. The museum also includes three works by El Greco and Rubens.”