June 24, 2012

NEWSWEEK : In the Depths of a City

A Newsweek article on San Sebastian  
...  And the center of all this was San Sebastian, a city at the mouth of a river surrounded by steep green mountains with a beach before a graceful round harbor with a gumdrop mountain in the middle. The city was like a small Paris with a harbor like Rio, and people lived so well here - with their afternoon swims, spectacular dining, famous gastronomic societies, lively bars, and evening strolls by the sea - that it was hard to think of it as the heart of political resistance.
But this has always been San Sebastian's paradox. In the 1990s kids put up stickers on the white ornate railing along the promenade by the beach. You would see the sticker as you gazed towards the harbor. It said: "Beautiful, isn't it? This is not Spain".
To me both statements seem true. It is beautiful, and its food, its culture, its people are different from Spain. Even the name of the city is different. In Basque, a language that has nothing in common with Spanish, it is called Donostia.  ...

Reflections on San Sebastian, in a Newsweek article. 
Pictures of an old bike-converted railroad tunnel under the city, by Pet.

Reflexiones sobre San Sebastian, en un artículo en Newsweek. 
Fotos de un antiguo tunel  de tren - reconvertido para bicis - bajo la ciudad, de Pet.


  1. People everywhere should live as well. Why can't it be so? The impossible question. It never will be for 99.9% of the world's people.
    I love your description-the gumdrop mountain. That would be a great title, the basis for a poem. Something grand! I probably won't get in an afternoon swim but I will be planting strawberries!

  2. what is a gumdrop?...here in Canada we must call them something else...maybe a gummie bear mountain I'm thinking......it does sound lovely there....and being political is just part of our global culture...keeps everybody on their toes!

  3. All that I have read on your blog and then later through travel books and the internet makes me want to visit this Basque area, for the food, the ambiance, the views, and even to see the gumdrop mountain!


  4. What lovely writing describing San Sebastien. And how timely for me to read this just now. We are looking into that area for a possible vacation in a few years - it's a long ways from Canada. This post makes me want to visit even more.

  5. Contrary to Newsweek, I would say that Donostia is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Be encouraged to check!