Nearby tombstone of a fallen solder beside Mount Urgull in the Basque town of San Sebastián.
Taken on the streets of San Sebastian, Spain, during the St Thomas Day Festival.
“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” – Rosalind Russell
“There is beauty when something works and it works intuitively” – Jonathan Ive
*Taken in San Sebastián, Spain, overlooking La Concha Bay in The Bay of Biscay. San Sebastián is a coastal town on the border between Spain + the South of France.
Mount Urgull is a hill by the ocean sitting at the heart of the Basque city of San Sebastián. The hill (123 m at its highest point) became a defence point since the early ages of the city foundation in the 12th century, but the walls and the military structure were reinforced especially after the modern state boundaries took shape in the 16th century.
The hill is topped by a stronghold (headquarters, barracks and warehouses), the Mota Castle, and it had a chapel and a conspicuous 12 metre-long sculpture of Jesus Christ added in 1950, now towering over the bay. The hill (as well as the city) was a hotspot for military operations, like the ones of the Siege of San Sebastián (1813) and the assaults of 1823, 1836 and 1876 (Carlist Wars). It had an advantage being so high up, soldiers could see their enemy coming.
View from our room while on vacation in San Sebastián recently. Here is an article The Independent Online wrote about this gorgeous European hot-spot.
Hotel: Hotel Londres
Food: Seafood platter, meat platter + fries at Bar Swing
Donostia, as it is called in the native Basque, rose to prominence in the mid-19th century when it became the seaside resort of choice for Spain’s Queen Isabell II and later, Queen Maria Cristina, who set up her summer court in the Miramar Palace, overlooking La Concha beach.
It’s the land of Pintxo bars and the legendary “Old Town”, dating back to when the city was founded in 1180.
The annual “Saint Thomas’s Day” takes place on December 21st, when the city turns into an enormous country market of which the absolute star is the “txistorra” (fresh chorizo-like sausage). Stalls are set up all over the city, offering all sorts of food and craft wares, mostly produced by the people from the local farmhouses. These include cheese, honey, txistorra sausage, cider and cakes.
San Sebastián is one of the cities in the world to hold the highest number of Michelin stars per square metre (only beaten by Kyoto in Japan, and well ahead of cities like Paris and Lyon). The city is dotted with “Pintxo” Bars… hosting some very unusual, delicious tapas-like snacks! I especially enjoyed the local wine, “Txakoli”, which you traditionally drink with your pintxos (pinchos). These are great ideas to make at home + recreate a bit of Spanish cuisine in your kitchen!