The photo above is important because our car is one of those parked in that long row -- we were so grateful to finally find a place to Stop. The. Car!! This is a problem with renting a car in Europe -- one has to manage the parking as well. We had contemplated making a base in a small town on the French side, near enough to visit San Sebastian from but easier, we thought, to breathe in than the bigger city. Instead, after finding the hotel, with some difficulty for this navigator (map on lap, recognising signs just as one passes the turn . . . ), we had to turn sharply left, up a steep hill, on a narrow (but two-way, scarily) street, at the top of which was a hairpin turn (narrower) into two tiny spaces -- which didn't even clearly belong to the hotel. Paul bravely reversed his way out of that little hell, and we continued on our 130 kmh way through numerous toll stations into San Sebastian. Through which we had to find our way through a maze of streets, many one-way as in any dense city, meanwhile trying to locate a hotel which MIGHT have a vacancy.
I was stressed -- and Paul will probably tell you I was also stressful! So being able to park the car here and walk over to breathe the sea? Priceless. And I loved watching the troops of walkers ticking off their daily constitutionals, as with this group of older women, above.
Luggage stowed, the car safely parked, we headed out to explore. Here's La Concha -- on a day that barely scraped 20 degrees -- imagine it in June! July! . . . Some topless women here, very nonchalant about it, in the minority but still adding that European sophistication to the beach. Enough swimmers in the water to make us think we'll take our swimsuits next visit.
Wandering through the old town, we arrived back at the plaza I'd had that first coffee in, and we noticed stairs heading up the hillside, with signs indicating a statue up the top. So we headed up . . .
You wouldn't know that from the beautifully filtered light . . .