The days in San Sebastian are beginning a bit differently than back home. When the alarm on my phone rings off in the morning, there is about 10 seconds of wanting to roll over until I’m self-aware enough to realize where I am, and that I’m not about to get up and drive to work. I’m in Spain and get to go out and explore a city that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been to Europe, so the way the city is set up, and the way the cars are different, is very interesting for me. For our second morning we are starting to see the routine of how getting to class and back is going to work. I’d say we have another 2 or 3 days to figure out these bike lanes so that we stop almost getting hit by cars or pissing off pedestrians, who have so kindly shared their thoughts with how we are biking.
We haven’t even been here 2 days and have been told probably 10 times by multiple people how lucky we are to be having this weather, so we did not put our afternoon to waste. I went to Ondarretta Beach with a couple friends, and I believe a few others went as well. After a great afternoon, we met Professor Zabalbeascoa for our second excursion of the trip. Mount Igueldo was incredible in its way of presenting the city to us. We took the “funicular”, which was essentially a cable car that brought us up the side of the hill, to the park and viewing area that were at the top.
As an engineering student, I thought this was neat way of getting up; the way the cars were attached to the cable and how old it was, but this was nothing compared to what we saw at the top. The view of the city cannot be understood through pictures. From where we were, you could be looking out at the city of San Sebastian for hours.
With the ocean to the left and the city to the right, there was too much to see in the time that we were there. Going up, my mindset was to get some cool pictures, its my turn to do the blog post, which I eventually did take, but I found myself just starting off at the endless aspects of the view. The view lets you understand how different this part of the world is and builds excitement for the days and weeks to follow. Much better than the windows login wallpapers.
The old amusement park at the top was also something to see. You could tell how much they care about the history of the park because of the age and how well preserved it was. I think it was all of us that ended up going on the old roller coaster that they had, which was one of the big attractions.
Getting on we had no idea of the view that we would have from the other side. After just seeing the large European city, we were literally turned around to look at the coastline and lush mountains, with almost no sign of people having been there. I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I was on a roller coaster. I was just looking out into the ocean, from a completely new perspective than back home. I then became quickly aware that I was on a roller coaster when we went down the other side. All of this was great, but it almost seemed like a quick distraction from what we saw behind us. The city and beach we had for the next 3 weeks.
The trip ended by visiting a popular sculpture in the city, “The Comb of the Wind”, by Eduardo Chillida. As one of our first experiences together as a full group, the sculpture was essentially used as a representation of why we were here as college students studying abroad.
Professor Zabalbeascoa explained to us a very interesting interpretation of this art, and how it can be a representation of the past, present, and future. This sculpture itself was 3 iron posts coming out of the rocks, breaking off into curls, or “combs”. The main piece, or most accessible, was in the viewing area. This was close enough that we could touch it and see it rusting and reacting with the water. Another was behind us, towards the city, which would represent the past and where we came from. The third was off in the distance, going forward, meant to represent our future. We realized that we should be mindful of where we are as to make the most of our time here. There was so much to take in, and this could be the only opportunity to experience the city.