Our second day of classes started out a bit later than our first with breakfast at Olarain. The second day of riding our bikes to class went much smoother than the first, we only took one wrong turn this time! I don’t think I will ever get use to riding next to the beach on our way to class. The cool breeze and waves crashing on the empty beach has turned me into a morning-person. Our class was outside today which made learning much more enjoyable. After only the second day I can feel myself understanding the language better and speaking more clearly.
After class some of us grabbed some pintxos and a small beer for lunch which were amazing! This introduction into the classic style of food in Spain was perfect to prepare us for the official Pintxos Tasting Tour that we will go on in the next couple of days. We were surrounded by locals, tourists, young and old people alike. We moved on from our bar and headed down to the water where we could see across the bay, almost all the way to Olarain. Dozens of boats were docked or cruising around. Sailboats had their sails full and kayaks bounced along in the waves. The sun shone down on hundreds of people that lined the beaches in a cloudless sky. We walked around one of the mountains, Monte Urgull, where we had a great view of the island, waves crashing on the rocks, and another one of the historic sculptures. After walking around Old Town a bit, we headed to the next stop with the group.
San Sebastián Spain is full of amazing landscapes, from rivers to mountains to bays. We explored another one of the mountains, Mount Igueldo, by using the funicular with the group. The funicular allows dozens of people to ascend and descend mountains in a matter of minutes. We arrived at the top and stepped out onto the balcony where you could see France in the misty distance. We saw the Plaza de Toros, an arena used for sporting events such as basketball and bullfighting! We could see the island and the stadium where Real Sociedad plays. To the right we saw how the land slides into the sea, known as flysch formations. Layers of rock appear to be pressed tightly together like books on a shelf. This formation allows geologists to read the history of the Earth’s crust going back millions of years. Down the coast, closer towards Bilbao, is where Game of Thrones filmed scenes for the Targaryen’s home: Dragonstone. The views from the top of this mountain were incredible, you feel as if you are on top of the world.
Along with being a great spot to take Instagram-able pictures, this mountain is also home to the oldest roller coaster in Spain! Made up of the original stone, new mechanics have been added to continue to provide rides. For only €2.80, you can take this one minute long ride! You would think that the oldest roller coaster would be similar to a kids ride and the steepest hill would only be a couple feet high. We were happily mistaken as our stomachs dropped slightly on the hills. The ride brings you out on the far side where you have a spectacular view of the coast. This area also offers a lazy river ride, arcade games, bumper cars and more!
After taking the funicular back down the mountain we headed to one of the piers. Here we observed the Peine del Viento Sculptures. These sculptures consist of twisted beams of iron embedded deep into the natural rocks along the coast. There are three sculptures, all different, but the same concept of iron beams. The Comb of the Wind, the english translation, was installed in 1977 and was a collaboration between Luis Peña Gachegui and Eduardo Chillida. The three sculptures can mean many different things to everyone, some see them as representing the three Basque provinces, others see them as the past, present, and future, or broken chain links. Whatever it means to you, know that these pieces are very iconic in San Sebastian.
This trip was truly amazing, we got to see some incredible views of the bay and the Basque Country. Ride in the oldest roller coaster in Spain and travel in the small river cruise along the top of the mountain. We then got to see one of the great open sculptures in San Sebastian. This trip will definitely be one of my highlights.