Friday, July 6, 2018

Hiking in the Hills above San Sebastian, Walking Through Town

We walk along the coast around Mount Urgull on the Paseo Nuevo, stopping first in Old Town for breakfast pintxos, and heading through the district of Gros to the hills above town to hike north through the mountains along the coast toward Pasaia.

 Breakfast pixtos:  octopus, ham and gorgonzola, ham sandwich

As we round the point of Mount Urgull, Gros appears in the distance and we continue, crossing the Urumea River (Urumea Itsasadarra) into the district and walking along Zurriola Beach, the third of the main San Sebastian beaches.

Rounding the point on Paseo Nuevo, Gros in the distance

 Zurriola Beach in Gros

From Gros, we start up stairs and streets heading north from town into the hills and parks of the region.  The views back across Gros and toward San Sebastian are spectacular as we ascend.

 Heading up

 Looking back

We wander through the park at top, conclude that we won't make it to the next town (Paisaia) without more time and a better map, trade picture-taking with two mountain bikers who pass by, and circle around back down into the city

Mountain bikers take our picture at peak

Entering town, we pass some of the grand old San Sebastian buildings on the river near Old Town.

 Kursaal Conference Center, Maria Cristina Hotel

Victoria Eugenia Theater, Mercado de la Brexta

The Mercado de la Bretxa dates from 1871 and we take a quick walk through, starting to think about lunch as we view all the fabulous food.

 Inside Mercado de la Bretxa

We're on the edge of Old Town and walk a few blocks to Constitution Plaza (Plaza de la Constitucion) and settle in a restaurant on the edge of the plaza for lunch:  shared cheese plate and octopus appetizers.  Plaza de la Constitucion was originally a bull ring and the building dominating the square was the old city hall until the 1940s.  The balconies overlooking the plaza still display numbers above the doors designating the box seat that each apartment used to provide during the bullfights.

 Cheese plate and octopus bowl

Plaza de la Constitucion

Walking back from lunch, we pass through several small parks and great floral gardens and displays.

 Parks and gardens

A few blocks from our hotel, we run across the Cathedral of Buen Pastor (Good Shepard), built in neo-Gothic style reminiscent of the Cathedral of Cologne and consecrated in 1897.  This cathedral faces the baroque Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro, situated in Old Town and completed in 1775, new and old parts of the city facing each other 1 km (.6 miles) apart.

Cathedral of Buen Pastor

 Santa Maria del Coro

As the sun sets of Playa de la Concha, we watch the changes and the people taking their evening stroll on the beach.

 Sunset on Playa de la Concha

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