Tuesday, May 16, 2017

San Sebastán

We left Bilbao for San Sebastián on this small train - the Euskatren - a very efficient service - similar to light rail transit, but for longer distance, about 2.5 hours. 
And here we are just after arrival walking to our accomodation, with busy streets full of pedestrians. 

There is a very well run museum, only a couple of blocks from our hotel, the San Telmo, with a very modern section attached to an original convent. 

The obligatory San Sebastián himself. 

And another. San Sebastián was a Roman soldier martyred for his Christianity. 
The church part of the museum was hung with large canvases - not ancient, but rather painted in the early 20th century by an artist named Sert. It was eerie because I was in this huge sanctuary all alone. 

There were some fine art pieces. I very much liked this wonderful oil and the amazing brushwork that created that yellow dress. 

This piece was an original painting for a poster by Aurelio Arketa, used to advertise an annual regetta in 1924. The figure's face has "features of the Basque prototype as defined by the anthropologist Aranzadi". 

As a knitter these socks were intriguing. 

As was this piece of knitting on four needles. Note: the text is in Euskadi (Basque) and Castellano (Spanish). 

These headdresses were worn by local women and defined their marital status. I found it amusing that at some point they were banned as the headdresses appeared too phallic. 

There was a deeply moving special exhibition called Wastelands. This self portrait by Raeda Saadeh of Palestine was described as the artist in the role of Penelope, part of Greek mythology. She is described in the printed literature as "weaving" but of course this is knitting. An understandable mis-translation since the word to knit and the word to weave are the same in Spanish -tejer. 

Another of her self portraits - this one a video. A somewhat Sysiphean act as she vacuums the stony landscape -an act of futility that makes a powerful statement. 

This footrace went right past our hotel on Sunday morning. Our hotel is at the extreme right and our room was on the third (fourth in our terms) floor above the white shirted man. 
Geordie got trapped in a spot where the runners flowed around him. 

This delightful drawing was posted on a wall in the street. It reads (in my translation) "I'm looking for a missing shark. He looks like this". 
Someone lost a unicorn - it was trapped in a railing. 

The beach at San Sebastián. There are more beaches around the bay. There were people swimming here. It's the Atlantic (Bay of Biscay). I doubt it's warm water. 

These beautiful iron railings circle the beach along the walkway. 

A view out to the open water "The Bay of Biscay". 
A busy street - so many tapas bars. All fully occupied by hungry patrons. 
Here's an array of tapas ready to be consumed. 
We ordered a platter of pimientos de Guernica. Delicious flash-fried in olive oil and garnished with big flakes of sea salt. 

A lovely sunset over the bay. 

And the convention centre lit up at night. 

I leave you with this picture of a walking stick I bought for the camino - on sale even - I got it at 25% off. I start walking on May 23. 

Next up - Santillana del Mar. Coming soon.