Thursday, September 27, 2012

San Sebastian

Spain: Just over the border, two hours on train from Pau sits San Sebastian. One of the most stunning cities in the world. Two hours from France to Spain, one step over the border and it is another world. The streets are crowded with life. People talking and laughing and joking. People drinking cerveza or sangria and eating tapas in the street. The futball game is on. We are struggling to reach the counter through the crowd of people and none of us speak a word of Spanish.
The night doesn't even begin until 10pm at the earliest. At 10pm people are just beginning to go out for dinner, or just starting to think of going out for dinner. Dinner is loud and long, with wine and meat and seafood and wine. Tapas before. Tapas after. More beer. Maybe a bar. A loud corner bar stuffed with animated conversations in Spanish, French and English. A wedding party in the street, people are singing salutations and then retreating back inside for another drink.
And outside. Outside past the old city center. Past the ancient cathedral steps where masses of college kids are sitting with their bottles of wine. Past the signs first in Basque, then in Spanish. And past the boardwalk of bikes and walkers, there are the lights of San Sebastian. The long, elegant brush strokes of light across the quiet night sea. A perfect crescent of beach that draws the boundary between human life and nature. Here the quiet is resting, pleasantly in a briny breeze. We watch the waves move up and out. Move in and take away pieces of this city, as we also hope to do. Take away pieces of the easiness of life. The acceptance of its movement and an appreciation of the people we know and have known.

1 comment:

  1. I loved it there, and yet I was lonely for my family. i makes me gald to know you have experienced its beauty too.