Monday, June 15, 2009

san sebastian

It is Sunday and the drive from Saint Emilion in France to San Sebastian in Spain is only three hours.

The drive was on the whole uninteresting. The area around Bordeaux is known as the Bay of Biscayne.The landscape is flat and marshy. The only discernable industry is lumber and the only product pine trees, which are cut in uniform lengths of eight feet and stacked like cord wood all along the route from south of Bordeaux to the Spanish border. There is enough wood cut that the French could supply the world for the next hundred years.

Finally, when one gets close to the Biarritz does the lanscape change from flat to green wooded hills. We chose to bypass Biarritz in favor of heading on to San Sebastian. The hills on the Spanish side of the border are steeper, here the Cantabrian mountains rise sharply from the sea. The rock is a hard and rugged granite. The houses which dot the hillsides are colored an unusual
orange. The roofs are tilled.

We arrived in San Sebastian a little after noon. The streets were not hard to navigate. The boulevards were wide and direct. The major road in parallels the river that flow into San Sebastian. This was a welcome relief after the nightmare of driving in Bordeaux where the roads are narrow, the stop lights many, and construction everywhere.

Signs in San Sebastian directed us to Centro and then to our hotel Londres. We parked the car around the corner in a garage for 20 euro a day.

The weather is cloudy with a steady drizzle the Spanish call "siri-miri," which sounds perfect to describe the miserable and depressing effect of the weather has on one's spirits. The change is a contrast to the bright sunny weather of Saint Emilion.

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