San Sebastian – Sandcastles & Co

We awake.

Its our first morning in San Sebastian, and we have to find something to do.

Abdel left for work early, so we can do what we want.

I usually don’t wanna make the decisions when it comes to where we will invest our time while we are on holidays. Generally speaking, Bec tends to have a bit more of an idea on what she wants to do than I do. Most of the time, I couldn’t really care what we do, but Bec is starting to get sick of calling the shots, so she just tells me straight out that I have to make all the decisions with what we are doing today.

Just like that, I flick a switch, and I list what we are doing for the day.

“We are going to find a bakery to get some delicious breakfast, and then we are going to go to a nice coffee place and get real coffee, then we are going to head down to the beach and spend the day lazing on the beach, until we are done, then go get some lunch”
“Wow. Ok. That sounds like a good plan”

Like a bawse.

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We walk into town, and just as promised, we come across the absolutely wicked bakery. We eye off a few items that absolutely look the part. We are standing there, and we consult a few of the customers as to what the best treats were. Without any second thought, the customers point out best of the best, which coincidentally is what we were eyeing off already.

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We have been beginning to see the influence of the neighbouring nation of France, with all the baguettes and everything. This bakery was no different. We topped our order off by asking the lady for a baguette, and without hesitation, instead of giving us the shelved baguettes, she went straight to the oven, and pulled out a brand new, piping hot baguette. We could not have imagined how good this was going to taste.

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From a quick wander with Abdel yesterday, we remembered a little coffee shop along the same strip. This was a purely coffee joint, and that is all they did. Had to be good. Brilliant pastries in hand, and soon to have coffee in hand also. We sit on the bench, and munch away at our delicious breakfast, and literally every single one of the 4 pieces we have, as equally as brilliant as each other. 

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We wander across the bridge which spans the river, and we make our way to the beach. One of the things that Bec noticed first about San Sebastian was how beautiful it was, specifically, its flowers and gardens. Without second thought, she throws her thongs off, and climbs into the garden bed to take the photos of the tulips. Needless to say, there are a few odd looks from the locals passing by.

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We keep wandering, and I’m starting to feel as though I haven’t got enough good shots of the city, so I start keeping my eye out for anything that is a decent photo. I spot this shot, and go to frame it up. Bec and I were mid conversation, and she didn’t like being cut off, so she shoves her croissant in front of my camera. Literally lands it right in front of the subject.

Could not have scripted it better.

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I am pissed off that I missed the shot, but also find the immaculate timing of the joke hilarious, so we end up in this state of laughing frustration.

Not too bad at all.

We continue and make our way to the beach. We reach the sands, and the sands in San Sebastian are even better than the sandy Barcelona beaches. The sandy is smooth and soft, and easily sifts through your hands while dry, and once the moisture is among the grains, its pliable and stiff.

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The water is cold, the sun is warm.

The houses on the waters edge that jut in from the mainland provide a backdrop unseen to me on beaches before. They’ve all got that same european terracotta rooftop with the white walls. Its pretty nice on the eye.

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I set down on the beach, and Bec starts going for a wander along the water’s edge. She finds a great little spot to set up, and she sees that there is a bucket nearby, so she starts making a sandcastle. I’m happy just lazing on the beach, but she’s getting excited, and I am partial to a pretty good little sandcastle every now and again, so I take our stuff over and head to join Bec. We’ve got a bucket, so this is what we use for everything. The pillars, the digging, the canals. Everything.

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We literally spent the next 2-3 hours digging and shaping and piling the sand in the places we wanted. By the end of it, we had drainage systems, tunnels, bridges, roofs of sticks, draw bridges, bottle caps as windows. The whole shebang. We spent hours shaping and creating this epic sandcastle. We are super happy with our creation, and even have people coming from time to time to inspect. This makes us feel good about ourselves.

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We collect our gear, as we make our way back up to the board walk. Just as we are packing our stuff up, we spot this other bloke making a sand castle. Except, this isn’t just any sandcastle. This guy does this for a living.


He will make an epic sandcastle and people tip him as they pass. His castle is about 100 times better than ours, and he has even got candles in the eyes.


We stand no chance.

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No wonder nobody was that impressed with our castle. It was sitting in the shadows of in comparison of the artist’s master piece. We almost feel like we have been ripped off. We decide that we are keen for a good feed, so we head to this pub, and get something very un-Spanish. Fish & Chips… We get a whole assortment of fried foods and wines to make us feel partly more fancy.

Post-lunch, we swing past the grocery store, and pick up some food for dinner. Bec is going to make dinner for us and Abdel tonight, so we pick up some groceries and start making our way back home. We pick up our stuff, and begin the 30+ minute walk back to the apartment.

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We arrive home, let ourselves back in, and Bec gets started on the cooking. We decide that tonight is a good night for a movie, so we get this movie called Arrival loaded up on the lappy. We told Abdel that we would be home around 8, and that dinner would be ready around 9/9:30. He didn’t make it home till nearly 11, and by that time, the food had lost it’s warmth, and texture. I know what food means to Bec, and I know she was gutted.

We watched the movie, and we send him a message to tell him that we are going to start eating soon.

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We wait, and we just start serving up when Abdel comes back in. I mean, at first, we’re a bit pissed off, but soon enough, Abdel’s infectious smile and overbearingly happy demeanour rub off, and soon we are back to having a laugh and chatting over his day like nothing happened.

He’s semi-tech savvy, but he still needs a bit of help, so I help him download Gladiator, but in Spanish. He’s super grateful, but he wants to burn it to dvd. Even that is a bit of a past-time nowadays.

We finish our movie, and Abdel shows me a few judo moves, which will take a bit of practice to refine.

We wrap up the night and head to bed.

Its been a great day, and I would recommend you to visit San Sebastian for sure.

Come back for the next story,


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