In early August I traveled to San Sebastian, Spain. It was a bit of a reunion trip with some girls I met while working in Indiana at the Bradford Woods summer camp. A few of us are American and two of us are Irish. We thought Spain would be a great place to meet.
I thought for this post I’d make a list of a few things I enjoyed most about the city!
I have found San Sebastian and Spain to be very wheelchair friendly. Most of the SS city and sites are on pretty flat terrain. Additionally, sidewalks are smooth and I rarely encountered a curb without a ramp. It was fairly easy to find accessible bathrooms too. Many shops and restaurants have no stairs. Even the old city is easy to manage and find accessible spots. Best of all – the beaches have big ramps down to the sand and a boardwalk that leads part way to the shore. Overall, I found the city to be very welcoming for wheelchair users!
Spain is known for tapas, but SS is on a new level. The old city of SS is filled with cafes and bars that showcase an array of delicious tapas. With plate in hand, one can load as many little bites on their plate as they wish. Each tapa ranges from $2-3. I was normally full after 3ish. You can hop from one bar to the next and enjoy a tapa from each if you choose. The one problem with tapas is that they often sit on the counter for a few hours at a time. While they are not bad, sometimes the bread can get a bit stale. I’d recommend to hit up the busier places. Yes, it are busy, but that means they replenish the stock frequently. Most tapas are topped with a variety of cheeses and meats, but there are also fried veggies or seafood items.
3. The Views
I went to SS in college on my first trip to Europe and fell in love with the views. With mountains as the backdrop, the bay area is breathtaking. The water is blue (not warm) and tons of little sail boats sprinkle the harbour. I recommend taking a trip to one of the mountain tops. I know I said most of the city is flat, but there are a few places higher up that are accessible by bus or car. On the top of Mt. Igueldo you’ll find an old, historic hotel (actually quite modern too). The hotel is surrounded by on old amusement park…which is strange and cool! The bar patio offers amazing sunset views with a $3 glass of wine in hand. I’d go back to SS over and over just for the views.
Additionally, there are a number of boardwalks that stretch over the length of the entire coast. They are accessible and offer a great view of the ocean from many angles.
Sadly for part of the trip it was raining, but when the sun came out it was glorious. The locals of SS (and probably all of Spain) are sun worshipers. Part of me was horrified with the amount of sun poisoning these people probably had, but the other part of me was intrigued with the daily ritual of hitting the beach for a few hours. People of all ages were at the beach, but the older couples were the best. They found a spot by early morning and were normally heading home by lunch time. This was their daily dose of sun in the sand! I loved it! The culture is built on being outside and enjoying the sun and the sea. It’s like their lifeblood. Another reason why I’d love to live closer to the sea one day 🙂
Spain was a great trip and I hope to go back and spend more time in cities like Barcelona. Until then, I’ll keep up the wine drinking!