Wednesday Wander – San Sebastian Beaches

It’s Wednesday and time for my weekly wander. This week we’re heading to Donostia San Sebastian, in the Basque country region of Spain. Donostia is the Basque name for the city, and is another way of saying San Sebastian – in honour of the dual heritage of the city, both names are used.

I visited earlier this year and fell under its spell straight away. The gorgeous old buildings and curving golden beaches were like a scene from a story – it was hard to believe people were lucky enough to live in such a place.

This is the iconic La Concha beach, the best known of the city’s beaches, voted the second best city beach in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine. A well- deserved award, I think. As you can see, it’s pretty popular – the clear green waves and golden sand make it a wonderful spot to lounge and take photographs during the day.

At night the beach changes, the deckchairs folded away, the entrance to the bay a perfect frame for glorious sunsets.

I sat for a half hour or so on the cool sand, watching the light change across the water, gold to red to violet, hardly able to take in such beauty.  Dark silhouettes danced at the water’s edge, the illuminated statue of Jesus on Monte Urgull seeming to watch over it all.

Day and night, the ornate promenade was full of people, families and couples and young people, all walking, laughing, enjoying the view. There are several small restaurants built into the seawall itself – one of them made excellent pizza, and was a fantastic place to watch the waves and people passing by.

Another city beach in San Sebastian is Zurriola, which is on the other side of Monte Urgull. This beach is wilder, the waves popular with surfers, although it is safe for swimming in parts, the Spanish lifeguards using a flag system similar to that we were used to in Australia. We visited La Zurriola most days – it was less crowded, yet easy to get to with ample parking nearby. I actually got dumped by a wave the first day there, scraping my knee – haven’t done that in years! Oh, and apparently, Zurriola is also somewhere you can hang ten in the buff, should you choose to – one of several beaches in Europe which allow nude surfing! Just remember to apply plenty of sunscreen 😉

When I began writing this Wander, I’d thought I would write a single post about San Sebastian. But, when I began writing about the beaches, they seemed to merit a post of their own. It seems certain that I’ll be wandering back to San Sebastian, both on this blog and (I hope) in real life too.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me! See you next time 🙂


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World Photography Day!

It’s World Photography Day today, and so I thought I’d share some of the images I’ve taken, many of which I’ve used on my blog. Also, you can find me on Instagram at helenejones33 – I haven’t been on there for long, but now that I am, I love it! Happy World Photography Day, wherever you are 🙂

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Bloggers Bash 2017 – Part 2

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Boss Sacha holding court!

There have already been several great posts about the recent Bloggers Bash in London, held this past weekend. And I’m here to add my voice to all those saying, ‘What a fantastic day!’

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Luca during his presentation

First of all, congratulations to all the award winners, and huge thanks to the organising committee, Sacha Black, Geoff LePard, Ali Isaac and Hugh Roberts – your tireless efforts and excellent organisational skills created something completely wonderful.

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Sacha and Hugh handing out awards

I arrived early for the Bash to meet several bloggers at a pub near Euston Station, where we greeted each other like old friends. And it did feel that way. A lot of us remarked on the fact that, even though many of us were meeting in person for the first time, it was as though we all knew each other already through our interactions online. Of course, there were familiar faces from last year’s Bash, but plenty of new faces too, familiar to me only from their blogs. But nametags helped us to break the ice and, really,  it felt like walking into a room full of friends, rather than strangers.

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Me and Steve from Steve Says and Talk About Pop Music – we finally got to meet up!

So what else can I add? Food, drink and good company, plus a blogging/social media presentation by Automatic/Wordpress employee Luca, made for an afternoon that flew by all too quickly, and before we knew it we were saying our farewells, a last group of us heading out into damp streets before parting.

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Love this photo! Me and Suzie from Suzie Speaks

I arrived home worn out from a great day. And the next day I even felt a little hungover, even though I hadn’t really drunk anything. Rather, it was the languor that descends after a big day out, when you just want to sit and remember it all (although, having to be at a 9am dress rehearsal for my daughter’s dance show kind of got in the way of any relaxing!). Facebook is heaving with photos of the event, and the date for next year has already been announced – June 10, 2017 – so put it in your diaries!

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Lucy from BlondeWriteMore and Esther from Esther Newton Blog – I look a bit manic here because I couldn’t get my phone to work!

So who knows where we’ll meet up next year? Last year when we were in Pizza Express, The Royal Albert Hall was discussed as a possible venue, as was Buckingham Palace. Joking, of course. But the event is growing, and the difference between this year’s Bash and last year’s was easy to see. However, one thing remained the same. A group of people from all walks of life united under one common banner – blogging. And even though I didn’t get to speak with everyone there (which was a shame!), it was a wonderful way to share our passion for the written word.

Here’s to a wonderful Bloggers Bash 2016 – roll on next year! xx