San Sebastian, Spain: I made it to Spain’s crown jewel on the Atlantic, diagonally crossing the Iberian peninsula in the process. There’s very little road left for me to travel in Spain as I push eastward.
Today’s ride from Bilbao was an immersion into many hues of green and blue — grass and trees, sky and the ocean, and mountains all around. The second half of my 119-km ride hugged the rugged, mountainous Atlantic coastline. It was great to feel the fresh sea air and to enjoy the change of scenery. I last saw the Atlantic two weeks ago, on the other side of the Iberian Peninsula. The surfers and the cyclists were out in force today, though thankfully not in the same places.
San Sebastian is a beautiful resort that exuberates the good life:
But not everyone shares the good life. Tonight I witnessed a large protest march by the unemployed seeking economic opportunity. While Greece grabs the headlines at the moment, there’s massive economic pain being felt in Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere in Europe too.
Spain has treated me as a welcome guest. My time here has been Muy Bueno.
This is such an eminently agreeable country and a cycling paradise — the food, the people, the landscape, the weather, the friendliness, the unhurried approach to life. I am sad to say adios for I feel as if I am leaving a good friend. But France is just around the corner, and with it a whole new adventure awaits.
My arrival in San Sebastian also completes the second stage of my Euro cycle. Here are my highlights from this second stage
TransEuropa 2011 Stage 2: Salamanca – San Sebastian, Spain
Prettiest Church: This church on the side of a mountain in La Rioja, about 20 km outside Santo Domingo.
Best Dessert: The home-made flan at Rte Marinela in San Sebastian. I’ve been sampling flan across Spain and was nearly under the impression that Portugal produces the best in Iberia — until I visited San Sebastian, which has a reputation for having the best food in Spain. The secret is the caramel sauce.
Most popular blog posting: “F U at Half Time,” trailed by “The Miracle of the Rooster and the Hen.”
Day 15 summary (Sunday, June 19): Bilbao – San Sebastian, Spain
Day 15 distance: 118.69 km
Day 15 ascent: 768 meters
Terrain: Mountainous, coastal
Distance: 1,175.69 km
Climbing: 8,582 meters
Rest days: 3
Police interactions: 1