Jane's Travel Blog

New Chapter: Explore the World


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First Few Weeks in San Sebastian

Almost three weeks in San Sebastian, Spain and I’m in love. She’s a city that instantly welcomes. The wide tiled sidewalks, and the tree-lined streets shading me from the heat of the sun, inspire me to keep exploring. It’s definitely a place to spend some time.

Every few blocks, there’s a green space, often with a playground. Smiling people rest on the benches absorbed in conversations. Sometimes, I take a sit just to take in the positive vibes. It’s a happy culture.

Small markets dot the street every few blocks. Fruits and vegetables on display outside the stores draw me in to search the shelves filled with jars of beans, bottles of wine, cheeses and fresh breads for something new to try. I haven’t found a favorite and I’m not sure I will. They all feel special.   

And the hiking… In 20 minutes, we walk through a mountainside neighborhood and are on the trails that wind through the forest, often with views of the crashing waves of the Atlantic coast. Bob says it reminds him of Big Sur in California. Part of the hiking is on El Camino de Santiago. I can now say, I’ve been on the pilgrimage, but not really, just 20 minutes of it. People hiking El Camino for “real” attach a shell on their backpacks that identifies them. I have great respect for their challenge.  I could hike these trails for the rest of our stay here. Nature is within minutes of our apartment.

San Sebastian is known for the pintxos bars. Every day the bars offer a display of tasty bite-size savory treats. I’m getting quite good at ordering pintxos. I study, guess, and sometimes know what I’m ordering. Perhaps a tuna salad or an anchovy and goat cheese drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar on top of a crusty bread. So far, I’ve enjoyed each and every one. The barkeeps have been patient and kind as I learn to navigate the pintxos scene.

And the ocean… the beaches… A 10-minute walk and I’m at the beach. It’s a great surfer scene. When walking around town, a surfer can step out of an apartment building, wetsuit peeled to the waist, barefooted, carrying a surfboard on the way to the beach. The surf’s up and they’re on their way to catch it. For me, a towel in the sand, a dip in the ocean, and a good book are all I need. I’m trying to take full advantage of the ocean before the temperature drops.

As I said, I’m in love with this city. In the coming weeks, I will learn more of her secrets and can’t wait to share.

PS – I have received a few comments that there were no pictures of me in the last blog. Seriously, I had no pictures of me. I’m always behind the camera. Bob and I took note and are taking more pictures of me. This blog has a few more than normal to make up for the last blog.

Until later.

 

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August in the London Area

We spent the month of August in a holding pattern before traveling to San Sebastian, Spain for the fall. And what a wonderful pattern it was.

Because we have always wanted to spend more time in London, Bob found two house sits in the area, one in Wallington and the other in Godalming.

Our first sit was caring for a house and garden. The ample zucchini harvest had me researching zucchini recipes and I discovered zucchini curry soup and zucchini fritters. Both recipes made the gotta-make-that-again list. Here are the recipes, just in case you have a few zucchini lying around.

I added potatoes to the zucchini soup

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12547-pureed-zucchini-soup-with-curry?action=click&module=Global%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=2

Fritters

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/baked-cheesy-zucchini-bites/

We often took the train into London and played tourist. We visited the National Gallery, the Tate, the British Library, London Tower, Notting Hill, and Westminster Abbey, just to name a few. Because the train only took 30 minutes, it was easy to run in for a half day or so and just play. It was no stress touring.

On our last trip to London, we met up with friends from Milwaukee who now live in Bristol and they treated us to a wonderful Chinese lunch, a perfect day!

Our next house sit took us to Godalming in the Surrey Hills. This quaint market town has an amazing yoga studio that I took full advantage of. Our new dog friend Minty has a magnetic personality that I can’t get enough of. Every morning Minty took me into the wooded trails near the house and I laughed every day as she bound through the woods exploring.

We were sad to leave England, but it was time to move on to San Sebastian, Spain. We arrived here late Monday night for a three-month stay. I can’t wait to explore this amazing city.