A Journey Through Paradise – Our Trip to San Sebastián

Student Zeke Lloyd ’24 is studying in Spain during Summer 2022 as part of CC’s Summer in Spain program, based in Soria. Students live with host families and participate in city life during two summer blocks. In addition to immersive language learning, the program incorporates multiple cultural activities and excursions to places such as Madrid and San Sebastian, to learn about the history and cultures of Spain. Zeke is sharing stories and images of his summer experience throughout the course.

San Sebastián is a paradise. Compared to Soria’s golden farmlands, the foggy, forested northern landscape appeared almost magical when we arrived on Wednesday, June 29. An afternoon walk along the ocean shore further contributed to the sense of novelty when we saw white crested waves crashing against the sandy beaches. But the roaring Atlantic was only the first sign we had left the inland village of Soria behind. Signs now read in two languages: Spanish and Basque. The small platters of food we enjoyed that first night were called “pintxos,” the Basque word for “tapas.”

We deepened our knowledge of Basque culture on Thursday during our visit to the Musea de San Telmo. Artifacts from antiquity adorned the walls alongside artifacts from great Basque scholars from the 20th century, illustrating the region’s long history of self-sufficiency and prosperity.

They also make a mean cider. We started Friday off with a tour of the Museo de la Sidra, the museum of the cider, where we learned how over the course of several centuries, the Basque region perfected the art of cider-making. Lunch at Alorrenea, a genial Basque restaurant, offered the fermented-apple beverage along with thick steaks and delicious fish. The day ended at Albaola, a museum which emphasized the rich history of wharfing and whaling in northern Spain. From beach to beverage, San Sebastián did not disappoint.

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