A Travellerspoint blog

May 2007

Day Time San Seb;

San Sebastian; Spain

semi-overcast 20 °C

After a big night on the town in Biarritz we were awoken by something that had remained somewhat absent over the past few days; the sun. We decided to make the most of the warmer weather and Gryllz's last day before heading to Frankfurt, by making a day trip to San Sebastian. Waiting for train rides, chatting with Australians, climbing hills, kicking the footy and eating tapas were to be the order of the day.

We arrived in San Sebastian around 3pm and headed to the beach with two aussies we had met on the train who were just beggining a two week European backpack trip. The sun was out and so to were the sunbathers, whilst we soaked in some of the 'San Seb' sites.

The picturesque main bay of San Sebastian is always worth a visit;


We both decided that we should make the trek up to Castillo de la Santa Cruz de la Mota; the statue seen in this photo;


The trek is one that opened our eyes to something that we didn't know existed so close to the bustling San Sebastian streets, nature.


Jungle like canopies line the path that leads to the 'Castillo' and make you feel as though your in a world of your own, a cross between the jungles of Indonesia and the ruins of South America.



A final stone tunnel,


opens out into the centre of a fallen fort. Cannons line the walls and at the very centre stands the amazing, Castillo de la Santa Cruz de la Mota.


We spent an hour or so touring the top of Mount Urgull and taking in some of the amazing views of the Atlantic ocean to the north and those of the bay of San Sebastian.


These views from the top of Mount Urgull have an amazing presence about them, wether it is the history behind the fallen ruins, the raging Atlantic ocean that extends from its shores or the amazing landscape that makes up the region, it is one of the most amazing places I am yet to visit.

We made our way back down Mount Urgull and cruised around San Sebastian's 'old town' in search of some cheap and tasty tapas. Not a hard task with the number of bars that line it's narrow streets.


The 'old town' is filled with some incredible architecture, and none more so than this church at the base of Mount Urgull;


The 'Tapas system' works in an interesting way;

  1. 1. Go into the bar you fancy, based upon to dishes lining the counter.

  2. 2. Search through the large variety of dishes, testing your taste buds with everything from crab pureè to camembert and sundried tomatoes.

  3. 3. Practice your Spanish with a few of the indulging locals.

  4. 4. Tell the barmen how many you ate.

  5. 5. Pay. (Usually about 1.50 Euro a piece)

  6. 6. Move to the next bar.

After leaving the tapas bars, the weather started to change and we thought it would be better to head back to Biarritz and have an early night so Gryllz had at least a little bit of energy for his plane trip the next day. 'San Seb' is well worth the trip and I'll definitely be heading back over summer.

Garrett in San Sebastian;

Posted by clancy_of_ 08:27 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Jaga Beats; On the streets of;

San Sebastian; Spain

overcast 19 °C

What better way to make the most of a weekend off work than heading into Spain, to the coastal town of San Sebastian. Gryllz and I spent the day cruising round Biarritz, surfing in the arvo at the 'Grand Plage' as the 3m swell battered the coast, and pumping a bit of French coffee into ourselves, mainly to help Gryllz overcome his jet lagged body clock in preparation for a night of Spanish partying.


San Sebastian is undoubtedly one of the Basque Country's most amazing cities. From its incredible beaches and rows of Tapas bars, to the nightlife that makes you wonder if the town ever sleeps. Riddled with tourists from around the globe, your best bet for cheap and good tapas is just outside of the buzzing 'Old Ville', as many of the Tapas bars won't hesitate to overcharge upon hearing an English or French accent. We managed to find a sweet little Tapas joint; calamari, calamari, calamari;


Last night I had the biggest "it's a small world" moment I have ever experienced. As we were walking along the foreshore in search of some tasty Tapa's, a woman walks in front of us stops points her finger at me,
"Oh my Lord!" It was an Australian couple with whom I had been hanging with in Essaouira in Morocco almost two months earlier. We stopped and chatted about what everyone had been doing. They had made there way up through Morocco, Portugal and across Northern Spain and were speding a couple of nights in San Sebastian before heading to Paris. Where as I had flown to Marseille, stayed in Provence for a month, moved to Biarritz 2 weeks earlier and had decided to come to Spain for the night, and now here we stood at the intersection of two small Spanish streets. What a small world.

Yann, Gryllzy (pronounced Gryzzly, by the French) and I decided to hit up the bars after our little Tapas crawl and made our way to the 'old ville' where bars and churches line the streets;


We also found out that despite Red Bull being sold in Spain, noone had ever heard of Jagabombs. We spent the next hour cruising from bar to bar in search of the elusive Jagermeister and decided to give up and just go into the next bar and grab a beer; when this appeared;


The next couple of hours was spent indulging in Jagabombs much to the confusion and delight of the French and Spanish crowds, some of whom joined in with us and had a few bombs themselves.


Our only way of communicating with the hundreds of Spanish girls wearing F.M.Boots was through Yann and his Spanish or to just try to make the most of their limited English or French; however this didn't hold Gryllzy back. Who had swarms of girls around him trying their best to talk to the; "Australian Surfer Boy".


Bits of rain began to fall and we made a quick trip to the San Sebastian beach front; stared out into the picturesque bay,
lit up by some sizey chandeliers;


We said goodbye to our new Spanish mates; and headed back to the car to cross the border and back into France.


It's an amazing town with an amazing vibe, it's crazy to think that just 15 minutes west of Biarritz is a culture so incredibly different. And whilst most of the Spanish girls are just incredibly hot, you do find the occasional odd one;


Here's a little incite into our night;

Garrett in San Sebastian;

Posted by clancy_of_ 03:45 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Footy, Fosters and French Females;

Biarritz; France

sunny 20 °C

Two days ago, on a wet windy morning, out in the distance, appeared a man. Bodyboard under the arm, bag in his hand, obviously lost, and the unmistakable mini mohawk of Mathew Christopher Grylls. Fresh from 25 hours flying and completely jet lagged he staggered over, handed me a footy, two tubes of vegemite, a packet of Arnotts shapes and greeted me in true aussie style, with a nod of the head and a "Gday Mate".


Headed back to the apartement, cracked a couple of Fosters,


and headed to the Grand Plage for a quick kick before the sun finally set; 10:30pm.


Spent the past couple of days touring town, taking in the sites


and introducing Gryllz to the "Bretone" speciality of crepes;


We even ran into this bloke;


And Gryllz just loves taking photos;


Yesterday I started work at "The Players" Pub and Pizzeria; a sweet bar on the beach at the Grand Plage. After knocking off around 9:30 we still had enough time for Gryllz and I to get a surf in under the beach lights before it became too dark. But none of that could beat the trip down to the Newquay at 1pm to watch a bit of live music from some sweet local guitarists; busting out a few well known tunes including a few aussie classics.

One of the frustrating things of the dealing in Euro is that they still have 1 and 2 cent pieces; which fill up your wallet with the barely valuable shrapnel. So with the photos sent by Chloe of Benji Stratton evading some heavy tackling we set up the;
Benny Stratton Shrapnel Fund;


Tommorow night we're off to San Sebastian in Spain, to eat some Tapas, drink some cheap local brews, talk to Spanish women and maybe even watch a bull fight. Keep you posted;

Garrett in Biarritz;

Posted by clancy_of_ 04:30 Archived in France Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Bob L'Eponge; "Bob the Sponge"

Biarritz; France

sunny 22 °C

Yes, in France, there is no such thing as Spongebob, to them, he is known as Bob the Sponge. Doesn't exactly have the same ring to it. Anyway just thought I would start my blog off on that interesting note.

Been hard at work the past week, handing out CV's, opening up bank accounts and just making the most of my French citizenship. The surf has been really good, and I'm finally getting used to the two tides a day and being able to surf till around 10pm. Haven't managed to get down to the beach to take some shots of the surf but there's a photographer who takes pics of Anglet and Grand Plage for his website; here's some of the photos from the past few days;


yes this is France;


really is;


lovin it.

Went out Friday and Saturday nights here, beach parties are sweet, but some of the "VIP; We are so Damn Cool" clubs are way overrated. Heading for a surf in Spain and up to Hossegor during the next few days; should be sweet fun if the waves are anything like here in Biarritz. Plus 4m swell on the horizon; Mundaka possibilities!

I'll keep you updated;
Garrett in Biarritz;

Posted by clancy_of_ 05:33 Archived in France Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

If it wasn't for the Pyraneese;

Biarritz; France

sunny 26 °C

Three days of surfing at least twice a day, sometimes three, finally I am sane again. The waves of Biarritz and there sometimes all day offshores are a sight for sore eyes for someone who has spent the past month roaming the Mediterranean coast. This morning I got up early and made the most of the dying swell with the other three guys in the water, I'm not sure what it is, but it seems as though the French are just not as keen about getting up at the crack of dawn for a dawny.

This coastline and region is absolutely amazing, from the Pyraneese about 5km to the south to the scenic surf spots that line the coast. After my early morning surf I decided I would grab the bike and see if I could ride to Spain, taking some photos along the way. The Grand Plage, the beachbreak 3 minutes from my house is where I spend most of my days and thanks to the sun setting at 10.00pm, and the flood lights that line the beach to light up the waves after dark, you can surf all day and all night if your keen. This is a photo of the Grand Plage with the dying swell, it has been a lot lot better the past few days, lots of sweet beachbreaks line the coast;


Up the hill and round the corner on one of the many private beaches, two swimmers partake in the ancient french tradition of swimming with swim caps. The stretchy plastic helps to protect the ears from the cold, and also makes an important fashion statement.


When surfing at the Grand Plage, you are right in front of Biarritz, it is one of the most scenic of surf spots with lots of great french architecture lining the coast.


Coming from the town of Busselton I regard a speedhump as a small hill, so when confronted with the Pyraneese I decided to abandon my bike ride to Spain and head back along the coast. The little bays that line the Basque coast, hide some awesome waves going unridden;


A few begginers make the most of the small swell with their mals in yet another scenic bay;


I've spent the past few days handing my CV around the local bars and stores trying to score some work for the summer season. There's plenty of work around, now all thats needed is the million or so European tourists that will set foot on these shores over the coming months. The weather has been great; and the surf even better, I'm staying with Vincent my second cousin and I have my own little hangout with a fold out bed, its a sweet place;


Spent a fair few nights making the most of the Biarritz nightlife, you can tell it's going to be a crazy summer. Cecile, Yann and I have spent a fair bit of time cruising round the town and helping me get a feel for the place. It's an awesome region with some awesome waves, a lot better than I was expecting, keep you updated;

Garrett in Biarritz;

Posted by clancy_of_ 03:17 Archived in France Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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