May 22, 2017
The Complete Travel Guide to San Sebastian

The Complete Travel Guide to San Sebastian

May 22, 2017
Every year for our anniversary my fiance and I go on a short trip. Last year we visited the fascinating Seville and two years ago the cosmopolitan city of London. This year we went to San Sebastian, a coastal city in the north of Spain. Today I want to take you on a tour through this city, which is a foodie dream destination.

San Sebastian's great splendor took place in the 19th century when the Royal Family and aristocracy used to summer there. This provided the city with many of its majestic buildings. 

La Concha
It's the main beach of San Sebastian, it's named after its shape: la concha which means "the shell".
Palacio de Miramar
The name literally means "looking at the sea" which is what this 19th century palace does. It used to be the summer house of the Spanish Royal Family. Currently, the Palace and its gardens are open to the public in fixed opening hours. Parties are conducted in the palace's gardens and noble areas, particularly in the context of the San Sebastian International Film Festival.
palacio miramar san sebastian
Mount Igueldo
To get the best views of the city you have to go to Mount Igueldo. The best way to get there is via the old funicular railway that will take you to the top. You can also find there a tiny amusement park.
casa típica san sebastián
monte igueldo san sebastian
monte igueldo san sebastian
The Comb of the Wind
In Spanish Peine del Viento, is a collection of three sculptures by Eduardo Chillida.
peine del viento comb of the wind san sebastian
The seminary 
Surprisingly the seminary doesn't appear in the tourist map as one of San Sebastian's landmarks. We saw it from the beach raising majestically among houses and apartments that surround it and wondered what it was. We wandered the streets until we found it. Sadly, it looked abandoned except for an scaffold that shows that there are some restoration works going on. It saddens me to see buildings like this go to waste. They should give them some use instead of building new ones that will never have the robustness and grandeur that the old ones have.seminario san sebastian
The City Hall
A former casino turned into city council. It's nice to walk around the beautiful gardens opposite which are home to this carousel from 1900.
ayuntamiento city council san sebastian

This is Spain’s – if not, the world’s – culinary capital. San Sebastian frequently tops lists of the world's best places to eat. Its world-famous cuisine is the reason why many people visit this city. San Sebastian houses some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants on the planet. However, this is a city of dinning contrasts since you could either eat comfortably at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants or standing up in a pintxos bar. Pintxos are the name that this part of Spain gives to tapas. There is no such thing as bad food in San Sebastian.

Café de la Concha
On our second night in San Sebastian we had dinner at this cafe with magnificent views. We had booked a table by the window to see the sunset at the beach while enjoying a delicious meal. We started by sharing a plate of fried squid, a dish you must try if you visit Spain. You'll find it in any city. That was followed by a copious but equally delicious salad. I liked it so much I'm planning to do it home. It consists of a base of lettuce, a layer of tagliatelle and then salmon, shrimp, tuna and txangurro -a type of crab that you'll find in every restaurant. Once we learnt the name we asked for txangurro everytime we saw it on a menu.
cafe de la concha san sebastian
cafe de la concha san sebastian
cafe de la concha san sebastian

The Old Town (Parte Vieja) houses the best pintxos bars. The procedure is easy: you get into a bar, ask for a drink and a plate, and grab as many pintxos as you want. Then you show it to the bartender who will charge you. Finally, enjoy. The toughest part is deciding what you want to eat. The endless plates of pintxos on the counter will make your mouth water and you won't know what to pick. The bartenders are really nice and will explain the ingredients if you have any questions. The idea is to visit a few places so if you fear you are going to get tipsy, I recommend you ask for a zurito which is a smaller glass of wine or beer.
These were our favorite places:

Atari Gastroteka
Address: C/Mayor, 18
atari gastroteka pintxos san sebastian
Address: C/31 Agosto, 23
gandarias pintxos san sebastian
Nagusia Lau
Address: C/Mayor, 4
Nagusia Lau pintxos san sebastian
Nagusia Lau pintxos san sebastian
Nagusia Lau pintxos san sebastian
As far as shopping is concerned, I feel quite disappointed when I travel since I hardly find any craftsmanship shops anymore. Since San Sebastian is foodies' paradise we looked for gourmet stores to take some of the delicious taste back home with us. In Hotel Maria Cristina (the most luxurious hotel in the city) we found Mimo a store which offers food tours as well as delicacies and other products from the region.

We stayed at Melia Orly, at a stone's throw from La Concha beach. It offers good value for your money and the location allows you to walk everywhere.

If you have some spare time, visit the picturesque seaside towns of Zarautz and Hondarribia. In the next few weeks I'll publish posts about both so stay tuned!

xo Cristina


English conrner
copious - abundant in quantity
tipsy - slightly drunk
a stone's throw - a short distance
good value for your money - it's worth what you pay for it
May 1, 2017
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer Review

Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer Review

May 1, 2017
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer beauty review
It's been almost a year since I posted my skincare routine so it's high time I did an update. Not much has changed though. If I like a product I stick to it and I find it hard to try new things because I fear I may not like them.

Last Christmas I finished my Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (also known as Clinique's Step 3) and decided to try something new since it made my forehead and nose oily after a few hours. Being a teacher I only get one bathroom break a day so I need my make-up to last the whole day in place. I don't have time for retouches and I don't want to worry about it either.

When I heard Clinique had a new moisturizer I decided to give it a try. I must confess I was partly lured by the pretty packaging. Apart from being a high quality brand, Clinique sure knows how to create eye-catching products. I've been using the Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer for four months now and I only have good words for it. These are its strong points:

  • When you apply it on your skin you feel instantly refreshed.
  • It's oil free and lightweight, therefore skin doesn't get oily at all. 
  • It kind of works as a primer since the HydroBlur Technology moisturizes while softly blurring imperfections. In other words, it creates a canvas to apply your foundation.
  • Flawless matte finish.

Clinique has different versions of the same moisturizers depending on your skin type but they say that this one works for all types. My skin is more on the dry side although the T-zone can get a little oily at the end of the day but as I stated before, it works for me. So I will surely continue to use it in the future. The next Clinique product I'm going to try is the Pep-Start 2 in 1 exfoliating cleanser. I've been told is a great travel companion. Since it's two products in one, it makes your toiletries bag a little less heavy and your skincare routine faster. I don't know about you but when I travel I'm so tired at the end of the day that the last thing I want is to spend a long time preparing for bed.
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer beauty review
In my opinion this product is worth a try. Have you tried any of the Pep-Start products? Are you as crazy about Clinique as I am?
xo Cristina