Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A bird's eye view...

Hi everyone! I thought it was about time I gave you an idea of where I am actually living in Spain. When my little sister asked her Spanish teacher if she could show her where San Sebastian is on the map and her teacher had NO idea, I figured everyone doesn't know where I am haha! I had no idea where San Sebastian, Spain was before I came here either - so no worries!

So, this first picture is of Spain and the states/provinces in the country. Madrid and Barcelona, the very well-known cities are on the east side of the country...I reside on the West Coast. I guess if I didn't move back to the West Coast of the USA, atleast I moved to the West Coast of Spain ;) So, you can see my province - Pais Vasco (Basque Country)- with the arrow! There is also a province in France that is considered Pais Vasco but for today, let's just do Spain! Since my province likes to consider itself it's own country, there are actually three provinces in my province! They are: 1) Alava (Araba in Basque) which I have not been to yet; 2) Vizcaya (Bizkaia in Basque) which main city is Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque) - where I flew into; and last but not least 3) Guipuzcoa (Gipuzkoa in Basque) which is my province! There you go, a quick lesson on the Basque Country! You learn something new every day!

The next map is of my province so you can kind of see where San Sebastian is located in the province! You can also see Bilbao - which is only an hour by bus away. Sorry it's kind of a crappy map - not too many good maps of the Basque Country out there on the internet, so this one will have to work!

So, next is my city - San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque). I barely ever get to call it San Sebastian, because people only call it Donostia here. When I tell the bus driver where I am going, I don't even think of saying San Sebastian! I have put up a photo of the neighborhoods (barrios) of the city. I live in the Parte Vieja (it's called Old Quarter on this map). As you can see I am on a pennisula between The Concha Playa and Playa Zurriola. This makes for some cold nights - as I get wind from both sides! The barrio right below me is called Centro, and it is where most of the shopping is. It is much newer and has a lot of good restaurants and stores! The barrio to the northeast of me, across a bridge is Gros. This is the barrio that Playa Zurriola is in, and it's very popular for surfers and non-tourists. That's where I lay out and attempt to get tan! Those are the only barrios I really visit...there are more that are farther away that I am sure I will explore, but right now I have everything I need in those three. That area at the very end of the pennisula called Urgull is really not a barrio - its a hill for hiking - Monte Urgull, so disregard that!

Are you learning a lot yet? Now we move onto Parte Vieja - so you can see where I live! Parte Vieja is very small - you can probably walk from one side to the other in about 5 minutes! While it's small, there are a million shops, restaurants, markets and people crowded in! I have marked things that I thought might interest you...if you really wanted to know what I do on a daily basis. The red star is where my house is. I live on the street -31 de agosto - which is a very famous road here in San Sebastian (more about that a different time). While I live here, I don't get my mail here, so don't worry that the addresses don't match up. The purple star is what I mentioned early, the Monte Urgull where I go hiking. The green star is on Playa Zurriola, where I go to the beach! It's getting colder, so not so much of that anymore. And last, is the blue star - where I catch my bus at Plaza Guipuzcoa.

Last but not least, is a map showing where I live (San Sebastian) and where I work (Hondarribia). It is only about a 30 minute bus ride, so pretty close. From the water in Hondarribia, I can see France because it's directly across! It's pretty cool! Hondarribia is a very very small town, but quite quaint. (I am impressed with myself that I used two Q works in a row - hahaha). I would say it's more old and picturesque than San Sebastian, but definitley doesn't have the amount of shops, restaurants, etc to go out. Regardless, it's a nice little place to teach and meet adorable little kids! I have marked San Sebastian with a red star and Hondarribia with a green star.

Well, there you go. I hope that someone finds this information somewhat interesting because it took a lot of time to edit and make all those maps! Now you hopefully have some sort of idea of where I am in the world! After an exhausting hour of maps, I am headed to bed! Enjoy your week!


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