Monday, July 16
Taking advantage of a rainy day, we headed to the theatre to see a movie in Spanish. Since this is the best summer of our lives, we very appropriately saw “El mejor verano de mi vida” the best summer of my life- a charming Spanish film about a father son pair who, without plans or funds for an epic vacation, ended up with just that and so much more.
Tuesday, July 17
After school, students met with directors to have small group discussions in Spanish to talk about our visit to the Guggenheim the Saturday before. It was fun to compare our opinions on the works of art we felt were the best/worst/most expensive/took most time or talent. These small group discussions were followed by free time for the afternoon/evening.
Wednesday, July 18
Abby Burns was presented with a cake for her birthday after school today. Feliz Cumpleaños! We then visited the nearby town of Pasaia (Basque) or Pasajes (Spanish), which is composed of the two tiny pueblos of San Juan and SanPedro which are separated by a tiny 2-minute ferry crossing and known for their fantastic rowing teams. Students were then led to the Albaola Museum where they learned about the construction of a replica 16th century Basque whaling ship. The wreck of the original ship, the San Juan, was discovered several years ago off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The excellent condition of the wreck, along with papers discovered in an old university in Oñati (a town the students will visit the coming Saturday), has allowed for the construction of the exact replica. The replica of the San Juan is being constructed without the use of any modern tools as the carpenters are hoping to complete the construction of the old sailing ship using the same technology as would have been used in the 16th century. It is projected to be completed in 2020, at which point it will sail its original course to Newfoundland and back (hopefully with greater success than its predecessor!).
Thursday, July 19
Today’s activity was an optional cooking class in a restaurant in the nearby town of Pasaia, where the students were the day before. The vast majority of the students elected to participate. Students learned a variety of kitchen skill, including cleaning anchovies, filleting hake, making handmade croquettes, assembling the traditional Basque pintxo “gilda” (anchovy, olives, and “guindillas” or spicy pickled peppers), and various other pintxos. Students then enjoyed the fruits of their labor as they sat down while the kitchen staff put the finishing touches on everything before delivering a multi-course meal of pintxos that the students made! Finishing with a dessert of puff pastry and fruit which the students also made, we then headed back to San Sebastián, bellies full!
Friday, July 20
This afternoon, to give the students a change of pace, they were brought to the nearby town of Getaria, famous for its tiny mountain that looks like a mouse (“el ratón de Getaria”). Students were given free time to explore this incredibly charming little town.
Saturday, July 21
This Saturday’s day trip took us to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, another recently famous Game of Thrones filming location. Sometimes referred to jokingly as the “little Great Wall of Spain”, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a hermitage located on top of a tiny island connected to the mainland by an enchanting, narrow, winding stone staircase. A short hike to reach the top of the island presented the students with beautiful views of the stairs and the rugged Basque coastline. Hiking back to the bus, students were then taken to the town of Oñati. An unexpected bicycle race (which the students found really cool!) delayed us on the way there as the police cleared the road and our bus was forced to pull over for quite some time. Therefore we unfortunately were unable to go into the town, but were still able to enjoy the natural pools formed by cold springs in the town. The water was very chilly, but that didn’t deter our brave students! Lifeguards looked on as the students climbed up to a small waterfall where they had a blast jumping down into the deep water below.
Sunday, July 22
Free day! Students spent the day enjoying San Sebastián as they pleased!