After some looking around finding a place to stay (all of the places we looked at were full or note quite sufficient for us), we finally checked into a nice hotel right on the beach. It was a bit more than we had been accustomed to paying for a room, but it seems that at the start of summer vacation here the city is quite full. We only booked it for three nights so today we found another place for €30 less per night. That way we can afford to get a better place when we return to Barcelona next week.
San Sebastián is great! The city is beautiful, its centerpiece is definitely the huge beaches. The beaches are well protected by an almost completely enclosed bay, plus an island at the mouth of the bay. Yesterday it was a bit cloudy but today and wednesday, as one of the books we have says, the beaches were an "almost impenetrable mass of flesh". Amy did some sunning and swimming today while I was doing internet stuff and trying to find out whether we could rent a sailboat (unfortunately, no), and I hope to do some swimming tomorrow.
The food here is absolutely amazing. We've found that one of the best things about spanish food is the "tapas" bars that are open all afternoon and evening. They have small open sandwich type things to eat for usually about €1.50 to €2 each, two or three of those is a great snack. One of the best we found today was a sun dried tomato with brie cheese on a slice of bread. Wonderful!
We just got back from an amazing dinner at a restaurant right on the dock. We had king prawns, calamari, a salmon steak each, plus dessert, wine, and bread. You can't get seafood any fresher than that. Now we're off to try some cider (which this region is known for), and perhaps some ice cream. You can't throw a stone without hitting a "gelateria" around here, and we have certainly been taking advantage of that. Good flavours: pistachio, cream cheese with nuts, banana, coconut, and so on.
Our Spanish is definitely improving, it's no longer a problem if somebody at a hotel or restaurant or wherever doesn't speak English. We refer often to the dictionary and are challenging each other with learning and using a few new Spanish words each day. Here in Basque country, although the native Basque language is completely unfamiliar to us, Castillian Spanish is spoken by everybody.