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Kontxa Hondartza

Where have all the tourists gone?
If you've ever been to--or have seen photographs of--San Sebastian during the summer, you know that the perfectly crescent-shaped white-sand beach in this Basque seaside town never looks like this. It would be packed with sunbathers cheek by jowl. But we arrived a week or two after the high season had ended, and except for the couple pushing an old-school baby buggy, we had this stretch of sand to ourselves. Now, the pinxtos bars in the old town later that evening, that was a different matter!

7:30pm, August, San Sebastian
I thought my watch had died.

Or that I taken too much sun during my nap.

The scene before me just didn't say "7:30pm". Because it felt like 4pm anywhere else. Not only because the sun was still so high, but because the beach was still so crowded. And it was a weekday. People were racing each other freestyle to the floating platform in the middle of the bay. Kids were still cajoling their parents for ice-pops. And our lunch at the base of the hill in front of us still made us feel full.

So I took my watch off and put it in my bag because it obviously was causing me too much trouble...

...and that's August in San Sebastian.

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