Northern Spain Road Trip – Day 5

Ae awake to yet another day of sunshine yay. San Sebastian has on average 200 rainy days a year so we’ve seriously got lucky with the weather fairies. We commence today with a cycle to the far end of La Concha beach at the foot of Monte Igueldo, to view three sculptures that are symbols of the city, the Peine del viento (Wind Combs). They are the work of famous Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida and architect Luis Peña Ganchegui. Installed in 1977, the artwork is made of giant iron shapes anchored by pink granite and is spread across three sites. The strangely powerful but mysterious forms are very striking against the Atlantic buffeted coastline.

Chillida anchored to the cliff rocks the trio of claw-like Corten steel sculptures, through which can be seen the horizon-line where sea meets the sky. Chillida grew up in the region in an era when the Basque peoples’ struggle for an independent identity often resulted in violence with the militant separatist group ETA regularly launching terrorist attacks against the Madrid capital. He saw this point at the end of the beach as a ‘meeting place’. Chillida felt he was Basque and believed in identifying with a place, but he was against separation. He wanted the two sides to come together, he believed in people working together, and he wanted to believe in peace.

We leave the sculptures and cycle around the corner to the ancient funicular – over 100 years old – that rises to the summit of Monte Igueldo. The views from the summit are spectacular as we look down over the vast panorama of La Concha beach and the surrounding coastline and mountains. It’s a very clear day and we can see for miles. We make the return funicular journey and meander along the beach.

After a glorious sunny day we head to a sushi bar a order a takeaway with beers and walk to Zurriola beach to marvel at a glorious golden sunset.

As the sun descends below the horizon the Kursaal Palace consisting of two large buildings that mimic two stranded rocks facing the sea provides its own illumination. Sated by the natural and man made illuminations we leave the beach in search of chilled rioja before returning to our hotel to pack in preparation for the next leg of our Spainsh road trip.


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