Any expats in Donostia San Sebastian?

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Any expats in Donostia San Sebastian?


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Old 6th March 2014, 05:56 PM
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Default Any expats in Donostia San Sebastian?

Hello! New to the forum. Moving from California to Donostia San Sebastian with my husband, 2 daughters and an elderly dog this May. Would love to meet or get advice from others who did it already. Applied for a 1 year residence visa and am awaiting approval. A bit nervous, I'm the only bilingual one in the family and there is not alot of information on schools and life in San Sebastian compared to Barcelona or Madrid. Anyways, Hola! Would love to hear from those out there!
Cynthia

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Old 6th March 2014, 08:30 PM
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Nope, but I'm a couple of hours to the west. I lived in Vizcaya for two years.
Best of luck with the move and the approval of the visa.

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Old 7th March 2014, 04:38 AM
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We're at the other end of the country altogether, but I quite envy you. San Sebastian is probably the loveliest place I've visited in Spain (so far anyway!) and I'm sure life there will be wonderful. Only potential downsides as far as I could see would be the weather (make sure to bring your brollies and wellies) and I imagine it gets very crowded in July and August as it's a very, very popular holiday destination for better-off Spaniards.

I had wondered before I visited if the Basque language would be an issue in that they might be a bit standoffish with people speaking Spanish, but all the local people we met and spoke to were delightful. Particularly the two ladies we chatted with in a restaurant who had brought their 100 year old mother out for lunch (hope I'm still able to do that if I reach that age - she didn't speak but certainly looked to be enjoying her food) and the old chap who veritably talked the hind leg off the proverbial donkey most of the train journey back to Bilbao!

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Old 7th March 2014, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
We're at the other end of the country altogether, but I quite envy you. San Sebastian is probably the loveliest place I've visited in Spain (so far anyway!) and I'm sure life there will be wonderful. Only potential downsides as far as I could see would be the weather (make sure to bring your brollies and wellies) and I imagine it gets very crowded in July and August as it's a very, very popular holiday destination for better-off Spaniards.

I had wondered before I visited if the Basque language would be an issue in that they might be a bit standoffish with people speaking Spanish but all the local people we met and spoke to were delightful. Particularly the two ladies we chatted with in a restaurant who had brought their 100 year old mother out for lunch (hope I'm still able to do that if I reach that age - she didn't speak but certainly looked to be enjoying her food) and the old chap who veritably talked the hind leg off the proverbial donkey most of the train journey back to Bilbao!
It's only going to be an issue for OP's daughters when they enter the Basque school system. Any public or semi-private (concertado) school is going to require Basque.

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Old 7th March 2014, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
We're at the other end of the country altogether, but I quite envy you. San Sebastian is probably the loveliest place I've visited in Spain (so far anyway!) and I'm sure life there will be wonderful. Only potential downsides as far as I could see would be the weather (make sure to bring your brollies and wellies) and I imagine it gets very crowded in July and August as it's a very, very popular holiday destination for better-off Spaniards.

I had wondered before I visited if the Basque language would be an issue in that they might be a bit standoffish with people speaking Spanish, but all the local people we met and spoke to were delightful. Particularly the two ladies we chatted with in a restaurant who had brought their 100 year old mother out for lunch (hope I'm still able to do that if I reach that age - she didn't speak but certainly looked to be enjoying her food) and the old chap who veritably talked the hind leg off the proverbial donkey most of the train journey back to Bilbao!
My inlaws, all of them except one of my husband's uncle's live in the Basque country (and when we get together there are at least 40 of us ) and my MIL lives in Bilbao so we go often, but not to SS.
I have been places where they were a "bit stand offish" with people who didn't speak Basque namely Guernika and Bermeo. Perhaps it's because I was with non Basque speaking Basques. I don't ever find it an issue in Bilbao, even though there are people who prefer that you speak Basque; the majority are still non Basque speaking. They are a hospitable people in general...
Personally I don't find SS particularly attractive nor interesting and prefer other places along the coast there, but most people love it so it must have something

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Old 7th March 2014, 05:59 PM
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you can visit pamplona. town is 90 kilometres near San Sebastian. the most inportant party is 6th to 14 july and you can to run in front of the bulls of streets. is inportant because writer Heminway went over there. " bullfight" show where fit to 22.000 persons. the third largest place of world.

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Old 7th March 2014, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pesky Wesky View Post
My inlaws, all of them except one of my husband's uncle's live in the Basque country (and when we get together there are at least 40 of us ) and my MIL lives in Bilbao so we go often, but not to SS.
I have been places where they were a "bit stand offish" with people who didn't speak Basque namely Guernika and Bermeo. Perhaps it's because I was with non Basque speaking Basques. I don't ever find it an issue in Bilbao, even though there are people who prefer that you speak Basque; the majority are still non Basque speaking. They are a hospitable people in general...
Personally I don't find SS particularly attractive nor interesting and prefer other places along the coast there, but most people love it so it must have something
For my OH's and my joint bachelor/bachelorette party, our friends dressed us up as sevillanas and paraded us around Bermeo.* I thought that, for sure, someone was going to give us a hard time. However, people just laughed. I've found we get dirtier looks in the really small towns.


*This might be due to the fact OH is quite españolista and his friends tend to be PNV/Bildu-leaning.
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Old 7th March 2014, 07:41 PM
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I am so happy to hear all your anecdotes. Been in contact with tthe 2 International schools and yes, a bit concerned about the 3 language instructions but am happy to see that they are preserving their culture. Would love a bit of rainy weather - we live in Southern California where it NEVER rains. Boring!

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Old 8th March 2014, 02:44 PM
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I am so happy to hear all your anecdotes. Been in contact with tthe 2 International schools and yes, a bit concerned about the 3 language instructions but am happy to see that they are preserving their culture. Would love a bit of rainy weather - we live in Southern California where it NEVER rains. Boring!
Heh. Well, you will get a nice dose of rain then. We are having an incredible week - 7 whole days without rain! Amazing!

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Old 9th March 2014, 12:46 PM
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They've had some pretty dramatic storms up there this week, I believe some seafront buildings were destroyed by the waves! It was even on our local TV down south.

My memories of Donostia SS are of arriving in September unaware that the international film festival was on, and failing to find anywhere to stay. Happily we ended up just along the coast at a place called Zarautz which was totally delightful. We weren't there long but there seemed to be equal numbers of euskadi and castellano speakers, and people were reserved compared to Andalucia, but polite and friendly.

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