A love letter to the summer of 2022 – Palatinate
By Pearl Cheng and Valeria Prado-Benavides
While large parts of the world swelter in the searing heat and unforgiving glare of the summer sun, there is a place where the wind bites cold and the sunlight stumbles feebly on the sidewalks. This is Sydney, nestled in the corner of the Southern Hemisphere, where ‘summer’ is actually ‘winter’, and the heat is a bygone memory.
Yet as the city shivers in the chill of July and August, there’s still something to love – proud and magnificent, Sydney’s beaches stand firm as testimonies to nature’s beauty and power. . I remember visiting Bondi Beach on a freezing morning, when the sea had turned to a glacier-like shade of icy green, hauntingly beautiful under gray skies. I always keep a photo from an adventure in Watsons Bay, a small peninsula at the entrance to Sydney Harbour. There, the sea foam profusely spills like white satin over the rocks, sending a shimmering rainbow over the dark cliffs above. During these stays at the beach, I wonder if I have not walked into a painting.
But most fascinating is the power that breathes through water and earth. Standing on a rocky outcrop jutting out to sea from Bondi Beach, I watched the waves crash violently onto the rocks around me like fireworks. As I tasted the salty smell of sea spray, I silently understood why the Aborigines called this place Bondi – ‘water breaking on rocks’. La Pérouse, named after the navigator Jean-Françoise de Galaup, Count of La Pérouse, who landed near Sydney in the 18th century, is a small promontory facing the Tasman Sea. Looking east, where boundless sapphire blue waters stretched out to touch a pale, clear azure sky, my sister whispered breathlessly, “We’re at the end of the world!” “, no doubt what La Pérouse himself thought when he set foot there. on this hitherto unexplored Southern Land centuries ago.
It is a sense of quiet peace that such beauty and power ignites, a flame born of knowing that the world may change, but the waves will always lap beneath an endless sky. Perhaps then there is warmth in this wintry land.
San Sebastian, Spain, also known as Donostia-San Sebastián, is a coastal city in northern Spain, just 20 km from the French border.
This holiday destination is a less touristy alternative to beaches in southern Spain such as Marbella or the very popular Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza. Due to its location in the northern part of the country, San Sebastian has a colder climate, which means most tourists are Spaniards trying to escape the southern heat, providing a more authentic experience and the opportunity to interact with locals.
When visiting the city, located in the Basque Country, tourists can learn about the distinct Basque culture, specific to the region and very different from the traditional Spanish culture. Examples are pinchos, a traditional form of tapas considered a crucial part of local cuisine, and the Basque language, the only surviving language isolate in Europe that is spoken exclusively in the region.
For those wishing to explore the region, San Sebastian can serve as a starting point for day trips throughout the Basque Country. Pamplona is just an hour from the city, where the famous festivals of San Fermin and Running of the Bulls take place in early July. For those wishing to take a short trip across the border, Biarritz and Bayonne await you, as well as the possibility of attending the Bayonne festivities which take place at the end of July.
San Sebastian has a wonderful beach and harbor in the heart of the city, these are the main attractions for tourists and second home owners staying for the summer. However, it is also a bustling city with a lively nightlife and plenty of cultural activities, having won the title of European Capital of Culture in 2016. Internationally renowned events such as the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the San Sebastian Jazz Festivals take place in the summer and early fall, making the city a great destination to enjoy the arts before school starts.
Photography by: Pearl Cheng, Lydia Doye