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My first thought on arriving in San Sebastian is just of the incredible beauty, and calmness, of it. It reminds me of Como, in northern Italy, a much tinier city, but built around the arc of a bay, with a colossal elegant hotel, wide promenades around the water, big theaters and very old churches tucked into little corners. And people – vacationers and locals with that vacation feel about them, cosmopolitan but relaxed, nothing like the small-town insularity of similarly sized cities inland.

And looking in the guide book, just at the simple map of the area – Biarritz, Bilbao, Pamplona – I think that I really need to travel more, take advantage of this Europe thing, lots of little trips to all these places on the map. Which have apparently been inhabited for 100,000; 400,000 years.

And, of course, that familiar but dangerous feeling: I could live here.

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