Studio: international art — 1.1893

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Sketching Grounds. No. II.—Spain

and Jacca, hiring an old carriage, intending to drive features of the city of one street are unique and
over the Pyrenees into France, and then back again interesting. It is a tiny Venice, with essentially
into Spain, which, strange as it may sound, is the Spanish features. The many-storeyed and balconied
cheapest and most expeditious way. Our way lay houses all look on the bay, and among these long-
at first between snow-clad mountains; then amid deserted palaces one comes across treasures of

wood and stone carving. Its single street winds
right round the bay, and following its tortuous pas-
sages one can find many pictures : gloomy alleys,
with a peep through of the bay bathed in the sun
light; here and there a shrine, stone-covered, with
its painted background, now rapidly succumbing
to the wear of sun and wind. Practically, the place
is as it was two hundred years ago. Time has
only knocked the angles off. Looking towards the
old fort, now dismantled, one momentarily expected
to see the white puff of smoke that heralded the
approach of one of those gaily carved and gilded
caravels that so often must have set out from this
port. We found a snug little cafe, where the
fishermen sat and drank, and its gloomy little
shaded room was generally full. It was rather a
favourite haunt of ours ; not that I mean to sug-
gest we drank, but there was a delightful sense of
artistic laziness in sitting there looking out on the
sunlit water, and watching the boats, like gigantic
butterflies, sailing across the bay. This repose was,
however, sometimes somewhat rudely broken in by
the entrance of a wine-laden English sailor-man, or
the screech of a steam whistle from some passing
steamboat, which seemed to destroy one's illusions at
one fell swoop, and bring one back to the twentieth
century in this cafe. I have been starting a toler-
antonio ably large canvas here of some pilots looking out

great gloomy pine forests, through which rushed fr°m the shaded verandah across the ba>'' with its
torrents; until anon we emerged into fertile plains, bnlhant whlte hoUSeS °PP0site- 1 SUPP0SC n0 °ne
and reached Oleron, from which we booked to Pau ; wlU understand & when I bring it back. And
and thence to Bayonne, Grun, and San Sebastian. talklng of retuml»S sends a shudder do™ mY
Once again our foot rested on Spanish soil, but back' aS 1 am slttlnS here now m the certalnty °f
our condition was somewhat painty and travel- sunhSht> discussing sardines and a tortillo, and the
stained. On reaching the Hotel Martin de Ezcurra ProsPect of coming back to your sorrowful weather
we found that the baggage we expected to have rather aPPaIs one' But 1 suppose it must be so,
been sent on from Saragossa had not arrived. So and that next week wiU find us both in thc seclu"
there was no help for it, and we had to face the sion °f the >'ard
guests in the afore-mentioned painty attire. We
strolled round the town, and were disappointed.
It was a fashionable watering-place, with few details
of any interest. Next day we shook off the San
Sebastian dust, and made for Puerta de Passages, a
narrow inlet from the sea, widening into a large
bay, with the deepest and bluest of water, sur-
rounded with picturesque stone-built houses, once
owned by the flower of the Guipposcoan nobility,
but now tenanted by fishermen. The architectural
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