Sunrise at Stansted, supper in San Sebastián
Trip Start Apr 13, 2013
41Trip End May 25, 2013
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Then the joys of a BUS, yes, a National Express BUS from Victoria to Stansted airport, with Barry muttering about the incompetence of the driver. Mood levels: Low.
5:50am: We pull into Stansted. The sun is rising, the mood improving. They let me get away with an overweight bag, and we pick the fastest queue to get through baggage check - boom! I even stay smiling as I endure a still-drunk Mancunian, fresh from a 21st birthday (still in his suit and bow tie) on one side, and a loudly snoring woman (proper head back, mouth open) on the other for the 2 hour flight. I'm officially on the road!
We land in Bilbao, then hop on a 75 minute bus through some gorgeous forest-y hills to the Basque seaside town of San Sebastián. It's incredible. Our pension Ondarra is perfectly formed. The temperature: 25 degrees.
We hit the streets, and are bathed in an unfamiliar, warm, golden light I believe is known as 'sunshine' in various parts of the world. My ankles can't comprehend that they are free - they keep exchanging glances, figuring there's been some huge error and that any moment I'll realise that I've forgotten to embalm them in stockings and two pairs of socks, London-style.
We head straight for the Old Town, famous for its warren of streets packed with pintxos bars. Barry, my little project manager, has a whole list of the best ones, so we drop in at Border Berri, Zeruko and Nestor over the next two hours, having a few bites and a little glass of beer in each. Each dish is designed to be a little taste of gorgeousness, from traditional bread-based ones to crazy Heston Blumenthal-type ones. Barry tries a few of what look like Oreo cookies but turn out to be squid ink & cream cheese concoctions - utterly divine.
Then it's on to incredible gelato-style ice creams and a siesta on the (wonderfully uncrowded) beach.
9pm: Worryingly, we are hungry again already