THE CITY WHERE FOOD IS ART
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
airbnb with Oijanna and Raul
WEATHER: Bright and sunny- what a change!!
Alfonso and Alberto were driving back to Madrid and we were making our way along the coast east to San Sebastián today and what a day- bright blue sky, sunny and warm.
We said goodbye to each other at Berria Beach where we had walked in grey, overcast conditions a few days earlier and marvelled at the transformation under sunny circumstances. We all agreed that we had enjoyed our time together and promised to keep in touch.
Today is a public holiday and when we arrived in Castro Urdiales we were astonished to find that this small seaside town was bumper to bumper with traffic and crowds of people and of course finding a parking space proved impossible so it was onto Lekeito and Getaria to have a quick look around. The coast is rugged in places and there are pretty beaches along the way.
San Sebastian is a city of 180,000 people situated on the Atlantic coast and centre of Basque country, where Basque language is spoken and Basque culture thrives and Basque people want to be independent; most people have heard of ETA, the militant organization that performed terroist attacks in Spain to further their cause. Peace reigns at present but the cause is still important.
Food is king here and San Sebastian is a foodies paradise. There are some very famous Michelin star chefs working here and it has been said that this is the best place on the planet to eat. We loved the food and experiences even though we stayed within budget and Oihanna supplied us with a list of her favourite eating places which helped us choose amongst the hundreds of cafes and bars. The red wine is good in Spain and cheap!!
But wait, we are driving in to find our apartment in San Sebastian, and a parking space but there are none today so Sheila drops Kath at the apartment and with the address of a parking staion Sheila makes her way a short distance off and parks the car. $25 per day but it seems at this stage we have no choice, because even if you could find street parking you have to pay with 90 minutes maximums. A parking attendant informed Sheila a couple of days later that there was a cheaper outdoor option just a short walk up the hill and so we saved ourselves $100.!
Our hosts Oihanna and Raul are wonderful and make us feel at home immediately and we instantly fall in love with Talo their dog. The apartment is very large by Spanish standards with a lot of light and space; we have our own bathroom and a cheery bedroom that faces the street. The young couple work from home so we spend a lot of time with them.
As it Was still sunny when we got ourselves organized, we left the aprtment to check out the city, the beach and get some food. We have learned to catch the sunshine when we can because tomorrow could be different and on this ocassion that was true!! The rain came!
Food is all about "pintxos" in this part of Spain. Pintxos are artistic little piles of food combinations, often on tiny pieces of baguette and kept together with a giant toothpick; you take your pick from all the amazing selections lined up on the bar and eat it in two bitefuls!!! Such a fun way to eat and even though it is a pre-dinner treat we sampled enough pintxos to replace dinner most times. You can also order from a hot selection that is prepared in the kitchen. Becasue of the relaxed atmosphere in the bars you get to make friends with strangers and as travellers, people were happy to advise us on the customs and protocol of the pintxos.
Please note Sheila had a go at home with the sausage called "chistorra" that the boys had brought us and I tell you what it was as good as the professional pintxos! Well almost!
So began our 5 day stay in SS.