San Sebastián

San Sebastián is a cute coastal city with a picturesque shoreline in the Basque region of Spain. It did not disappoint us in terms of weather, culture and food! San Sebastián is a major gastronomic destination. There are seven Michelin Starred restaurants in Spain, and San Sebastián has three of them. I read that it is only beaten by Kyoto as one of the cities in the world with the highest number of Michelin Stars per square meter. However, we didn’t come to San Sebastián for it’s haute cuisine, we came for the tapas!

Catherine took us on a tapas crawl in the old town, visiting some of her favourite places as well as trying some new ones.

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In Basque, Tapas are known as Pintxos. They are a small snack, typically skewered with a toothpick to a piece of bread, eaten in a tavern or bar. The first place we went to had some amazing pintxos to try.

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You pick which ones you want to eat and can also order small portions of hot food such as calamari. The men who work at the bar have an amazing memory. You pay for your meal at the end, after going up multiple times to take new pintxos. It hardly appears as if they are paying attention to what you are taking, but at the end, you get a detailed, accurate bill. I don’t know how they do it!

We also became familiar with the term “zurita” (pronounced thur-E-ta), which is a small portion (three fingers width) of wine or beer. It was great to order our drinks this way, because it meant that you could try a few different wines or have a beer at each place. And for me, it meant I could still have something to drink, but in moderation as I was nursing William.

We tried a few other Pintxos bars, one of which was a bit off the main strip in old town, and served small, hot portions. It was amazing. A few of the dishes were so good, we felt like we could eat a full size dinner portion of it.

After we couldn’t stuff another pintxo in even if our life depended on it, we walked off our meal along the boardwalk. The sun was just starting to set and created some beautiful light on the surroundings. I couldn’t help but get a little snap happy!

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The next morning we took a funicular from Ondarreta Beach to Monte Igeldo. On top of the hill, there is a gorgeous hotel, multiple viewpoints and a small amusement park for kids. The hotel was very luxurious and I would have loved to spend an afternoon relaxing there.

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But the real showstopper was the views of the bay, old town and nearby Islands.

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We stopped at a beachside restaurant for lunch and then wandered old town again before hopping in the car and heading off for the charming resort town where Catherine lives.

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2 thoughts on “San Sebastián

  1. Wow, what a beautiful place!! I want tapas now! What does it cost to eat out like that? Is each tapa pretty inexpensive? It’s so great that you can take William into any restaurant/pub – imagine how much more limited your travels would be if you couldn’t! Gawd, we went to boring old Boston Pizza the other week for “wing” night, but of course had to sit in the restaurant side and then weren’t allowed to order the wings because it’s only for the bar side. Sigh.

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    1. The tapas ranged from €2-€4, but the hot portions were a little more expensive. I suppose it can add up, but we were just happy to be paying in € as opposed to £! It is nice to be able to bring him into any dining establishment, but sometimes the terraces are smoky because people can smoke outside and so many people in Europe smoke.

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