Spain Wrap-Up

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Our vacation to San Sebastian was just about perfect. Leisurely (6 days in one small town), family (2 out of 3 kids in attendance), beachy, sunny, and yummy (pintxos, wine, cold beer, and lots of helado). However, now that I have been back in Paris for a day, it’s time to wrap up the vacation posts. And the vacation laundry.

We rented an apartment through feelfreerentals.com, who were professional and responded promptly to all of my inquiries. Our apartment had been recently renovated and was tres chic. The location couldn’t have been better- right on a main boulevard and close to the old town and to both beaches.

Here is a peek from our windows, which looked down on the boulevard.

 

Unfortunately, those soft, sweet sounds percolating up from the street became not so sweet later in the week, when a man, his puppet, and a very big microphone took center stage. The sounds morphed into a cross between world-wide wrestling and a Mexican game show, and were even louder in our living room than they were on the street. By the time we heard his opening “Hola, Hola, Hola” for the third time, I was seriously considering throwing myself out of our seventh story windows and turning that puppeteer into a mime. And his creepy puppet, too. But enough of the complaining.

We ate tapas (called “pintxos” in the Basque country) almost every day, moving from one bar to the next, sampling the specialty pintxo of each one. Our favorite pintxo experience was at a tiny place with a slot machine and a very friendly bartender. He served us delicious potatoes in garlic and olive oil, as well as a some tender and flavorful mushrooms. I became a fan of the local white wine called “txakoli”, which was sparkling and very dry. The bartenders hold the bottle up high when pouring it, to increase the air going into the wine as it hits the glass. Delicious!

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A few other pics of the pintxo experience-

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delicious garlic shrimp skewers and grilled octupus

delicious garlic shrimp skewers and grilled octopus

San Sebastian is known for being a gastronomic capital of Europe, which is surprising given its small size. One night we veered way off of the pintxo trail and ate at a very fancy restaurant called Arzak. We indulged in the tasting menu, which was seven amazing courses. I won’t show you each one, but here are some highlights.

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tuna and strawberry – who knew?

 

apple injected w beet root, accompanied by creamy foie gras and potato

apple injected w beet root, accompanied by creamy foie gras and potato

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grilled lobster w a crispy star-shaped crepe

red mullet served on a iPad-like device with a rushing river on the screen

red mullet served on an iPad-like device with a rushing river on the screen

dumpling served on a crunched can!

dumpling served on a crunched can!

I loved the harbor and, of course, the beaches.

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The architecture was gorgeous.

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And that, my friends, was San Sebastian 2014. I highly recommend it if you enjoy beaches, amazing food, and friendly people.

Just watch out for the puppet guy.

5 Comments

Filed under Spain, travel, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Spain Wrap-Up

  1. fish served on an iPad?!?! Woah! Muy chic! :)

  2. Natalie

    Lovely! Brings back a lot of memories from the trip Geoff and I took to Spain before kids. Makes me want to go back now…

  3. Richard

    Hi Kate,

    I was intrigued by the San Sebastian reports, largely because my son Oliver has a Basque girlfriend from San Sebastian and he is lucky to be able to visit there regularly.
    I haven’t been there yet myself but I am determined to visit soon.
    Now that San Sebastian is on my radar, I am constantly amazed by how many people seem to have San Sebastian on their tour itineraries, especially Kiwis and Australians.

    Must be a great place.

    Keep up the blogging. Its a vicarious treat..

Hollah back y'all!

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