Our 'Post-Bar' Trip to Spain travel blog

The flatscreen, welcoming us to San Sebastian - pretty cool!

Will, relaxing after the drive to San Sebastian

The view from our hotel room. It was a bit cloudy this...

Will, sightseeing in San Sebastian. The Cathedral in the distance.

The Cathedral of San Sebastian

The pretty streets of San Sebastian

I don't know why, I just liked this sign...

Palm trees in San Sebastian

Not sure, but we think this was the library or civic center

Nearly every road leads to the ocean

Basque flags

La Concha Beach

Boats bobbing on a breezy day

City Hall

Tapas!! And camera-shy waiters...

We tried our first anchovies at this place! They were skewered with...

They have gelato in Spain!! Who knew!?!

The harbor, San Sebastian

Pretty lamp post overlooking the beach

La Concha Beach, San Sebastian

A fabulous little market that we discovered in San Sebastian - we...

We also bought a full picnic lunch for our hike including fresh...

What a find!

San Sebastian is a beautiful seaside resort on the Northern coast of Spain, on the Bay of Biscay. The city is really serene, surrounded by mountains on all sides except for the north where it meets the sea. A slow, lazy river winds through the eastern side of the city eventually flowing into the bay. The beaches are definitely the main attraction in town with the La Concha being the popular favorite among families and the older crowd while the more tempestuous Zurriola beach is home to surfers and teenagers. San Sebastian has long been known as an ideal resort destination, so much so that the Spanish monarchs have been summering there since the 1800’s.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon, after our side trip to Bilbao. We checked into the Silken Amara Plaza where even the flat screen TV welcomed us warmly to our room. We spent the rest of the day sightseeing and collecting some provisions for a picnic lunch on Tuesday (more on that later). The streets of San Sebastian were incredibly picturesque with black iron clad balconies overflowing with flowers and shiny white railings overlooking the sandy beaches. The warm sun, the smell of the ocean, and the gentle breeze practically lulled us into a daze as we walked the city.

For dinner we found a much-touted old seafood restaurant (called Beti Jai) with fairly out-dated décor and a location that left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, it made up for the lack of ambiance with great service and even better food. San Sebastian is known for its food scene with more Michelin stars per capita than any other European city. Anthony Bourdain (of the Travel Channel fame) proclaimed it a food lover’s paradise where he had no less than one of the best meals of his entire life. While we couldn’t afford to eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant every night of our stay, we tried to be extra picky in this foodie heaven. Beti Jai didn’t disappoint. We decided to order the two dishes that San Sebastian is most known for: Basque-style cod (Will) and baked crab (Kristin). They were both really, really good. The cod had a crispy, perfectly seasoned crust with a light and flaky center. The crab was served in the original shell that it had been baked in and it was incredibly rich and flavorful.

With full stomachs and tired feet we were very ready to head home for the night but could not catch a cab to save our lives. Even perfectly empty cabs were whizzing by us or waving us away at stoplights. We could not figure it out and ended up walking over a mile back to our hotel (in heels, no less). The next day we solved the mystery when we discovered that the cabs would only pick up customers at a few select locations. Who knew!?! Oh, well. Live and learn!

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