Friday, July 20, 2012

San Sebastian

After our time in Asturias, we drove East over to San Sebastian, which is located in the North of Spain, on the Bay of Biscay and only 20 km (or about 12 miles) from France.  San Sebastian is known for their gourmet pinxtos (similar to tapas), so our first night there we crawled from place to place sampling a different pinxto at each place.  The pinxtos are all set out on the bar so you can see exactly what you're going to get and pick by sight and not description! Contrary to some of the tapas in Madrid, the pinxtos weren't free; however, there were more options, and they were more fancy than what you would get as a complimentary tapa in Madrid.

Our first stop for vino and pinxtos.
Doesn't your local bar have legs of ham hanging behind the bar?
Pinxtos galore.
The next morning, we went for a run on the boardwalk right along the coast line for probably 3.5 - 4 miles, and it was beautiful.  The sun was bright and shiny but the breeze from the sea was nice and cool.  It was such a beautiful morning, and I was so excited to go change into our bathing suits after the run and head to the beach.  However, by the time we had gotten what we needed from our hotel room, a cold front had blown through! It was cold, gray and windy. Our plans to lay on the beach quickly changed.  Instead, we had a nice seafood lunch with views of the sea and then walked through the old town checking out the cathedral and lots of shops.  We even stumbled upon a wedding taking place and sat in on the Mass for a few minutes.  (No pictures of this, though, because I didn't want to be too disturbing.)

Looking goofy in my hat.

A little light reading while waiting on our lunch reservation.

Warming up with a tiny Irish coffee.

In one of the little shops, we purchased our first Spanish antique, an old Parcheesi game board (in Spanish) framed in an rustic wooden frame.  I loved it because of the old frame and pretty colors, and it reminded Luke of playing Parcheesi at his Grandma Smith's house as a kid, so we knew we had to have it.  I think we're going to hang it on the green wall in the kitchen of our apartment, and someday it may go in a nursery or gameroom when we're back home.

Our first Spanish antique.
Old town San Sebastian.
After breakfast on Sunday morning, we decided to make a quick stop in France since we were so close.  We drove about 20 minutes to St. Jean de Lux, just across the border between Spain and France.  We tried a French macaroon, bought some French cheese and wine to take back to Madrid and shared a true French kiss before packing back in the little Fiesta for our drive home. 

I think I prefer American macaroons.
French necessities.
Cute store in St Jean de Lux where we bought the cheese.
A kiss in France.
Beautiful blue skies above the French shore.
All in all, we had a wonderful weekend in the North of Spain and certainly enjoyed the cooler weather and lush natural landscapes before heading back to the big city streets of Madrid.

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