Sunday, September 11, 2016

San Sebastián. Friday and Saturday

It was farewell to the lovely villa at Doazon yesterday, set the GPS for San Sebastián in Spain, about 1.5 to 2 hours away. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the footy at Doazon, except the reception dropped out with 5 minutes to go!  We managed to get an audio just after the siren.  Little did we know how dramatic the ending was.  Just as well as there were 2 Hawks fans in the room.  Well done Cats.
Our drive was good, Jess is doing a great job driving and Russell navigating.  Jan and I just enjoying it in the back seat.
Our apartment in the centre of town is great.  Location is fantastic too. Easy walking distance to everything.
Window view of the street below.
The drive into the city was quiet, strange for a Friday afternoon.  We found out from the booking agent that it was a festival day, so most things closed, but not the Old city.  It was alive and pumping.
Much of this city was burned to the ground in 1830, with very little salvaged. Much of the old quarter has been rebuilt to try to recreate the setting.  It is a vibrant area of pintox bars, and night life.
The style of eating is all about small bites.  Order a drink, get a plate and choose from the array of platters on the bar. Show the waiter what you have and he/she puts it on your tab.

Amazing array of food.  Lots of fish, vegetables.  Stunning.. Helen and Russell, you must come here!  You will love it.  The usual thing is to have something at one place then move onto another.
At our second place, which was busy, we could hear a commotion.  A celebration of something was taking place tonight.. Along comes the cavalry in traditional costumes, drummers etc.
Everybody was out on the streets cheering them.
Dancers followed, pipers, just about everybody. Great spectacle.  They congregated in a square and danced the night away.  Fabulous to see people passionate about their culture.
The old quarter is rows of narrow streets Criss crossing.

Crowds were crazy at times.

It was amazing that we didn't get lost.  But the old quarter isn't that big really. In fact the city is very compact, which we found out this morning when we did a guided walking tour.
A Cathederal at one end of the new city and 1 km in a direct line in the other direction is the old church at the end of the old city.
Old, with a sculpture of San Sebastián below the clock.
The walking tour gave us a good overview of the history of this area which is very loyalty Basque. Whilst part of Spain, they consider themselves Basque, not Spaniards.  There is even a different language.  Streets are named in Spanish on one side of the road, on the other in Basque.
It is a most beautiful beach area right in the city.
Rod, Yvonne, and Jenny drove over to have a late lunch with us. They hadn't been here before so it was nice to show them around.  

A beautiful city with an amazing food culture which we have enjoyed immensely. 
Tonight we walked up to Mt Urguel to overlook the city.  Fantastic views.  Photos tomorrow.

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