A Rainy Day in San Sebastian

May 27, 2019
San Sebastian rain 63°

We awoke this morning to the sound of passing cars driving down the wet road that runs under our window. It certainly wasn’t a motivator to get out of the very comfortable bed.

It would be a slow start today, the rain was a limiting factor. We had thought of going to the funicular for a ride up the hillside. However the rain and clouds were limiting visibility.

Jeanne and Graham left to pick up some supplies and returned by late morning. We packed our day bag for a wet day in the city.

The first stop was a return to the cooking school our tour started at last night. We were given a card for a free gift. The gifts were some fancy paprika. The “free gift” worked out well for them as we left with some expensive dried citrus for gin and tonics along with a spray to mist the top of the cocktails.

In a town is most proud of their food, it only made sense to wander the old town sampling foods. A lot of the recommended places are closed on Mondays. Fortunately a handful of the places we tried last night and a couple of recommendations were open.

 We returned to Bar Sport and ordered the customary drink, txakoli. The bacon wrapped chorizo was a favorite so we ordered a few of those to start. The eggplant topped with egg and chili pepper caught our eye as well.

The food was again fantastic and priced at only a couple of dollars per plate.

Next stop was Bar Goiz Arci, a recommendation by the guide. We ordered their prawn skewers, fried peppers and a ham croquette. The prawns and peppers were delicious.

We were feeling pretty stuffed but there was room for dessert. Nearby we found the next recommendation, Atari. At a window-front table overlooking the rainy courtyard we ordered two desserts.

We started with some Basque cider and a chocolate cake with a peanut flavored whipping cream. Next up was their French toast with ice cream. Both were delicious and we found them even more enjoyable than the desserts last night.

Monte Urgull

Above the old town a large statue of Jesus sits perched up on the hillside.

A trail near the museum led up a green hill. The overgrown lush landscape with moss covered walls was a clear indicator this place gets its share of rainy days.

With a mix of cobblestones, paved walkways and muddy trails we worked our way up the hillside. Trails branched in all directions throughout the park that was larger than we expected.

The remains of the battery dating back hundreds of years added to the mystique of this landscape enveloped in fog. The top of the hillside would offer incredible views on a clear day but today much of the city was hidden behind rain and fog.

Back down the trail we decided to walk the coastline side not realizing we’d have to walk all the way around the hillside back to our original starting point. It did however give us a view of the swells crashing into the stone shoreline.

Our clothes were drenched and the rain wasn’t giving up. We walked quickly and split up at the mall. We needed tooth paste and some additional camera storage for the photos we’d take on the remainder of the trip.

Back at the apartment Jeanne and Graham were warming up and drying out. I hit the kitchen to whip up a gin and tonic using the ingredients we had picked up in the cooking shop.

Leslie and I enjoyed a reprieve from the rain out on the covered balcony. We sat and watched as people scurried around trying to avoid getting wet. When it got too chilly we went inside for an intense game of Exploding Kittens over a round of drinks.

It was approaching 7pm and while early by Spain standards we were thinking of dinner. We walked back to the old town and found a liquor store to pick up another bottle of gin made in Spain. With bottle in hand it was time to get some food.

We returned to our last stop of the food tour. We had only had dessert but the food was recommended by our guide. We grabbed a small table near the window at Txalupa. At the bar Leslie ordered some vermouth, a ham and sardine pintxos, a chicken salad pintxos and a tuna, pepper and sardine pintxos. Sardines are in so many of the pintxos here and this was the first time experiencing it. The mix of gamey ham and fish was interesting to say the least.

The food was so good we needed to try more. Leslie walked up and ordered black rice with hake. It was served with fresh bread and absolutely fantastic. As we were finishing up we noticed some new pintxos had been set up on the bar. I went over and picked up one that looked like cheese, and was informed by the bar tender that it wasn’t cheese. It was interesting and tasted like croquette filling with fish. All the food was great, but we were now getting full. We returned to the bar where we had to remember everything we ate and drank so they could write up the bill.

It was past nine and the evening light was setting in. The glow of restaurants and bars reflected on the streets. The Monday pedestrian traffic was minimal and made for a wonderful final walkthrough of the city.

We returned to the apartment to wind down before retiring for the night.