Well I have bade farewell to Ian and am now sitting alone in an internet cafe in San Sebastian. We have had a great time here, notwithstanding the bad news I had.
We were lucky to be here on the 20th of January, which is a major celebration in San Sebastian. All the shops are shut and the kids parade around during the day, dressed as soldiers and chefs (the significance of these I don´t know) and beat drums and sing. Later on the adults do the same but play brass instruments and beat louder drums. And this goes on all day. While all the hubbub was going on in the city, we climbed Mount Urgull, which is on the coast above the city, with a big Statue of Jesus looking over the city. We heard lots of music waft over from the centre of town. Later, we had a siesta, and then we went for a Pintxos (Tapas) Crawl. We were given a map with the best places and went to some of them. Yummmm. One of them specialised in fresh anchovies, nothing like the salty disgraces one gets on a pizza.
Yesterday, we took a day trip to Bilbao, where we saw the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim. I had resolved to go see it when I saw the movie ¨The world is not enough¨. A wonderful structure, made of steel, sandstone and glass. I went there expecting there not to be much inside, but there were some really nice works by Chagall, Kandinsky and Picasso, among others. They even had some Van Gogh and Gaugin. I quite like the modern art with its vibrant colours, you can make what you want of it, or nothing at all!
We went to the Basque museum, disappointing as it was all in Basque and Spanish.
Last night, our Grand finale, we went to Mugaritz, a famous restaurant near San Sebastian, which has 2 michelin stars, apparently. We had the large degustation menu with the wine flight, and it was SUPERB. Big surprises, like carpaccio made from dried watermelon (they only told us after we ate), foie gras from what they assured us were happy Geese, and other such delights. It was expensive but not quite as much as what we expected, so much the better. The service was near perfect and we got a tour of the kitchen. They even knew that Melbourne was a good foodie destination!!
This morning, big headaches, as we had lots of wine.
Then, for me…..more bloody shopping!!
A reflection on the spaniards, very lovely and keen to help, even if they could not speak english, they would go out of their way to show us where to go when we got lost.
Off to London to night, to see my friends over the weekend, sans hubby unfortunately, he had to go to work.
Must go now…..have to eat something other than mugaritz roasted and candied hazelnuts!!!
Addit: have just entered run for the kids. This will help me get off my fat bum and do something when I get back. Plus I would like to keep within a reasonable distance of shells!!