A drive to San Sebastián

G'day from the north coast of Spain. A picturesque spot where old European architecture hangs from the Pyranese, winding along the coastline. It might get more incredible, but I'm not sure where. And I use the term 'Pyranese' lightly, these mountain ranges might only be the cousin of their famous relation....

picturesque villages dot the mountains on our drive

picturesque villages dot the mountains on our drive

Glorious day for a drive

Glorious day for a drive

 We drove from Olite, through Pamplona to get here. Pamplona, most famously known for their 'running of the bulls' fiesta, is also a stop on the Camino trail, and a beautiful little town in its own right. I had revisited lonely planet, impressed by its content on the Royal Palace of Olite. It described this museum where you could reenact the running of the bulls through an interactive 3D display. We were TOTALLY getting amongst that. So we programmed it into the GPS and followed the route. Three dead ends, two long reverses, and chaos later, we pulled up beside what seemed to be the right place, with no sign or entry point. The local tourism office advised me it had actually closed "two maybe three years ago." Get your shit together Lonely Planet, this is even the 2013 edition. Karl might write a letter to editor if you keep this up. We consoled ourselves with coffee and cake. It didn't really hit the spot. I mean, an interactive, 3D hologram of the running of the bulls. Or. Coffee and cake. The cake was really good, but as you can see, it hasn't distracted us too readily from our loss. This monument helped.

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So, we checked out the arena, Plaza Del Toro where the running of the bulls culminates in a bull fight. 'Toro' is such a good word for a bull. Bull sounds lame, Toro sounds fierce.

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 Other than the 'must see' status of San Sebastian, two main reasons were behind our visit, Bridget and Luke. They had picked up the keys and were waiting patiently for us to swing by and collect them from the corner. Our GPS decided that San Sebastián was suddenly in France, South Spain and four other places in the world, none of which were near us. So we tried to navigate ourselves there and ended up high in the mountains. Incredible view though. Four thousand text messages later, insisting we were finally en route, we collected our extra cargo and arrived at the flash apartment. 

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No time was wasted... Actually, we somehow lost two hours in the apartment... But. We wasted no time getting amongst the pinxto bars. What an asset to this region. Every bar top is lined with "bite sized" portions of mouthwatering compilations. It makes a difference from the barflies in Australia. You take a plate, pile up, grab a drink and enjoy. Pick up the tab on the way out.

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I have neglected to mention the perfect beach weather. Sleeting side ways rain, whistling winds that cut through your skin to freeze your bones. I was lamenting not bringing my bikini....as I exhaled steam. A random pr surfer walked past us with wet hair and no top on. If their is a fatality from pneumonia today, I will say 'I told you so.' 

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A tapas pub crawl. I like the sound of that. We checked out a few of the bars, their food, and $1.80 euro house wines, which were rather impressive. Despite the delicious food on offer, I noticed Karl salivating over the sausage sizzle at the kids birthday party we passed. Our pub crawl through the old streets was filtered with the aroma of marijuana. We didn't have any. I'm just painting the picture. We approached this bar with pumping beats, the crowd spilling onto the streets. I peered in and yelled loudly (over the music) to Karl, Bridget, and Luke, "it's hip hop karaoke," just as the music stopped. You words hung in the air. You could detect the awkwardness. I didn't dare look. We hightailed it to the next bar. Clearly karaoke is a universal term, and I just offended some bad ass thugs. Peace out homeboys. 

Matisse kept herself busy exploring the Pinxto bars

Matisse kept herself busy exploring the Pinxto bars

These streets are a maze of perfection, not just the architecture, but their offerings. We stocked up on chocolates from the gourmet chocolatier, that even had a conveyer belt for manufacturing their little artesian delights. I mostly went inside to get out of the howling winds and warm up... Who am I kidding? That was my excuse to get Karl to join us, and pick out another block of chocolate. I was desperate to get home. It was soooooooooooooooo cold. We had to find some sustenance to get us through the night, so we wove through the streets, the longest way home in search for a super mercado.

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 We eventually found this quaint little place and stocked up on beer, wine and fruit. The wine was elegantly presented on the back shelf with fancy European labels, and no price tags. We were hesitant to ask the price. They spoke only Spanish so Bridget did some deadley translating. It was $2.80 euro. We grabbed four bottles and headed to the counter. Hold up. The women was concerned, we had picked up the very expensive, $6 euro bottle. She assured us it was good quality so we splashed out. As we left Luke noticed the clean skins at the front. We reckon they must be $1 euro. We will try them tonight. When we were in the supermercado, Matisse tried to shoplift a mandarin. What a badass. Kids these days, you out a beanie on them and they turn into a thug. 

Bridget prepares a drink.

Bridget prepares a drink.

 It's pretty obvious where the night wound up. It involved me donning a blanket for a scarf and accompanying Bridget to get more snacks at 11pm. We also introduced these English sods to nek minit YouTube clips, and read amazon reviews on Harribo sugar free gummi bears, and hair removal cream. 

We found this church on our midnight walk. 

We found this church on our midnight walk. 

Bridget is beautiful...

Bridget is beautiful...