The thing is, no one has really articulated what went wrong the final day in San Sebastián, but here it is. It started out like any normal day, with the croissant extravaganza on the breakfast table. Here a picture to refresh your memory. The sun was even shining.
On this morning, the croissants were a little browner and more crispy than usual. That was probably our first sign, but we were all too busy parking our bags and checking out of the apartment, and getting photos on the balcony.
Karl and Luke went to get the car, from the car park. Ten years later they arrived downstairs to get us. Apparently they had gone via France. I will never understand men. Anyway, we headed off to the fernicular to go to Mont Igueldo. The fern what? That's what I was thinking. It's like a train carriage on a pulley system that pulls you up a really steep mountain. Here we are getting into it...and that's the angle it stays at the whole time.
Once you get to the top you have a birds eye view of the glistening coastline. According to lonely planet, it would make us feel like an eagle. I can't say I actually felt like an eagle, but I felt good.
So at this peak of the coastline, with multi million dollar views you enter Parc de Attraccions. This time , lonely planet hit the nail on the head with their description of it as "a slightly tacky theme park." I was slightly gob smacked. It was like a dodgy version of Luna Park. I was waiting for the carnies to rob me, but they didn't, because all the rides were closed. So upsetting. We were taunted with still dodgem cars and a four person slide we could have raced down. There was four of us. It would have been perfect. If only.
On another note. did you notice the Coca-Cola branding on the fernicular? It didn't stop there. The entire park was one giant promotion. I don't know how they even negotiated this kind of signage. It was a PR fantasy on steroids.
We walked out to the restaurant on the point. Matisse patted a donkey for the first time. It was friendly at first. When it tried to eat my camera I got suspicious. Then it tried to rub its ass on Karl and was about to kick him. Karl didn't run, but we got the hell out of there.
The waiter approached us. "We are closed. We open at 1:30"
"That's 15 mins, we will stay."
"No bar, only restaurant." He walked off.
We took a hint and went back into the theme park to try out luck. We thought Matisse would have disguised the fact we were so blatantly alcoholics. Obviously not. Karl couldn't go past this coin entry game that was operating.
We had coffe, whilst Matisse had two sachets of baby food and a tub of weird Spanish yoghurt. We have a new contender for the title of 'devour power.' we descended the mountain. This is where things started to veer in the wrong direction.
"So, who is hungry?" I asked "we can eat here or hit the road and eat in Bilbao." Everyone agreed they could wait an hour, the three course breakfast was still digesting.
Soon, I consult the Lonely Planet to see what is on the way to Bilbao. I find Manduka, a surf haven with 200m long barrelling waves, the most highly regarded wave in all of Europe. We agree it sounds like a perfect lunch detour and set the GPS to task. It turns out, that the winding roads are not so kind to the clock, and the road works did us no favours.
We get there at 10 to four, right as the three lunch spots are closing for siesta. Massive cultural oversight, and we were paying for it. I was also crying on the inside for not researching more thoroughly. Our choices were limited to old, cold fish tapas on the bars, or ice cream, lollies, soft drink or chips from the beach kiosk. We choose the latter. What about the surf? Here it is. The tide is in, so the sandbar is drowned and there are no waves this afternoon. Add that to your chapter Lonely Planet.
By the time we go to Bilbao it was 6pm, and we were delirious with hunger, well probably not the hunger, but the sugar intake that had gotten us through. We went straight to the square. It was siesta there too, but there were tapas offerings that exceeded the quality of Manduka. It was a pretty gorgeous village, but was it worth missing lunch? The jury is still out.... No one said anything, but the silence on the subject hung in the air like a thick fog of royal fuck ups. The McGuigans had missed their final menu del Dia in Spain. Silence.
The crying I was doing on the inside earlier, bubbled to the top when we said farewell to Bridget and Luke. Whiling away the days with them is a brilliant way to live. I wish We could do it permanently, with our other deadley friends too, of course. Now I know how cults and communes start.