San Sebastian was swamped with people, and we soon found out we had accidentally happened upon the last two days of their annual festival. This pretty much consists of lots of street acts, parades, fireworks at 11pm and then everyone staying up drinking while the marching band makes a racket until 7am. The first of two places we stayed at in SS was located smack in the middle of the old town, the focal point for the festival action.
We didn't take long to get into the Spanish spirit and hunt down our first tapas meal of the trip. Unfortunately our choices weren't great on night one, especially with Barry's options cut in half given his allergy to prawns. We enjoyed some Sangria which was delicious, as was to be the case throughout Spain, before hitting the beach for the fireworks which were equally spectacular.
The forecast was a bit mixed and we came here, like most, to soak up the sun and spend plenty of time on the beach. Fortunately the weather tipped in our favour and didn't actually rain much until we left, giving us a few days of quality beach time.
We were excited to see some friendly faces again as Clyney and Jess joined us for a couple days as they wound up their two years living in London with a trip through Spain (not to mention NYC, Central America and Hong Kong on the way home). Celebratory drinks were in order too, as it was the first we'd seen them since the C-Train successfully popped the question. One such drink was a favourite in this part of Spain, Kalimotxo, which is red wine and Coca-Cola. Despite thinking this would be pretty horrible at first, it's definitely something we'll have again once we get back home. We went on to try some more tapas and the second time around were much more successful in finding quality options.
We moved beaches for our final day in SS, and while the location was different, much of the scenery was the same. If you don't know what I mean, perhaps this photo (the favourite for best photo of the trip, credit to Jess Pearson) will explain it better than words possibly could. http://www.offexploring.com/barack/albums/san-sebastian/8108791
The final night saw more Kalimotxo, Sangria, Tapas and the goal to visit nine different bars so Barry´s list of bars visited on the trip so far could reach triple figures. The ton was brought up, inappropriately, with a pint of Guinness as we compared notes on our Ireland adventures and those yet to come, before we said our goodbyes.
Checking out the next morning (note to anyone going to SS, stay at Pension Aia, cheap yet quite new and very nice) we struggled up the to the Castillo Santa Cruz de la Mota for a great view over the beaches and city. That afternoon it was on the bus and a short jump across the coast to Bilbao.