San Sebastian, Spain: Day 8
Though the rain that came down our first day in San Sebastian didn’t deter us from exploring the city, we were happy to see that when we woke up the next day it was beautiful and sunny. The city was a completely different place in the sun. The rain left the city streets moody and the water feeling angry, where the sun, as it always does, brought life and vitality to everything around us.
We woke up and had a few quick bites and then headed out for some exploring. We wandered back in to the Old Town area to see what the streets would be like in the sun. Sure enough it was beautiful, alive, and the light couldn’t have been more perfect. We thought originally we would climb to the top of the hill that we had been to the day before, but instead decided to make our way around the bay to the funicular that would take us up to the highest viewpoint in San Sebastian. We thought since the weather was so amazing it would be the perfect thing to do on such a nice day.
As we wandered through the streets, we stopped out of 100% curiosity, not hungry, at a pinto bar called Zeruko because of how incredible and crazy their pintxos looked in comparison to some of the others we had seen. We felt we couldn’t miss the chance to grab a couple and give them a try, mostly because we honestly had no idea what we would be eating. To this day I am not sure we still know exactly what we ate. Many of the pieces felt like art to us. With edible gold leafing, stuffed sea urchin shells, and the list goes on and on. It was a wild array of food we heard we would potentially experience in San Sebastian.
After our snack we wandered down to the water and took in all the weekend life that was happening. There were many families out and about shopping, heading to the beach, riding the carousel, or even simply enjoying a light lunch at a cafe.
When we got to the water we thought it would be really nice to head down to the beach and wander along the shore before the tide came in. It was nearly 70 degrees and the sun couldn’t feel more amazing. I was so wishing I had been brave enough to wear my sandals so I could easily dip my toes in the icy water that was the perfect shade of turquoise.
As we walked along the beach toward the other side of the city we felt 100% renewed and ready for the adventure of seeing an awesome view of this city that had quickly won our hearts.
On the other side of the bay we followed the signs for the funicular, bought our tickets for 3 euros a piece, and jumped on the small tram up the hill. Many of the cities that have a lot of hills have had trams like this or even escalators that make it a little easy to move around. We were excited to give one a try. Wes and ready about taking the tram up in the New York Times 36 hours in San Sebastian and told us this was a must.
When we got to the top we couldn’t have agreed more with him. The ride was worth every cent of that 3 euros. I am all about finding the highest places in cities and to get a chance to see the enter town from above. This time was no different, but unlike many other cities, San Sebastian had not only a gorgeous city, but an incredible landscape as well. It is the first major town along the northern coast of Spain and is the perfect starting point for a drive along this amazing coast .
After arriving in the old theme park we decided it would be a lot of fun to climb a little higher and get up to the top of a tower to get the full effect. We made our way up and were blown away by the view around us in every angle. San Sebastian was unbelievable in every way to us whether wandering the streets and nabbing pintxos at various bars or hiking the many hills and mountains around it. There was so much this city offered.
Once we felt we had gotten the view we were hoping for we headed back down to the city, grabbed a quick coffee and snack and then shopped for a while. We learned that Zara and Mango are must-dos here as they offer unique things to the country they originate in. Sure enough I saw and nabbed a piece or two I had not seen in the US catalog.
We ended the day by heading back to Bodega Donasterria as we were craving the experience and that fresh tuna and anchovy sandwich again. Not to mention we couldn’t say no to the super cheap Txakoli they just poured way to easily there.
We felt really sad thinking this would be our last full day in San Sebastian, but felt excited for our next day driving the coast of northern Spain on our way to our next stop, Bilbao.