I'd been told that San Sebastian was good for tapas, or 'pintxos' as they're called in Basque but I wasn't quite prepared for its full-on food orgy. I should have guessed when I read in the guidebook "if the people of San Sebastian didn't have to sleep, they'd be eating 24 hours a day". The choice was bewildering, particularly if you speak neither Spanish nor Basque, so we signed up for a pintxos tasting with San Sebastian Food. It cost €85 and was worth every cent. Our lovely guide Eli took us to half a dozen pintxo bars and explained the system - help yourself to the huge pile of snacks on the bar or order a house speciality from the board, have a drink, then move onto the next bar for more food.
Basically the locals eat in the way that northerners drink except their bar crawl involves a lot more ham. There were even some vegetarian pintxos available.
|Patatas bravas; tortilla; pimientos di padron; gazpacho|
The next day was hot and sticky, a bit like us. Luckily there was a massive choice of ice cream and I tried coconut, sesame and the winner ginger spice biscuit (Speculoos).
And of course there was cake. Tonnes of the stuff.
Here is a photo of Petra modelling a pastel di piñon along with the tarts we ate on the train to Bilbao - a Basque tart with almonds and a fruit & nut tart on egg custard.
In Bilbao we headed straight for the Guggenheim Museum and sat in their cafe eating pintxos. Luckily the David Hockney exhibition was on so there were so paintings I could understand and the Yorkshire place names sounded charming translated into Spanish, like Valle de Bugthorpe. There was also a massive puppy made of flowers which we had our photo taken with. We definitely did not make this photo into a postcard and send it to the dog back home.