Sunday, January 20, 2013

Spain Part II


We are now about half way through our adventures as we make our way north to the majestic city of San Sebastián that sits in Basque Country along the coast of the Bay of Biscay and only 20 km from the French border.


Despite the city’s relatively small size (less than 200,000 inhabitants), it is home to a burgeoning annual film festival; an impressive annual jazz festival (Jazzaldia- the longest, continuously running Jazz Festival in Europe); an international fireworks competition; and a high concentration of restaurants boasting Michelin stars.  While we did not partake in any Michelin starred restaurants, we certainly did not feel compromised culinarily.  Talk about tasty morsels, this was my favorite food town!

Tapas or pintxos (Basque version) are served warm, room temperature, or cold.  They are always small in size and ingredients run the gamut to include some variation of seasonal vegetables, fish, meat, and/or dairy.  It was explained to us that serving portion stimulates conversation because people are not so focused on eating an entire meal.  In many instances seating is limited and it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating. 



We did not suffer for beverage options along our journey and San Sebastián was no exception.  I am pretty sure that by the time we left, Txakoli was running through my veins. 

For those of you who enjoy wine and have never tried it, I urge you to run, not walk to your local wine merchant and request a bottle.  Txakoli is a slightly spritzy, very dry white wine with lovely acidity and low alcohol content. 

In all of my travels I have had favorites but not like this.  When we pushed off I sincerely hoped that I would return in the not so distant future. 

Elizabeth and I got into a good routine commuting from one town to the next.  It started out as necessity and worked into a mutually beneficial relationship. You see, I do not possess the ability to read and ride in a car simultaneously.  Thankfully my travel buddy can read a book, look up at the sites, back down at the book, glance at her phone and look up to give me adequate directions.  If I were forced to do the same, we’d spend our fair share on the side of the road. 

So our next task at hand was “where next?”  Some people plan ahead, we elected to shoot from the hip.  Elizabeth scoured the books and read up several towns all sounding worthy of our attention as I pointed the car west. In the end we both liked the lure of a little town outside the city of Santander called Santillana del Mar.

To be continued…


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