Just go and smell the sea. My little guide to the heart of the Basque land.

” For all of you who love food, wine and the sea. “

 

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The road is long, the skies ever changing.

 

They took off one early morning, waking up from the sleep in the middle of the night. The body was confused. Upcoming thousand and some kilometers had not yet sink in. The dandy philantrophist of a bum and a boho dreamer were loading up with caffeine. It was dark and through the Netherlands and Belgium all the way to border of France it was raining. Constant rain showers. It was as if the skies were emptying the stock that night.

 

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What on earth did we do before gps….?

 

The ride is long and it means driving through the whole of France. Twelve hours to Bordeaux. The daylight started to rise from the horizon just as they were closing in on the infamous morning traffic in Paris. All the sences sharpened at the same pace as the cars started to increase and the distance between them shortened. One simply can not be at sleep in the traffic in Paris. Those mad French drivers will pull in on you so suddenly, patience is the key, and fast reaction time. Merde!

It seems like the only ones getting to work on time are the one’s driving with bikes. Nonetheless that madness is what makes Paris the greatest city off all. It simply is magic, crazy or not crazy.

“ Its always the innocent ones who will suffer, he said- That’s why I don’t like to be innocent. “

 

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In her mind she was already there…

 

Coming to Bordeaux, temperature going fifteen and rising, under the blue sky they could see a glimpse of what was to come. With only twohundred kilometres left suddenly the journey started to have some hope as the end was closing in. Rolling down the windows for the warm breeze to come and swipe over felt heavenly. As fast as the chocolate started to melt started the bubbles build up in the stomach. The sun will be there!

” It’s been a long winter, ” she said just as they crossed the border between France and Spain. ” I’m ready for some tapas and some sun! “

 

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Let the sea fill your soul.

After spending the whole day in a car, eating food that don’t deserve to be called that, the freshly made pinchos were a sight for the sore eyes. Unfortunately the food on the road is the worst ever. Full of preservetives, sugars and fats and nevermind the dull flavours.

 

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If you love to eat, San Sebastian is waiting for you.

 

” So for a while we shall fill ourselves with pinchos. “

San Sebastian is definetly a place to see once in your life. The bars are filled with tasty food and athmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. It is well known to be the hub of a culinary experience in Spain. Once you taste the food, the flavours will blow your tastebuds to space. Fresh and delishious. Grilled artichokes, risotto and chilli marinated olives,  to mention few. I found my spot in the restaurant  Atari  . Situated in the heart of the old town, nothing creates more better athmosphere than eating in the steps of a historical church.

 

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Patatas bravas, risotto and a glass of Alvarinho.

 

Where ever you look, you see food, the old town is full of bars. It’s lively and relaxed place to be. Plate’s filled with tapas, pinchos, are attracting people to come inside and enjoy. The region is well known for it’s tasty food and wine. Add to the mix surf beaches and historical buildings and you got yourself a well balanced holiday. If you go there on the summer season it will be blooming!

 

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It is a good day to be sitting outside.

 

In the dark alleys grossing each other creating a safe little labyrinth, we stumbled accross a bar called Bardulia . Could not get enought of their grilled pimientos. One of the best thing’s about the restaurants in San Sebastian is the service. Once you feel welcomed it makes the experience of eating so much better. When you can throw jokes around at the same speed than your pinchos are eaten, you got a winning concept. Life is ment to be enjoyd eating and chatting, something the locals definetly know how to.

 

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Grilled pimientos with a pinch of grainy sea salt.

 

Being a vegetarian finding food to eat on holidays can be sometimes challenging. You know when you check the menu and the only thing you can find is pizza Margarita or a bowl of tomato pasta. Even though the pinchos are mainly with meat and fish there is plenty of vege option’s to fill your tummy with. Loved this spinach omelette with raisins and pine nuts.

 

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A great breakfast and brunch place Khaki Campbell

 

You get your moneys worth in San Sebastian. In the off season, booking hotels and hostels is super easy and affordable. One night here the other night there, book the next night on the previous day. Though this way you take the risk of ending up in a shack very easily if you won’t be careful.

 

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But even in a shack one must look decent.

 

The old town can be noisy place to sleep in and the rooms are small. Prices vary from 28euros per night to 80euros and up. Spent one night in a butik hotel  Pension Casa Nicolasa , a beautiful spot to start the adventure with and the next night, well not even worth to mention that… Let’s just say the windows had to be kept open to avoid the funky smell…But nevertheless:

” Let the adventure fill your soul. “

 

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Wake up and smell the coffee. There is a big world waiting out there.

 

At this time of the year the weather is not at it’s best. There is definetly rain to be expected but nothing stops the beauty of the place shining through. Heading towards the high season, the prices will go up later. Things to do: walking at the beach, surfing, shopping, drinks in the sun and my favourite, people watching. Simply to enjoy the lifestyle of the locals is worth everything.

 

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The beach of La Concha.

 

We decided to drive to the next big city situated down south from San sebastian called Bilbao. If San Sebastian is a warm village, Bilbao is a busy city. It is the biggest city and the center of Basque land, full of history to see and shopping to do.

 

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Cherry blossoms and windy days.

 

My favorite cafe definetly was Cafe Iruna . It is where the locals go. Beautiful interior and busy vibe. Always head to places that locals go, that way you are guaranteed to have a good time.

 

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Plato de queso with aceitunas.

 

Where you can hear the constant talking and see people changing. It is traditional to have pinchos as an appetizer’s before heading home to have dinner.

 

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To have a conversation is to be alive.

 

I spunged every little detail in me on this trip. I felt free. I was alive. Would go there again anytime.

 

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This building captures.

 

I will end my little quide here with this damm good chocolate cake I ate just before we left to drive back home. Long way back- needed some serious carb loading.

 

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MMMM, hello there!

 

Kisses and safe travels,

Tea

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