28.04.2011 - 28.04.2011 19 °C
Everything in Spain happens a little late. The sun comes up late, breakfast is late, lunch doesn't start till 1:30, all the shops are closed from 2-4 and close again at 8:30. So, of course, everything takes a little getting used to. I woke up at 7, but we didn't leave to get some coffee until 9. We bought some plastic spoons. On a side note, here are a few things I recommend to future backpackers; plastic forks and spoons, plastic camping cups and make sure you have a swiss army knife. These are all things we would use daily. At least we remembered the knife.
We walked through the old town and up Mount Urgull, which was a beautiful walk. The front side of the mountain faces the town and beaches that line the bay and the port. The growth is natural and not manicured, the plants were growing out of the stone walls and the birds were singing (at times loudly.) At the top we reached a structure first started in the 1200's as a church, it was later made into a fort loaded with canons the whole way around to protect the city, now it is a free museum with great views.
We very much liked this castle because all though it was very old we were one of only a few people there, so we could really connect with the place and nothing was off limits for touching, there were no "do not touch" signs and no fences between us and anything except for a one of a kind canon. The backside of the mountain faces only the ocean, from up top it is very calming. We walked another route down the hill staying on the backside away from the town. We noticed a shooting range where they trained soldiers to shoot in the 1800's and graveyard used between the years 1800-1836. I found it amazing that other people had walked through the same foliage and touched the same old gate as I had for the last two hundred years.
We walked back to our room to change our clothes and left straight away for lunch. It was 2pm before we finally decided which restaurant to go in but it was worth the wait. The place we chose was very quaint and full of locals and their families. We ordered what everyone seemed to be ordering, the paella. It was amazing, so so so amazing. Each pan was baked with the seafood loaded into it for at least 20 minutes, until it formed a thick chewy crust. It was creamy like risotto on the inside, and get this! Shane didn't complain about the green peppers in it! This is a miraculous achievement, because if ANYTHING has green peppers in it, he will not eat it! I was floored!!
After lunch we went back to our room and I spent a few hours trying to book rooms for later in our trip, which is extremely frustrating because everything is already full. We left the room again around 6 to visit the church only a block away, the one who's bells we hear chiming once an hour. It was a very beautiful church, still very much in use and at the particular moment we were there the sun was coming through the stained glass windows in a way that took our breath away. We sat and watched for quite a while.
This keller is good local beer
We walked a few minutes down the street to get some ice cream (don't want the blood sugars to get too low!) and espresso. On the way back we stopped in a few stores and tried on some clothes. We are getting tired of feeling like frumpy backpackers. I bought a scarf and a navy blue sweater and Shane bought a pair of jeans and some really cool sneakers. We showered and dressed for dinner.
Dinner was another amazing experience, we didn't do so well for the budget, but we really enjoyed ourselves and the great food. If anyone ever comes to San Sebastian we HIGHLY recommend Bar Astelena, it has the best food, they take a few minutes to prepare everything perfectly and the wine is top notch.