July 13, 2009

Sunsets and sangria in San Sebastian

When we first started looking into San Sebastian accommodation, it was pure devastation. The cheapest beds we could find were €30 each in a crummy hostel. Waaay over our budget. We toyed with the idea of scrapping San Sebastian, until Craig 'Magic Touch' O'Shannessy stepped up to the keyboard.

We didn't know how it could possibly be so cheap, but the second it popped up on the computer screen we couldn't book it fast enough. A private room, complete with plasma TV and DVD player at San Sebastian's highest rated hostel... score!

It turns out that they forgot to change the rate over from low to high season prices: our luck was a changin'.

It says a lot about a place if the weather is crappy and we still fall in love with it. With the top temperature hovering around 21° and the sky drizzly and overcast, there was still no denying that San Sebastian really has it all – beaches, stunning architecture, cobbled streets, a small-town feel and, of course, there's the pinxtos.

The San Sebastian way of eating tapas (or as they call them, pinxtos) truly rocks. The formula is simple: cover your bar with delicious portions of an array of dishes (everything from seafood to chorizo sausage to vegetarian fare) and let your customers snack the night away while downing copious amounts of beer and sangria – genius!

We had a brilliant night hopping from one bar to another, indulging in the tiny treats and making sangria-induced plans to one day open up our very own tapas bar in Sydney.

Of all the places we have been in the world, San Sebastian is the one place we could see ourselves actually living in. And as the sun beat down on our last day there (just as we were about to catch our bus to Barcelona), we hoped that one day we would be back.