We Think We Prepare, But . . .

Before we take these trips, we read books, we read blogs, we watch videos, we study maps, and we think we are ready. We were not prepared for San Sebastian, Spain. All the guide books and videos focus on the old town, the pintxos bars, and the lovely walk by the water. It looks quaint and charming. That’s true as far as it goes, but San Sebastian is a very big city! The shops aren’t selling trinkets, they are selling high-end clothing and jewelry. The apartment buildings are luxurious with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. There is money here.


We got a bit lost trying to find our accommodations once we parked in the parking garage the owner had recommended. We stepped into a corner shop to ask directions. They looked on their phones and then called the owner to talk to him and let him know we were on our way.


We then got a touch lost again and stepped into another shop. The fellow walked out of his shop to show us the way. We are very grateful for the kindness of strangers.









Squid fritters
Amazing ham
Potatoes with multiple sauces



We went to our first pintxos restaurant once we had dropped of our bags. It was even better than expected. Pintxos are individual servings of savory foods. (Don’t call them tapas unless you want to offend the people here.) We had squid fritters, potatoes with three sauces, and Iberico ham on toasted bread that was covered with shredded tomatoes. Super! It was a fine introduction.






We then tried to walk off some of pintxos by strolling around the old part of town and over by the water. The town is garden-filled and many of the streets are tree-lined.

This evening we took an organized pintxo tour that was a Christmas gift for Jim. We went to six pintxo bars and had two or three types of pintxos at each place. If you are interested, we can send you the names of the places and would recommend them all. Rather than list all 15-20 dishes we tried, we’ll spend a few calories telling you about a few of our favorites or the most interesting ones.

Scallop with pine nuts, seaweed, and cream
“Gilda” — olives with beans and anchovies
Lamb with a puree of artichokes and parsnips
Mushroom risotto with macadamia nuts
Roasted peppers with garlic
Best Iberico ham ever!
Beef sirloin
Cod and green beans
Baby squid and octopus
Roasted local green peppers with sea salt
Shrimp with sweet pepper and mint relish



I guess I listed most everything. It was a perfect evening, with lovely people from around the world who laughed and enjoyed the setting and the company of fellow travelers. What a stellar night!

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