San Sebastian – fireworks, fantastic views and (more!) food

San-Sebastian-harbourAfter our amazing meal at Akelare (more here), we arrived into San Sebastian late in the afternoon conveniently in time for sunset and walked out to the Comb of the Winds sculpture by Eduardo Chillida which is embedded in the rocks at the end of the beach.

San-Sebastian-sunsetThis is a really beautiful place to watch the sky turn from azure to orange to pink. It is not, however, quiet…there are seven natural blow holes in the rocks, which cause constant shrieking from excited children and unsuspecting sightseers in their floaty summer dresses!

We then walked along the beautiful Playa Concha, a huge sandy beach with wonderful views out to the islands just off the coast and a wonderful urban backdrop.

San-Sebastian-beach-at-sunsetBy a fortuitous turn of events we had arrived in San Sebastian during Aste Nagusia (or “Main Week”) so the town was buzzing. As dusk hit the whole beach was covered in locals and tourists alike who settled in out to watch the famous international firework competition.  

San-Sebastian-fireworksWe watched the really impressive firework display from the centre of town and then wandered around for the rest of the evening soaking up the atmosphere and watching the street-performers.

San-Sebastian-fireworks2One of the main draws of San Sebastian (especially if it’s a grey day like the one we had) is the pintxos. So, the next day we worked up an appetite by walking part of the way up Monte Urgell which has beautiful views even if you don’t make it all the way to the Statue of Christ at the top.

San-Sebastian-view-ofIf you’re willing to fight your way through the crowds there are numerous pintxos bars to try (and given the amount we had eaten so far that weekend we didn’t even get down the list of places recommended to us by friends). Elbows at the ready!

Our favourites were La Cuchara de San Telmo where, unusually, they make everything to order (including the most incredible squid ink risotto, and grilled scallops the size of your palm!), Casa Gandarias (where the prawns stood out) and Bar La Cepa (with its particularly juicy mushrooms and delicious Galician octopus).

San-Sebastian-pintxosWe had such a great weekend exploring the Basque region and San Sebastian in particular. With so many amazing places left to taste, I have a feeling we’ll be back…

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