Friday 24th October.
We set off bright and early today to explore this city on foot and what a lovely place it is. We found the tourist information office in order to pick up a map and anything else they were giving away free and then set off for the old town. We told the young man in the TIO that we were looking forward to sampling some Pintxo (tapas) and asked what the locals would drink with them. Pretty much anything really but cider was popular, he drank beer with his but suggested we ask for a small beer (solito, but the spelling may be wrong) and to sample in plenty of places, not fill up in one place. Suitably advised we walked around the corner to the Old Town, Parte Vieja, which is maybe only a square half mile but teeming with Pinxtos bars. We decided to look for the busiest and weren't disappointed with our first choice, warm lightly battered fish. On to the next where we were slightly more adventurous trying four different dishes all of which were delicious, on to the next and another four dishes which were ok but a little disappointing compared to the previous bar but tasty all the same. Not expensive either, four Pinxtos, two small beers for €8. By this time we'd had enough to eat and had some decisions to make as to where we would explore next. It was a toss up between the Aquarium and the museum of Basque history and culture. We chose the latter, the San Telmo Museum which is housed in a former 16th century Dominican convent which has been stunningly renovated. I don't wish to be blasé but we've been to more overwhelming museums on our travels but some features were fascinating. There was a subtitled audio visual display with elderly folk talking about birth, death and marriage in the first half of the last century. Suffice to say I enjoyed the museum rather more than Phil. We came out into the warm evening sunshine pretty tired, it's a 45 minute walk from where we are parked before we even get to the city centre so we'd walked a few miles. We stopped for a coffee and decided we were too banjaxed to set off for the Cathedral, we'll save that for another visit.
We've really enjoyed San Sebastián, it's a pedestrians and cyclists paradise with plenty of broad boulevards and some lovely city buildings. This, coupled with the beach and it's easy to understand why this city was a favourite of the rich as a holiday destination during the first half of the last century. Now it's a holiday destination for all with plenty of French tourists from just up the road.
Plenty of choice of Pinxtos here.
The restored church within the museum with 11 extraordinary canvases (784 sq m) by the artist Joseph M Sert depicting religious and historical themes.
Broad boulevards and narrow alleyways.
Moody beach picture.
We're undecided whether or not to spend another day here or push on down to Burgos tomorrow, we'll wait and see what the morning brings.