Very famous for their crescent moon beach, La Concha, everyone I talked to about this trip gushed about how wonderful San Sebastian is.
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy that we went to San Sebastian, and got to touch the Atlantic Ocean from this part of the world, but it was not as great as people hyped it up to be. But to be fair, we did go during the off season when you can't enjoy the lovely beach.
My friends and I took a bus to San Sebastian, which ended up being near 13€ round trip. We mainly just walked, and walked, and walked. We walked the entire beach twice, walked up and down the streets in the Old Town, walked from and to the bus station, etc. etc. Probably the most exciting thing we did was go up tram to Monte Igueldo. At the very top, there are remnants of a theme park, but it's so run-down and out of date that it almost feels eery.
(Going up the Monte Igueldo)
(La Concha from above)
That night, back in Bilbao, we decided to pintxos bar hop for dinner. So pintxos, or pinchos, is the Basque version of a tapas, and how it works is that you just walk in, and they have plates and plates of pintxos and you just pick a couple and munch on them while enjoying a drink. My friends got red wine, while I got a Coke (har har), and we each got a couple of pintxos. It was soooo yummy. You just stand around the bar/restaurant, and talk for a while, eat your food, drink your drink, and then you just tell the person how many you had (honesty policy!), and pay! The second place we went to wasn't as great, but it was a fun experience.
(Pintxos!!!!!!! Mine were the one on the far left,
and right above the one on the far left.)
(From outside the Guggenheim. They have
this thing, like many other places, where
you can't take pictures inside -_- LAME-O.)
So what we did as savvy travelers was we checked out of our beloved hostel, brought our bags (we only brought our backpacks for the weekend--traveling light is KEY) to the museum, coat checked it, grabbed lunch by a nearby restaurant, and then got our bags right before we needed to go to the airport. This way we did not have lug around our bulky backpacks around!
For lunch we did a final round of pintxos (DELICIOUS), and when we got to the airport, we were sad that we hadn't got to do one final thing.
One of my travel companions, let's call her Wendy, received a recommendation from her host mom on what we should do while we were in el País Vasco. She was instructed to taste this apple cider that is apparently really good. The thing is we would ask people, and they had no idea what we were talking about! Well, what do you know, we get to the Bilbao airport, and they had bottles of apple cider for sale. It was my other friend, "Lena"'s birthday in a couple of days, and so in honor of her birthday, the three of us split a bottle to celebrate. :D Problem: no cups, no bottle opener.
Wendy some how stirs up the courage to "steal" a couple of cups from the airport cafeteria, and then I muster up the courage to ask the bartender at the airport bar to uncork the bottle for us. It was only three paper cups, but all of our hearts were pounding after we snatched the cups and ran away. Haha.
We sit down and try this famous drink, and let me tell you, it wasn't all that great. Granted the bottle was only 3€, but, I thought it was pretty yucky.
(Our apple drink with the three stolen cups.)
Hip hip hooray for the first successful overnight, hostel trip!!!! :)