San Sebastian With A Tragic/Comical Story

Dinner at Arzak

Dinner at Arzak

It’s hot as Hades here in Barcelona on this Sunday is August, so naturally I am on my couch with the a/c blasting, drinking copious amounts of water, dreaming about cooler times and missing the friends who are away for the summer.  One of those cooler time was this past February when a few friends and I went roadtripping to San Sebastián. Now San Sebastián has been long in my heart (and was on my list of things to accomplish at 27 – Check!) because of the food. From an ex-boyfriend and many people since I had heard the wonder of the cuisine. I was salivating over my remote control as I watched Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode on Spain while taking copious notes of where to go and what to eat. So knowing we had a three-day weekend ahead I recruited some of my fellow classmates for an unforgettable trip.

The Glass Door Incident

The Glass Door Incident

This trip would be unforgettable not only for the food, but for the incident with the glass door. I booked us a flat on airbnb a few weeks prior and upon sharing it with my friend DG-G we discovered that in his last trip to Basque country he had stay at our host Olga’s hostel. It was very kismet and we wondered if she would remember him when we arrived. She did not. But she will definitely remember him when we left, because of this incident:

DG-G has always been a proponent of relationships, so seeing AG and I just having a casual fling fired up his match-maker genes and made him want to make every effort possible to see us officially together. This included backing out of dinner at Arzak so it would be just me and AG at dinner. AG and I set out to find a cab to get to dinner since our other two friends were sticking around the apartment, but to our dismay there was not cab to be found. We tried for 20 minutes and seeing as we were getting close to reservation time and I had killer heels on we decided to call Dan and get a quick ride over. 

In the apartment: DG-G rushing to come meet us, probably in a flurry of need to ensure this date is great, grabs the keys and bolts into the hallway without turning on the light, completely forgetting about the glass door that would bar his way to the street and crashing through completely. LS hearing the ruckus rushed into the hallway to see DG-G collapsed and with an incredibly large piece of glass in his right butt cheek. Being the impulsively rational Thai girl that she is, she quickly pulls the glass from DG-G’s gluteous maximus and helps him into the house. 

Outside the apartment: AG and I see glass on the floor and are curious why Dan is not yet outside. Linen gives us a quick call to note that DG-G fell down and we get worried to hear what happened. After a few minutes she lets us in and we rush to DG-G’s aid. (While taking note of the enormity of the piece of bloody glass on the way in.) After an ass photo session where AG and DG-G get a little closer than dudes who have known each other for 5 months should be we assess the situation. Unfortunately, during that small pause DG-G faints possibly from loss of blood or hitting his head or just the shock of what just happened. Thank god for muscular AG who was able to grab him before he hit the tub. 

I rushed down the stairs for my mobile to dial 1-1-2 and hope my Spanish did not fail me in a time of crisis. I manage to get out “mi amigo rompi una puerta de….vidre” – oddly enough only the Catalan word for glass was coming out – “hay mucho….sang…sang..sangria…not sangre sangre sangre.” I couldn’t control myself I started cracking up at which the operator got confused and probably thought this was a prank call. But we continued the conversation in Spanglish and ordered an ambulance to the apartment. At this point DG-G came hobbling down the stairs, which a forever stoic AG following close behind. He didn’t want the ambulance so we settled on getting a cab to take him to the hospital. 

Even in his injured state (with potential concussion) DG-G refused to let me and AG take him to the hospital. He was adamant about us getting to dinner despite our obvious lateness and concern for his well-being. After a few minutes of arguing we let him go, ass in the air, to the hospital in a taxi with LS. We were able to make it to dinner for an amazing meal, but worried about him the whole time. In the end it was just a flesh wound that made an unfortunate strain on his jeans that made it look like he was butt rapped. He was getting very strange looks in the emergency room. What a night! 

Dinner at Arzak

Dinner at Arzak

The meal at Arzak was incredible (despite the through passing through our minds about how DG-G was doing, molecular gastronomy at its best. We had the pre-fixe and got to try so many different things. There were instructions on how to eat each course to lead to optimal enjoyment. The staff was very attentive with more than 5 people waiting on us and the chefs coming out at the end of the night to ensure that we were enjoying our meal. My favorite part of the experience, because it was more of an experience than just eating, was the fish course. Mine was served on a platform under which a tablet was placed. The tablet has a short video of rushing waves (including sound). How completely ridiculous, but amazing! I’m glad I got a reservation and was able to cross this 3 Michelin Star restaurant off the bucket list.

La Concha Beach

La Concha Beach

The next day, despite the fact that it was winter, we ventured down to La Concha to experience the beach. It was clear that in summer time this would be a great destination. In the fall it was a bit unkempt as the number of tourists was at a minimum. It did make for great pictures. I understand why people like coming here to surf year round.

Interested decision to include stone cubes on the beach

Interesting decision to include stone cubes on the beach

Climbing up Monte Igueldo

Climbing up Monte Igueldo

Beautiful structure

Beautiful structure

After the beach we took the long way up Monte Igueldo and snapped some shots of the beautiful view of the city. DG-G stay in to rest his butt and do some work. It was beautiful up there, but there wasn’t a whole lot to visit. It was clear this town was made for eating.

Pinchos

Pinchos

So eat we did! But we didn’t do it right. Apparently the correct way to enjoy San Sebastián is to pincho bar hop. Each restaurant has its one great pincho and that’s all you’re suppose to go for. Oops! Some of it was still good, but not as satisfying as it could have been. Next time we’ll know better.

Blasphemy

Enjoying funny picture taking in the church outline on the street

Church of Santa Maria, home to many a lost football

Church of Santa Maria, home to many a lost football

After our shocking unsatisfying meal we headed to Church of Santa Maria which was unfortunately closed. We were able to observe the exterior that had many many a lost football stuck in odd places. My guess would be after the first one the local kids took it upon themselves to get as many stuck on this church as possible.

Driving into Zaragoza

Driving into Zaragoza

Waterfountain-esk art in Zaragoza

Waterfountain-esk art in Zaragoza

On our way back down to Barcelona we stopped in Zaragoza for a quick bite and a look around. There was an interesting church and this grand water feature. I never had intentions of visiting this town, but it was good to see another part of Spain. After this crazy weekend it was back to school to finish out the second term.

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