We tend to be strange…

We have really been enjoying our time in Spain.  There is so much to do, but mostly there is a lot to eat and drink!  It took us some time to realize we needed to change our meal schedule… no one told us about Spanish mealtimes.  Apparently breakfast is served between 8am and 11am followed by snacks between 11am and 2pm.  Then lunch is sometime after 2pm and dinner is sometime after 8:30pm, but more likely around 9:30pm.  So when the waitress at our first Spanish restaurant said “it is a bit strange coming to eat at 13:00”, we had to reply, “We tend to be strange”.  Here we are in otherwise empty restaurants:

Pintxos or Pinchos

Around these parts snacks usually means pintxos (basque) or pinchos (spanish).  It is hard to pace yourself when you are planning on going to a restaurant after snacking on pintxos at the bar down the street because there are so many kinds and they are quite delicious.  Pintxos also differ from city to city and probably town to town.  In Donostia, it seemed hard to find a pintxo without anchovies or sardines.  Where we are now in Pamplona, very few pintxos contain that kind of fish and the portions tend to be on the large side.  Pintxos as they are served today originated in the 1970s in Donostia-San Sebastian (at least according to a musuem we visited while there).  At first they were simple plates on the counter consisting of olives, meat and bread but quickly expanded to the plethora you can feast on today.  Here are some pixtures to feast on (sorry about the blurry one): The ever popular cheesecake at La Vina in Donostia:   The old town in Donostia is a very popular spot for pintxos, and people braved the stormy weather mostly by cramming into the bars: In Pamplona today we had some great Pinchos.  We especially loved Bar Gaucho which deserves its spot in the sun 100%: Tortilla de patatas, a classic pintxo: Bacalao (salted cod) in pastry with egg yolk, check out that oooooze:

Some funny things:Caution: Don’t let the staircase shock you. The first pair is free:

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

When visiting the northern coast of Spain you must go to this wonderful hermitage dedicated to John the Baptist that dates from the 9th or 10th century (thank you wikipedia).  Just between Bermeo and Bakia, it is a great little hike to get there and so beautiful!  There is a restaurant at the top where you park so you can eat after your hike up… that is if it is open because you don’t go on a Monday, grumble grumble.  Gaztelugatxe could also be called Lizard Island due to the many critters that make this lovely place their home.The colors!You can even ring the bell at the top:

Some more pictures from San Sebastian:

Bilbao!

We had a quick stop in Bilbao on Domingo (don’t go on Domingo… all the shops are closed) and we ate very well.  We did not actually go inside the Guggenheim, sorry!

Vitoria-Gasteiz

Before coming to Pamplona we had a one night stop in Vitoria-Gasteiz.  Let’s just say it was not our favorite city, BUT it does have a large medieval old town in its center and cool moving sidewalks:The old city wall: Our apartment was very nice:

Pamplona

I don’t know how many times we said, “We just love Pamplona” today but it was a lot.  Simply put, this city has everything including food, parks and good vibes.  We kept discovering why we loved it here and that is why it was so much fun!  Let’s just forget that this is where they hold the running of the bulls…

This is why you should hop in a line when you see one–especially when it is at a bakery.  We saw people queuing up here and figured we should get what everyone was buying.  Yup.  It was incredible and we still don’t know what it was called but if we had to give it a name it would be something like “chocolate chip pastry” or maybe “chocolate lava croissant” or “chocolate puff pastry delight”.  You get the point.  This place is worth going to Pamplona on its own:The pastry we loved is just to the left of the hazelnut chocolate in this photo: It is back center in this photo… we ate them all so we have no pictures to show!

Next best thing about Pamplona, the parks!  This one is called the Ciudadela an old fortress the size of a small town: Then we went to the park Antoniutti.  This is where birds are king!  There is a HUGE enclosed area mostly for birds, but also for a small herd of deer.  We ran to the store to get some sunflower seeds and a feeding frenzy ensued: A nesting swan: Some last pictures as we were leaving: We have been staying about 20 minutes outside of Pamplona in the charming historical town of Obanos:Even this small town has municipal used cooking oil recycling for biodiesel:These symbols that you see everywhere around here are for the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago.  They are trail blazes leading the way to the Santiago de Compostela.  The church in town is en route: Our house:

Tomorrow we are heading back to France! We will miss Spain.  It was fun and we finally figured out the whole food culture!  But… I mean, France!  Woo hoo, yeah!  🙂

 

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3 thoughts on “We tend to be strange…

  1. Hi K and A ~*~Loving seeing your adventures… Swinny and I LOVED seeing the the old haunts! As a matter of fact, when we saw the cheesecake were so envious we found the recipe online and are making it as I type!!! ~ Keep on having wonderful adventures !!! XXX

  2. Great poxt !!

    Ann

    Le jeu. 6 avr. 2017 à 22:57, Kim and Alex’s Awesome Adventure Blog a écrit :

    > kimandalexsawesomeadventureblog posted: “We have really been enjoying our > time in Spain. There is so much to do, but mostly there is a lot to eat > and drink! It took us some time to realize we needed to change our meal > schedule… no one told us about Spanish mealtimes. Apparently breakfast > is” >

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