Mi Gusta Espana I DO love Spain!

But Beware the Donkey Cider….

After walking in the French Pyrenees, we spent a MAGIC 4 days in San Sebastian in our hotel on the Bay de la Concha and woke up to amazing weather and brilliant sparkling ocean. We cycled everywhere and everyone fell in love with San Sebastian.

It seemed appropriate to have cocktails each night on the promenade next to the beach in the late afternoon sun. (Gin & Tonics which blew my head off)

We did a Pintxos (Tapas and local wines tour) the first day we arrived in San Sebastian.

I did the same thing as I did last year so see here how to avoid paying for Pintxos
We mooched from tiny bar to tiny bar eating incredibly delicious rich naughty sexy morcels and drinking top Spanish plonk and appalling Spanish cider that tasted (and smelt) like Donkey’s piss.
Avoid it at all costs if offered it.
Six wines and and 12 tapas is just too much for my swollen paunch to bear. Everyone else coped OK though….

After San Sebastian we flew on to Barcelona – one of the most wonderful cities in the world. We stayed in the Old Gothic Quarter in a 4 star glam hotel opposite the Cathedral with a rooftop pool and enormous beautiful rooms. Where else can one do that for under $200 per night??

If you have not been to Barthelona then put it on your bucket list.

Weather was lovely / hot and sunny and burn-y but gorgeous warm evenings watching some drop-dead young HUNK of a pert-buttock-ed man doing flamenco in the main square then eating Iberico Ham and Melon and drinking Verdejo wine in Placa Reil of a night…..cannot be beaten.

Every morning we wandered over to La Boqueria (the giant medieval undercover market) and ate Xuixos (AMAZING and Omigod naughty custard flakey pastry thingeys) and drank YES real Arabica roasted coffee (finally!) made by Juan at Pinotxos (Pinocchios).

Juan is a famous wizened little shrimp of a man who is the owner with a 5 foot wide smile and has been serving there for 4 million years.
He points at what he thinks you’d like and serves it to you. And he is not wrong.
We then ate mini vine tomatoes bought in the market with a taste that explodes in your mouth. What a divine breakfast for under 4 euros per person.
Gosh Spain is cheap. Taxis cost about 6 euros around the city so the 4 of us just wafted around from site to site by taxi.

Remember to pre-book your entry to la Sagrada Familia on line and take the printout with you otherwise you will grow a beard (even women) waiting in the queues.

Gaudi is a magician by the way. Architecture in Barcelona is a whimsical joy to behold. I cannot rave long enough about his extraordinary architecture. And the other bloke MONTANER  who designed what has to be THE most beautiful concert hall in the world – La Palau de la Musica Catalan where we beheld a combined flamenco and opera night.

I also love the Spanish attitude to TOILETS.
They are clean, frequent and – unlike France – have toilet paper.
Such a very civilised country though very few people speak English (which didn’t worry me, even though I don’t speak Spanish. The odd word does the trick)

And I love the way they don’t pension off their aged workers.
We saw the oldest copper I have ever seen in Barcelona the other day.
He had the enviable job of wandering around a Gaudi park. Around and around.
I don’t think he did much else.

Well he couldn’t really

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