Tuesday, October 6, 2009
My new favorite European city...
So yesterday I spent the day in San Sebastian. OH. MY. GOD.
The city has everything you could possibly want. Gorgeous beaches, incredible architecture, abundant shopping, terrific food, beautiful people, culture, history... I am completely enamored; so much so that my plan for the rest of trip is to stay in the cheap hotels I found and spend the entirety of my weekends there. I think I could be there for months and still have more I'd want to do.
My day started off with a nice, long lunch at a cafe next to the Catedral de Buen Pastor (all the pics are on facebook by the way). Had some patatas bravas, a sandwich, a couple of glasses of HEAVENLY sangria. Seriously, it was like drinking nectar. Then walked along the beach, found myself in front of the aquarium, so decided to check that out. Looked at fishies for a couple hours, then walked around the mountain at the northern tip of the city, saw a couple churches, did some window shopping, had a fanta (I love European soda pop!)... made my way to the center of town and watched teenagers practice their breakdancing, had a cafe con leche and wrote in my journal for a while, then found a little spot for dinner. My good friend Megan told me, before I left, that SanSe was her fave spot in Spain. I can see why! And because it's the off-season for tourism, I found a modest hotel for 25 Euro per nite! It will henceforth be my home away from home away from home. Quite a necessary luxury, as I am often battling the challenges of living amongst 9 people...
...Not the least of which is the fact that every single human being in this country smokes cigarettes CONSTANTLY. I guess I've been spoiled by the health-conscious SF lifestyle, because my throat is constantly scratchy and I haven't been able to breathe out of both nostrils simultaneously since I landed in Madrid. However, for the challenges of my living situation, there are benefits as well... after all, I am living among 9 chefs. Last nite when I returned, one of my roommates had prepared a 5 course meal for the house! Shrimp consomme and mushroom ravioli, cod throat (think salmon belly but even better!), risotto, this incredible fish over sauteed leeks topped with thinly sliced fried potato discs (a dish he learned when he worked for Gordon Ramsey at the Savoy in London), and vanilla ice cream with a chocolate/coffee/crushed peanut sauce. No joke, right? And then I get home from a run this morning (by morning I mean 2pm) to plates of Eggs Benedict and sausage. So I guess I have to admit, I am taking the good with the bad out of this situation. That's the way it works, right?
Anyway, it's back to work tomorrow, but the weekend has left me renewed and refreshed. Moreover, the promise of weekend life in SanSe should prove to be motivation for the laborious work week. I start on Primeros Platos (appetizers) tomorrow... wish me luck!