After our successful market appearances along the French Atlantic coast, it was time to cross the border and say hello to Spain… 'Hola!'
On our way to the border we stopped in St. Jean de Luz, were we ran into our friend Nicolas to say 'goodbye' and 'thank you' once more. We weren't ready to leave France quite yet, so we found a campsite to catch up on some laundry and spent a lovely evening in the city of St Jean de Luz.
We left the clothes to dry and headed for town on our bikes. Along the way we found this lively, rustic beach-bar where we soaked in the last rays of sunshine before having dinner in town. The perfect setting for a glass of rosé.
We bid adieu to France and drove the hygge bus to the Spanish Basque Country, straight to San Sebastián, or as the Basque locals call it: Donostia. A city of gorgeous seaside views, delicious food, a buzzing nightlife, and interesting history (as we would come to find out).
That evening, we hopped from bar to bar eating pintxos and sipping on beer, wine, and gin & tonics until early in the morning. It was like a delicious 10-course dinner with drink pairings, and each one with different people in a new restaurant. What a fun way to feast!
The next day, we joined a city walking tour organized by Go Local, a young and energetic start-up that provides free city tours. Our local guide, Iñigo, was passionate, fun, and full of interesting facts about the city. He covered the city's history, people, and culture, including food, drinks and sports, and he shared his favorite bars, food, and market stands… all while greeting his friends along the way. :) We even had the opportunity to play pelota, a fun local sport.
The tour, which took 3 hours instead of the planned 2 (because our host wanted to make sure we truly understood how the locals live in Donostia), ended with him running off to a friends wedding at the townhall: quite local! Thanks to our guide Iñigo!
The next day, we explored the city even more by bike and took a cable car to the top of a seaside hill for a breathtaking view.
We ended the day on what the locals call "the wall," with Liv & Nik, another traveling couple we met on the tour… a sunset surf, drinks and later joined the locals as they cheered on the Basque surfer competing at the world tour in Fuji.
San Sebastian treated us very well… a city that everyone can (and probably will) fall in love with.
As we drove off towards Pamplona, our next destination, we ended up parked on the side of the highway after only 10km… Oh no! We arranged an (insured) tow and waited patiently for the pick-up, we even had time for a little siesta. ;)
We were picked-up and dropped off at Garaje Inglés, the oldest Opel dealer in Spain. Our Hygge Buswas the first Opel Blitz they had ever seen!
Luckily, they fixed the problem rather quickly and we were on our way again. They wrote an article (in Spanish) on their website about the fix. Many thanks to Garaje Ingles!
We made it to Pamplona the same day and settled in for the evening before exploring town the next day.
Pamplona is well-known for the Running of the Bulls festival, which took place earlier in the summer. We missed the bulls but we pretended on our own. Almost the same. ;)
We roamed the streets, sat down for a Spanish picnic, fresh from the market, and found a neat cafe called The Guillotine for a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of cake.
From Pamplona we drove in plus 35 degrees Celcius (100 degrees Farenheit) through arid Spain towards Zaragoza. Luckily, the air-conditioning worked perfectly, meaning the windows were rolled down all the way!
The insane heat made us constantly thirsty and gave us intense cravings for ice cold drinks. We stopped at a gas-station and drank the BEST Coca-Cola we have ever tasted! A moment that was worth documenting. :)
Once we arrived at the camping, we stayed in the refreshing pool until the temperatures finally fell below 30 degrees Celcius and headed into town for a night sightseeing bike tour of Zaragoza.
The next morning, with the goal to make it from coast (Atlantic) to coast (Mediterranean), we continued with excitement towards our next destination, the capital of Catalunya, Barcelona!
The tour is about to take un unforeseen turn... more adventures in the next post!