Un Poco del Cielo

8 Sep

ImageLa Playa Concha, Doností-San Sebastián, País Vasco.

I have died and gone to Heaven. I just know it. I arrived in Bilbao yesterday and had the most perfect arrival one could ask for. No, there  were no marching bands or trumpets playing, but my anfitrión was there waiting for me, just as he had promised, with his limusina and a most delightful ride through the mountains to his hometown of Doností-San Sebastián. The sun was shining through the green forests on the mountains, the sky cloudless, and Roger prattled on and on in Spanish, naming each mountain, telling me what we were going to do for the next three days and explaining to me that he couldn´t speed at certain places because the radar would take a picture and send him a ticket in the mail. (I at least caught that much through my muffled hearing because I was nearly deaf–my ears were still plugged from the three plane rides coming over and from allergies!) He spoke non-stop for the 45 minute car ride. I nodded and agreed, asked an occasional question, and agreed some  more.

We arrived at his piso and lugged up all my luggage (and believe me there was plenty!) to the seventh floor. We took up the entire elevator, yet another elderly gentleman insisted on cramming in with us. with his dog as well. Upon arrival to his apartment, Roger showed me my room, and in true European style, he immediately demonstrated how to turn on the hot water for the shower and ensured that I could do it before closing the cabinet door.

He took me to a nearby restaurant for lunch where a 3-course dinnner with a bottle of wine was served for only 12 euros each. I ate rabbit for the first time and it was delicious. Sitting outside, eating in such a relaxing environment, barely being able to hear was a nice way to begin my day in San Sebastián. We returned to Roger´s piso after la comida. Because it was already 4 pm, it was siesta hour. So of course, we each lay down in our respective rooms for a nap. I didn’t think I could rest anymore, having slept the entire way from Philadelphia to Brussels (7 1/2 hours) and rested from Brussels to Bilbao (another 2 hours), but I fell asleep immediately.

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Roger had to wake me up so he could take me pintxo bar hopping! Pintxos are the Basque version of tapas. And there is nothing like a pintxo or tapa in the US. Our appetizers are no match for these tasty critters. For 3.50-4.50 euro, you get a glass of wine or beer and your choice of a pintxo – hot or cold. “Oh my gawd” escaped my mouth more than once, much to the delight of Roger. Image

I didn’t think the evening could get any better until we strolled along the Boulevard and stumbled upon La Playa de la Concha at sunset. Qué linda es! Roger knew just how to end the day.

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2 Responses to “Un Poco del Cielo”

  1. Tom 08/09/2012 at 05:17 #

    encantadora historia!

  2. Robin C. Bilan 08/09/2012 at 09:12 #

    I’m so glad you had an uneventful trip. You are now one of my “Favorites” and I look forward to following your amazing adventure!

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