San Sebastián Villa Favorita - Blick auf die Bucht
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Road Trip Day 2 – Pamplona-San Sebastián

Off to the coast after the stopover in Pamplona. Let’s find a nice hotel. And what about dinner?

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After our brilliant meal at La Olla in Pamplona, we head east again. We had chosen San Sebastián. Thought it was more of a seaside town, but hit a major city with about 600,000 residents. In Basque, by the way, Donostia. You wonder about the huge difference between Basque and Spanish? It runs through. The roots of Basque are supposedly unknown to this day – at least that’s how it was explained to me. And that’s how the language sounds, too. On every road sign, everywhere, the Basque version is always emblazoned first. Then the Spanish (“castellano”). And believe me, the Basque version is probably not derivable even for people who speak many languages.

We are NOT going to the Atlantic Ocean!

San Sebastián is located on the Golfo de Vizcaya. Please don’t say it’s on the Atlantic Ocean. You won’t make any friends here. The city has some great sights, fortresses, beautiful old town, great architecture and overall reminds a little bit of French spa and grand architecture in its splendor.

On the way to San Sebastián, the landscape changed once again. It suddenly became more alpine. Although the mountains are under 1000 meters high, it still feels spectacular. The old jeep puffs them up. And gives everything. Because the difference in altitude is nevertheless large, since we start – at least from the point of view of San Sebastián – at around 0 meters above normal zero.

Our “Villa Favorita” in San Sebastián?

When we arrive in San Sebastián, my big girl has already picked out two hotels. One downtown. One by the sea. Walking distance from each other only about 10 minutes. We decide to drive past both of them. This then results. in fact also compelling from the somewhat curious traffic routing. The first hotel looks fantastic. I hesitate for a moment. But we do have a plan. So we drove on anyway. And of course, because the hotel is smaller than I thought, drive past the second hotel.

So we make the big round around the city again, which costs us another good 15 minutes. This time I am prepared. The hotel – unlike the one in the city – is very expensive. On Booking the rooms should cost 500,- Euro each. Proud price, but the place seems to be the Switzerland of Spain anyway. We stop. Are received nicely and get with each 300, – Euro special last – minute – prices granted. We don’t say “no” and check into the “Villa Favorita”. It’s really called that. And that is yet another reason.

Building sins of the 80s and 90s

In fact, it’s the only really nice house on the promenade in wide open spaces; the rest is reminiscent of what I consider to be the largely architecturally ugly promenades of major French cities on the Côte d’Azur. But the beach is sensational. Fine white sandy beach. Shallow slope to the sea. That’s quite a house number, at least for friends of well-groomed beach walks.

San Sebastián Hotel La Villa
View from the hotel terrace

I’ll sit down in the bar later, write something. And my big girl is “chilling” or doing what young adults do nowadays when they need to recover from a vacation.

San Sebastián Hotel La Villa
There are worse jobs, I would like to point out.

But when it gets dark I realize the strains of the day and am too lazy to go “out” again and look for a good gastro in San Sebastián. The super nice ladies at the reception had already spent a good quarter of an hour with me, unfortunately almost everything was closed today, which is good. In fact, our Villa Favorita even has a 2 star restaurant in the house. But that also had – of course – to. Kind of dubious. In Zaragoza most restaurants were closed on Monday, here on Tuesday. Somehow I have deficits in timing.

Laziness wins

Hotel Favorita San Sebastián Bar Croquettes

So we just stay on the terrace. And order croquetas. You know, the Spanish specialty, which usually tastes in the tourist kiosks like potato croquettes baked in the oven by Mom from the freezer. But they are also available in really good quality. And that’s what I was hoping for here. And indeed: very tasty slightly smoky flavor of Jamon Iberico. Point made, hope fulfilled.

Hotel Favorita San Sebastián Bar Chicken Wings

After that I had chicken wings. Was touted to me by the waitress as a “large heavy” portion. It wasn’t. The presentation was interesting. The meat was deboned and it looked more like little chicken balls or something. Presented in an aggressive reddish marinade. Tasted quite good! Decorated with a few cucumbers spaghetti and served in a plastic basket endeavors authentic.

Service puhhh – food okay

The service was unbelievably bad. Or rather the employee who served us. While her obviously more dedicated colleague brought out plate after plate, she failed to deliver any order without at least one demand on her part and at least one demand on mine. Then supplemented that with stroppy hints.

Later she brought spaghetti for my tall one, which was actually very inflexible long macaroni. With an acceptable sugo. But not anymore. Conclusion: You sit very nicely on the terrace, but also pay an extraordinarily proud price for the food. That could be significantly better. The beginnings show a certain zing, but it is not carried through. And that would be the expectation in the price range that at least I have as a customer.

Later we took a few more photos of the beautiful night view of the bay. The place San Sebastián is great, the hotel Villa Favorita has its 9.6 points in booking.com (as of 08.06.22) rightly. And if you can afford it and want to, you will enjoy a very nice boutique hotel in a great location with really high quality furnished rooms. A few also to the sea with sensational views. And apart from the one employee, the service was extremely nice, friendly and helpful.

Let’s see where it takes us tomorrow. Have a good night!

Arnd

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