Walking through Old Town in San Sebastian nothing seemed real. It was all too perfect, as we neared the water the setting sun washed over us. The distant chatter of tapas patrons drowned out by the dreamy sun filled haze created as a slight fog came over the water. I found myself jokingly asking aloud, “Did our train crash, is this the light everyone is always talking about?”.
Prior to that, I had been rendered completely speechless. My mind simply could not keep up with what my eyes were taking in. This is what it is to view La Concha beach at sunset, the pictures barely do it justice.
The cool breeze from the water paired with salty warm air felt refreshing after our day of travel. It was love at first sight. Surely, the trip would be a complete let down from here – I mean what could possibly top this moment? As it turns out Spanish tapas can… well perhaps not top, but certainly hold it’s own against the incredible scenery. Quickly settling into our first taste of tapas, the abundance of choices was pleasantly overwhelming. Settling on mostly seafood, we devoured the impeccably salt watered freshness alongside crisp ale.
Resisting the urge to go back for seconds, we paid and hit the streets in search of our second spot. The all-pedestrian streets of Old Town are enchanting, and open up to views of masterly crafted churches.
The scene at our next stop was vibrantly modern and swarming with posh Spanish society. I imagined to be in between Red Carpet takes of the International Film Festival. The tapas at Beta-Tai were beautifully presented with bursts of spicy flavor, seamlessly mirroring the atmosphere. Standing at the outside bar sipping our cervezas, we watched the hustle and bustle of the crowd go by. Savoring every sip and bite.
Between the food and backdrop this place was the closest I had come to what some would refer to as, a religious experience. Following our walk towards the light, our night was full of moments that were too deliciously good to be true. If this was what the rest of our San Sebastian stay was going to be like, Spain and I were going to get along just fine.
*Originally written & published for P.R. Grisley Co.