Day 5

Bodegas Lezaun and San Sabastian

Today started with a rainout of walking along the Camino de Santiago. However, the day was not lost because we had a great lunch at a family-owned winery called Bodegas Lezaun and ended our day walking around San Sabastian. On the itinerary, we were to walk a good distance along el Camino de Santiago. But the rain and wind were too heavy for us and we had to pull an alternative. We did take pictures along the Alto de Perdon, a monument for pilgrims on the Camino.

The roads began flooding and the walk itself muddy. The clouds were thick and supposedly there is a great view from up here. Mother nature had other plans for us, so we pulled into a restaurant for coffee to pass the morning. Today was the only day that complete rained us out. We were very lucky on that front but missed out on an 8-mile trek along el Camino. Luckily, we were able to do parts of it the day before and now we have a good excuse to get back to finish more of the el Camino!

Lunch at Bodegas Lezaun

Our awesome bus driver outside of Bodegas Lezaun
Our awesome bus driver!

Lunch at Bodegas Lezaun, along with Day 4 lunch at Jarauta 79, were the best sit down meals we had the entire trip. We thought it would have been difficult to beat Jarauta 79 but Bodegas Lezaun gave them a run for their money. This winery is located in a small town West of Pomplona. The rain and flooding made it difficult for our bus driver, who amazed us with her bus driving skills as she navigated the small, narrow roads.

Bodegas Lezaun has a small restaurant inside. If you are thinking of going, you should make reservations as they may fill up quickly in their short open hours. The decor was that of a Spanish winery, but the main attraction is the large barrels in the back of the house. Down a narrow cave, towards the back of the winery are two huge barrels of wine! One was aged by many years and the other just filled. Each with a spicket as we were invited to take our cups and our pitchers to fill at our hearts content.

Wine from the barrel at Bodegas Lezaun
Click to see the wine being poured!

The meals served was a fixed menu. The chef, a very shy and humble man, had a motorcycle accident nearly killing him. He persevered through his injuries and his new passion for life is shown through his meals. We had a tour member who failed to mention to Todd some of his allergies and food preferences, yet the chef quickly whipped up an alternative meal that we were told was just as delicious (we do not recommend forgetting to mention food allergies despite how accommodating every chef seemed to be).

San Sebastian

The group definitely powered through some lunch wine and we were ready for another bus siesta as we headed into San Sebastian. San Sebastian, the capital of Gipuzkoa Province, has a crescent shaped beach on the West side of town and another beach on the East very popular for surfers. It sits alongside the Bay of Biscay which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. We arrived still in a drizzle from the rain (and the wine) into the Parque Atracciones Monte Igueldo, which sits on top of a hill overlooking San Sebastian. This provided us with breathtaking views of the crescent beach and a good orientation to the town we were about to enter.

We checked into Hotel Parma and Todd gave us an orientation walking tour of the city. Again pointing out his favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and sightsee. Below is the Google Maps that was created by Todd Hudnall that highlights these attractions.

Google Maps of San Sebastian created by Todd Hudnall
Google Maps of San Sebastian created by Todd Hudnall

The rest of the evening was ours to explore the city! The night was filled with tapas, wine, beer, and wandering through the labyrinth walkways that is San Sebastian. This quickly became my favorite city in the whole tour. Despite the rainy weather, people poured out on the streets to enjoy being alive with good company and great food. There was even a marching band parading through town! Todd explained the apartments here are small, and these cafes and streets became part of the living culture. If you want to hang out with your friends, you do so at a tapas bar, then meander through the streets indulging in the different bars. It was a true kinder spirit that was alive in the town.

  • Pedestrian walkways in San Sebastian
  • Konstituzio Plaza in San Sebastian
  • Konstituzio Plaza in San Sebastian
  • Grabbing tapas in San Sebastian
  • Tapas in San Sebastian
  • The tour gang eating tapas and drinking beer in San Sebastian
Video link to Tapas hopping in San Sebastian
Click to see Tapas hopping in San Sebastian
Video link to Marching Band in San Sebastian
Click to hear the marching band in San Sebastian

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