Pinxo heaven San Sebastian, en route to Pamplona

Posted on January 6, 2010


Pamplona is a relatively unassuming town. Until one week in July for the week-long party of San Fermin and the running of the bulls. In my opinion you would have to be nuts to voluntarily be chased down narrow streets by one of these things – they are huge, scared and dangerous. Nevertheless, the party is great. Oh, and make sure you come prepared in the party colours of white and red, I didn’t do my background reading and it really showed….most entertaining to a few people.

A Spanish breakfast in PamplonaThe fiesta goes all week. Literally. The town doesn’t sleep. As ours was a relatively last-minute trip, we couldn’t find accommodation within 30km so  we checked ourselves into Hotel Londres in San Sebastian for the following night, left our things, and jumped on a bus. We figured that we’d do this Spanish style – party through  the night, see the running of the bulls at 8am the next day, have breakfast and then come back and collapse in our comfortable hotel. It worked perfectly.

After the fiesta and feasting on thick hot chocolate and churros (pictured above), we bused back to San Sebastian and had a ridiculously long sleep before going out to explore San Sebastian. After being in our hotel room for a number of hours we were starving. We walked down to the old town and the famous pinxo bars. It doesn’t seem to matter which bars you go into – the food was fascinating in a every one. The bars are piled high with huge plates of various pinxos. You are given a plate to help yourself and then at the end you pay based on amount consumed. It still fascinates me how they know how much you have had when they have their back to you half the time.

After all the food, it’s well worth the walk up the hill to work off the tapas and for the view of the sweeping bay below.