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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Places to Eat in San Sebastian (Donostia), Spain- A Gastronomic Experience

Yeah...this photo sums up my food personality. I'm always daydreaming about what I'm going to eat, where I'm going to eat, or how I can replicate a dish and make it my own. San Sebastian is like coachella, wanderlust, foodtopia (is that even a word?)for the most adventurous eater. Currently, they're not so openminded to vegans yet but there is potential. Found a place or two that caters to y'all. But the thing is, how can you not try every vegetable, seafood, or cow. Is it cruel that after a dairy cow stops producing milk is exiled to the pasture to eat delicious grass for the next 9-13 years of its life? I think not! Anyway, I definitely could come back to San Sebastian for the food and just overall the people and vibes.

customary to always have coffee/tea after dinner

first pintxo bar we checked out

this was a great bite


this Iberico pig is fed acorns to get 
that amazing flavor

Beti Jai Berria

blood sausage, mussels, & tako (octopus)

fresh white asparagus

one of the streets to find pintxos

Goiz-Argi's crab bisque & their famous shrimp

Bar Zeruko

Foie gras

Cheesecake from La Vina

Bar Nestor
how something so simple taste so damn freakin' amazing?
heirloom tomatoes with salt & olive oil.

The famous Chuletas!

this steak was so delicious but unfortunately, 
between the two of us were unable to finish it.

1. We stayed at Maria Cristina, which was close to all the pintxo restaurants in the old town area. We were given a pamphlet of the top pintxo spots and what each place is known for. Ask the front desk for a map.
2. Walk, walk, walk! Everything is walking distance. Taxi was a little pricey.
3. Customary to have 1 or 2 pintxos along with a drink at each bar/restaurant. Do not take more than 3 or 4 at a time.
4. Keep track of the number of "bites" and drinks you have. You pay after you're done and move on to the next.
5. Don't try to cheat on the number of pintxos and drinks you had because they know. Just be honest.
6. Dinner is usually taken after 2000. 
7. Most bars/restaurants will have napkins all over the floor which is normal. At the end of the night, it's easier for them to clean up.
8. Try the txakoli or their local beer. It will always be cheaper.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Things To Do in 24 Hours- Saint Emilion, Bordeaux

Yeah, 24 Saint Emilion. This quaint medieval town is seriously for foolish honeymooners or drunkly obsessed wine-o's. Not kidding at all. And yes, I'm foolishly drunk and over the moon over Saint Emilion. 

Saint Emilion is located about 30 minutes train ride from Bordeaux. Most people just do a day trip to this medieval UNESCO World Heritage town because you can seriously see the whole town in a day. This town predates to prehistoric time and it's not short of picturesque view at every corner-no exaggeration there. We opted on staying overnight to relax from the long and exhausting train rides. 

Total cost for this trip: Train ride 52€ (13€ one way from Bordeaux) + 191€ (included breakfast, welcoming treat, coffee, teas, & bottled waters) + 75€ (dinner) =318€. But you can probably do it for way less if doing a day trip and will come out about 100€ or less for 2. 

Tips/ Recommendations
Getting there:
-If you do take the train from Bordeaux, make sure to print your  return ticket as well. Saint Emilion train station does not have a machine for you to print your ticket. Or you can always just purchase your ticket on board the train. 

-Train to Saint Emilion comes every 30 minutes.

-It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the town and it's about a 1 mile in distance.

-Do stop by Saint Emilion Tourism Office for this MAP of the town and get more information on activities/wine chateaus. I thought it was extremely helpful and the majority of people used it rather than their phones.

Wine Tasting for Free:
-Can't visit Saint Emilion without tasting wines. Most wine chateaus offer free wine tasting but you must call in advance. However, there are a few places that you can walk in and do free wine tasting. 

-So many great eateries to choose from. Do walk around town first and check out the menus and prices before making a decision especially if you're on a budget. There are a lot of inexpensive eateries that serve some quality and fresh food. 

-Most people don't actually stay overnight in Saint Emilion because by 2000 the town becomes incredibly quiet. If you want tranquility and relaxing environment than I suggest staying here. I usually use Booking for hotel deals.

-Try to book lodging that includes free breakfast. I usually like to have a good breakfast since sometimes I skip lunch and wait till dinner. Plus, it saves you money. Although, Logis de la Cadene costed about $200 we had free welcoming baked good, free bottled waters, coffee & teas in our room and amazing breakfast. 

Other Useful Tips:
-For the budget traveler, the most you will spend on is your train tickets. Like I said, there are places to get free wine tasting since after all, you need to try the wines in this region. You can get lunch well under 10€.

-Use social media as an information guide to see photos of a place. I stumbled upon on Saint Emilion while looking up the hashtag Bordeaux.

Chambres 1985

You open the window and it reveals a gorgeous 
view of the town.

Welcoming gift of fresh baked orange cake.

Here I am detoxing in Aloha Sourced Puanani Tea

Taking photos for home inspiration

Breakfast all to ourselves

scallop risotto from Restaurante le Bouchon

Reflecting with my wonderful travel companion

Next blog: San Sebastian, a gastronomic city that every foodie needs to visit.