San Sebastian / Donostia

Feb 24th, 2015, 04:58 PM
  #41  
kja
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@ kimhe – again, my thanks, but I honestly do NOT like to eat in the middle of the day. I am willing to do so on a VERY rare occasion when I have a specific reason for doing so and plan the rest of my time accordingly. Quite in contrast, I love sitting down to enjoy a leisurely late meal with wine, and I am willing to pay the extra to do so. Just one of my quirks….

And yes, I am aware that Txulotxo in Donibane is a special treat – I selected it specifically because of that. It may be a bit more expensive, but nothing like Akelarre. ;-)

@ mikelg – I will put San Gotardo on my list of options for Bilbao – thanks!
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Feb 24th, 2015, 11:25 PM
  #42  
 
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Take out "late", and you have the normal Spanish lunch ;-)
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Feb 25th, 2015, 12:01 AM
  #43  
 
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Hi KJA,

I want to suggest a great restaurant in Getaria which is about 20 KM west of San Sebastion.

It is considered one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in Spain, it has no Michelin stars and it will not break the bank.

It is Elkano. Below is the new web site, which is presently under construction, but you can find all about the restaurant on TA.

http://www.restauranteelkano.com/

I assume you have already checked out my web page on our visit to San Sebastian, but here is the URL anyway.

http://www.travel.stv77.com/rioja/rioja.htm
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Feb 25th, 2015, 12:36 AM
  #44  
 
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sssteve.

Had about the lunch of my life in another of the restaurants down in the harbour in Getaria back in 1996. Was something like this, and this is still, as you know, what you'll get in Getaria: http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2007/...-in-getar.html
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Feb 25th, 2015, 10:15 AM
  #45  
 
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I think Elkano is quite expensive, although it´s true fish is very good. Have been there twice, first one not very good, the other one just fine. Kaia Kaipe is another excellent option, with views to the harbor. Getaria, being such a tiny town, is the birthplace of the first person that circumnavegated the world (no, it´s not Magellan -Magallanes or Magalhaes-, it´s Juan Sebastian Elcano) and the Balenciaga, the best designer ever (at least, that´s what fashionists say...). There´s an extraordinary BAlenciaga Dress Museum, a must see.
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Feb 25th, 2015, 10:17 AM
  #46  
 
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Kja...I´m aware that you already know...but meal schedules are quite late in Spain, lunch on a weekend can be easily had at 3pm and dinner on a Saturday is very rarely before 10pm. On a weekday change it to 2 and 9,30.
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Feb 25th, 2015, 07:59 PM
  #47  
kja
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Oh, how I love checking in to Fodor’s and finding that so many of you are still following along and offering support and advice – what a great group of people! Thanks SO much!

@ kimhe,
@ sssteve, and
@ mikelg –
I appreciate your discussion of dining options – thanks!

@ sssteve – I must admit that I hadn’t read your web-page all the way through. When I looked at it before, I had been focused on wineries. Such a wealth of information – thanks so much! I was pleased to see your remarks on Erletxe, where I plan to stay – sounds wonderful! If I’m reading correctly, you didn’t eat any meals in Laguardia? Also, I see that you made it to Yuso and Suso – do you remember how you reserved a visit to Suso? I haven’t done so yet, but it is a priority, and any advice will be welcome.

@ mikelg – yes, I LOVE the meal schedules in Spain! I love that I can actually plan on having my evening meal (my MAIN meal) at a time that suits me! (And yes, kimhe, the operative word is “late”)

Seriously, even here in the U.S., I rarely eat my main meal before 22:30. I’m very odd in that way. I start my day with yogurt and coffee. I might have an apple or some carrots during the day. And then—once I am free to truly relax for the night – I have dinner. I am so excited to go to a country where I can dine late!
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Feb 26th, 2015, 03:55 AM
  #48  
 
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KJA:

We only visited Yuso, which does not require a reservation, although it does require a guided tour. However, there are enough throughout the day. Check on the web site.

As for Suso, at Yuso, you can buy tickets for the shuttle which goes up to Suso, but the visit will probably eat at least half a day.

For a start, check out this web site:
http://www.roughguides.com/destinati...and-valvanera/
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Feb 26th, 2015, 05:07 PM
  #49  
kja
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@ sssteve - Thanks! I've got a phone number and fax number to reserve Suso, but have been hoping to find an e-mail address. I was under the impression that the tour at each is under an hour, with a very short bus ride between that is timed to coordinate with tour schedules, but I could well be wrong! I'll be sure to ask when I contact them about a reservation.
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Feb 27th, 2015, 09:07 AM
  #50  
 
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I´ve been to Suso and Yuso during Christmas...the tour of both lasts about two hours, you can visit just one if you wish, but it´s best to do both. Suso, the one up above; Yuso, the one down below.
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Feb 27th, 2015, 04:42 PM
  #51  
kja
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@ mikelg -- thanks for the information! I definitely hope to see both.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 12:14 AM
  #52  
kja
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@ mikelg -- "Santander: I love Bodega La Cigalesa"

Just confirming: Is that the Bodega Cigaleña, Calle Daoiz y Velarde?
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Mar 24th, 2015, 04:53 AM
  #53  
 
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Re tickets to visit Suso. Last year we had the privilege of staying at Erletxe in Laguardia. Maria, our host, was the most wonderful woman, with such a wealth of information to impart. She very kindly made a telephone booking for us to visit Suso and to do the tour at Yuso. Note there is a time during the middle of the day that Yuso is closed. Please take her advice on numerous other churches/monasteries to visit, especially the one at Canas. I am sure you will fall in love with the area,
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Mar 24th, 2015, 11:15 AM
  #54  
 
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Kja, much sorry, you´re right, it´s Cigaleña (in Spanish you can say both ways...). And for great seafood, you´d have to go to La Maruca, in the very further western most end of the city (complicated to get there, but really worth it)
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Mar 24th, 2015, 11:55 AM
  #55  
 
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How well can tourists who mainly speak English get by in Basque country? Or in Northern Spain in general (say out west to Oviedo)?

Or do they even tolerate limited Castilian, given the politics/history and the fact that many tourists don't even speak it that well?

And what exactly is traditional Basque food like? Wild boar and other local game? Obviously a lot of seafood?
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Mar 24th, 2015, 02:10 PM
  #56  
 
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scrb11...English is not widely spoken in Spain, but you´ll manage to communicate just fine. People are willing to help, and the international language of politeness and smiles always helps. We are not used to massive tourism and visitors are normally very well treated.

Basque food is considered as one of the best in the world. Wild boar is not certainly one of our main dishes, or even local game. It´s based on the freshest products, lots of fish, seafood of course, and high quality meats. Just for info...chicken is not normally offered in restaurant menus, we consider it as something for home, not appropriate for a restaurant. And our pintxos (the BAsque tapas) are an excellent way of getting the Basque way of life.

You may want to take a look at my blog mugalari.wordpress.com, in English but written by a local Basque, that may give you some ideas on food, Basque particularities, et...

You may want to take a lo
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Mar 24th, 2015, 02:11 PM
  #57  
 
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BTW, San Sebastian hosts the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants per inhabitant in the world...non Michelin restaurants are also obviously excellent. Food is great all over the Basque region.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 05:34 PM
  #58  
kja
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@ Bettsydney – Oh, I’ll be staying at the Erletxe! I keep reading wonderful things about it, and am glad to add your words to the list. If I am unable to make my reservation for the Monasterio de Suso in advance, I will ask there for help. And thanks for making sure I am aware of Spanish siestas – I am, and I have been planning accordingly. They can really make a difference!

@ mikelg – Thanks for confirming the name of the restaurant. It looks very appealing! I had thought it was either an alternate spelling, or perhaps an autocorrect, and just wanted to be sure. Likewise, I see a Bar Marucho in Santander that gets very high praise for its seafood and will add that to my list. Thanks so much for the recommendations! Interesting about chicken....

@ scrb11 – I probably shouldn’t speak, since I haven’t visited the Basque area yet, but I think the only problem we will likely encounter with the local food is that we won’t be able to get it again once we leave the area. ;-)
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Mar 24th, 2015, 06:30 PM
  #59  
 
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I've been to Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia.

May try to get to Northern Spain in July, when there is suppose to be the least amount of rain.

OK, I've seen various lists of common tapas but have not researched what common pintxos are.

I guess if I can use my poor Castilian in Catalunya, I can also do it in Basque country?
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Mar 24th, 2015, 06:43 PM
  #60  
kja
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@ scrb11 -- I believe mikelg was speaking of the Basque region when he said yes. You might find some very helpful info in guidebooks. The two I've found most useful for northern Spain and Catalunya are the Rough Guide and Michelin Green Guide,
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