After the pilgrimage, I had a few travel days to get to San Sebastián, Spain to start the last week of my trip.
I arrived early in the morning on the 20th, and since I couldn't check in until 2, I decided to hike up one of the "mountains." It's the hill on the left-hand side of the town, named Monte Igueldo.
Instead of taking the cable car I just walked up and was rewarded with many fantastic views I would have otherwise missed.
The view from the top, however, was by far the best. You could see the whole bay and the surrounding town; thousands of people on the beach, all the red and white buildings, the fisherman on their boats, and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out for miles. There was also a strange amusement park on the top with different rides, slides, and even some trampolines on edge overlooking the town.
I spent most of my time on the beaches (Playa de la Concha and the surf beach) relaxing, as I was a little tired from walking last week. It was a welcome time to relax and just take everything in.
I also walked up the mountain on the other side, up to the Castillo de la Mota (or as we liked to call it, the "Jesus Museum," because of the giant Jesus statue on top).
The views were just as good from this side as the other, only from a different perspective. It was neat to walk through the Jesus museum, which has a church as well as the history of the town and its military endeavors.
Watching the sunset on the beach was also pretty amazing; I even ran into a family from America who I talked to for a bit (I'm pretty sure they thought I was crazy for traveling by myself...)
At the beginning of my last day in San Sebastián, I didn't really have any plans because it was raining and I had done everything I had wanted to. I just thought I would have a quiet day at the hostel and walk around Old Town for a bit.
However, I struck up a conversation with one of my roommates and was talked into going on the pintxos crawl the hostel hosted every Thursday.
It was by far the best night I've had in Europe so far; I got to meet and talk to lots of new people, eat great Tapas, and drink cheap (but good) beer and wine. We went to three different bars and only spent 6 euros total, as there was a deal for one drink and one pintxo for 2 euro.
I didn't realize how widespread the pintxo culture was with the young people; it was packed to the brim in each bar with 20 somethings, and you had to push your way to the front and yell to the workers to get your order in.
Usually, that situation would make me uncomfortable, but I felt confident and was able to order everything in Spanish (I became the person to request the pintxos for my group, which was good Spanish practice for me).
I was sad to leave after only an hour of the crawl to make it to my bus, but I'll have opportunities to do the same in Madrid.