European Cultural Capital • 2016 Donostia // San Sebastián

DONOSTIA // SAN SEBASTIÁN BASQUE COUNTRY, ESPAÑA DONOSTIA Is Basque for San Sebastián and when you first arrive you'll notice all the signage in Basque then Castellano as this city is big on promoting the usage of the Basque language. Basque or Euskara is not linked to any other known written language and has very little in common with Castellano or Latin languages. That's okay they are using more and more English here to accommodate the growing tourism industry. Long a vacation destination for nobels and Spanish royalty, San Sebastián is better known in Spain than it is in the U.K. It is a beautiful coastal city surrounded by mountains, which means it is a very active / athletic community with running, trekking, surfing, swimming, and shopping. At least for me, shopping is exhausting. Beside all that, San Sebastián is one of the worlds best cities for gastronomy. This region has the most Michelin star restaurants in the world and the best way to taste the food is via the tasting menu like Arzak, fusing traditional dishes like Alubias, blood sausage and cod with more progressive pairings like flower petals, foie gras and sweet potatoe purée. Herb sorbet, amazing. Pintxos are available at most bars all day and vary from Spanish omelette (tortilla de patata) and croquetas to pulpo with membrillo, ingenuitive and delicious. Paired with local Rioja wines, this city deserves time, attention and respect.

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