Camino de Santiago del Norte
Day 3 of Our Adventure: San Sebastian (Donostía)
Monday September 4, 2017
San Sebastian, Monte Igueldo, and Hondarribia
** Since I can’t figure out how to transfer my other pics from my Android phone, you’ll have to see the shots of San Sebastian and Monte Igueldo on my FB page **
Anybody who knows me knows that I can project manage the heck out of anything. Soup for 100? No problem! Birthday parties? Retirement celebrations? A first-ever cousins’ reunion? Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year’s Eve? Decorating the house for the holidays? I have a detailed project plan for each and every one. You can only imagine what the project plan was like for this epic trip: 38 days in Spain, 15 days in Italy. Flight reservations, mileage goals per day and hotels to coincide with each day’s stop, what to pack, HOW to pack, city tours for multi-day stops…. All of them taken care of. Check. Check. Check….
The Universe had different plans for us. Getting us ready for the spontaneity of the Camino no doubt. Our luggage was delayed by 24 hours. Not the worst, according to our friends who did the Camino last year… their son’s luggage was lost for SIX days! So while we were waiting for information, we moved our guided tour of San Sebastian to tomorrow, went for a walk to check out the start of what will be our Camino del Norte, and eventually decided to go to the airport in person to see what we could find out about our luggage. No wonder nobody answered the phone when we called the baggage claim office. Nobody shows up until after 4 PM!! Flights don’t even arrive until then. Of COURSE nobody is there for the entire day!
Because we had a few hours to kill, we decided to repeat a “super-fun” (insert Jersey sarcasm accent and eye-roll here) experience from our 2003 visit to Northern Spain. Picture this: We were at the start of what I’d term as our delayed honeymoon, a year and a half after our marriage. We happened to arrive in Hondarribia on September 8, a day (unbeknownst to us) of great celebration, the Hondarribia Alarde, complete with marching bands and cannons. Yes, cannons. We parked half a mile away at the airport (the same one where we arrived last night). With no way to get to our hotel (in 2003) due to the never-ending parade, we decided (okay, I decided) to “join” the parade in order to walk through the archway to the upper village. It was pouring cats and dogs, people were partying like nobody’s business, Cava was flowing freely, and I kept asking for directions to El Parador while explaining that my family is from El Pais Vasco. We were soaked to the skin, we had a month’s worth of luggage, and all we wanted to do was to get to the Parador.
Since we were at the very same airport where we had parked 14 years ago, we walked up the hill to the Parador on this rain-free day. We had a lovely bite to eat, took a few pictures, and eventually made it back to speak with the lost luggage representative at Iberia Airlines. With no further information, we took a taxi back to San Sebastian and bought some clothing and some personal items. Mike was dressed from head to toe with new clothing, and I scored a dress and a skirt-and-top outfit.
It was a fun day of reminiscing! We did finally get word that our luggage was on the way from Madrid to San Sebastian, so we schlepped back to the airport and retrieved our luggage 24 hours after our flight arrived last night. And then went to a wonderful tapas bar (La Espiga) and had a few pinchos (aka tapas) and a few glasses of Spanish wine. We are very relieved and also very grateful to all of the people who helped us to locate and retrieve our luggage. And tomorrow we’ll do our city & tapas tour! And go someplace fabulous for dinner in our new outfits.