Northern Spain Road Trip – Day 1&2

We love a road trip and after time on the road in Africa and the Pacific North West in the past 6 months or so its time to change it up and switch our focus closer to home, Europe. With Brownie’s Spainish improving on a daily basis now’s the time to embark on a 42 day road trip through Northern Spain. When we started to plan this trip we had absolutely no idea just how vast the region was and are already thinking that 6 weeks might not be enough.

Our road trip will see us staying in 14 different locations – 3 in France & 11 in Spain. We leave home @ 5.15am on 1st May with every possible space in the car utilised. If we’ve forgotten anything tough as there’s no room!! We board the 6.50am Le Shuttle and have a complete carriage to ourselves. I repeatedly ask Brownie if we can get the cricket set out as its a perfect place to play but she flatly refuses – boo!!

The route we’re taking to Fisterra with stops along the way. We’ll be returning via Santiago de Compostela, Leon, Vitoria Gasteiz, Bordeaux and Versailles

35 minutes later we emerge from Channel Tunnel at Calais. As it’s a Bank Holiday in France everything is closed and the motorway is deserted. The skies are grey and we’re rained on at irregular intervals. We stop to swap drivers and grab a sleep in the passenger seat. We stop for lunch with a large number of French and manage to find a bench on which to eat our sandwiches. There’s no fast food joints here it’s all delicious french bread and what ever you fancy between the iconic crusty white loaf. Everyone sits outside and the majority bring tablecloths for the picnic tables. The French are just so chic. The drive of 480 miles is uneventful and we sleep well in our hotel just outside Poitiers.

Day 2 dawns bright and sunny and its a lovely 19 degrees!! It’s a short drive today just the 302 miles! We drive down past Bordeaux and Biarritz and onto the Spainish border headed for the foodie capital of the world, San Sebastian where we’re staying for 4 nights.

Lunch break and its a glorious 22 degrees😎

The drive is straightforward but it’s noticeable how many more stops there are for tolls today. It seems like the motorway owner is requesting our money every 40 miles or so. However, their are plenty of rest stops along the way and almost zero potholes so we should be careful of what we wish for. We cross the border into Spain and head for our hotel.

Our hotel, One Shot Tabakalera House is located in the new International Centre for Contemporary Culture of San Sebastián.

We unload the car and pile everything up into our room. Thank goodness it’s a large one otherwise we would really struggle for space. We’re really taking advantage of having a car to literally bring as much as we could including our bikes, paddle boards and body boards. We get ourselves organised find a map of the city and as the sun is shining decide to go for a cycle and orientate ourselves. It’s also a good opportunity to stretch our legs after almost 2 days in the car!!

Well what can I say, there’s 3 sandy beaches here and they’re all quite magnificently beautiful. The Atlantic is bright azure blue and incredibly clear. We take a 7 mile cycle around town and enjoy the sensation of hot sun on our faces. San Sebastian has an excellent network of cycle lanes and we’re very glad that we’ve bought our bikes with us. It’s easy to get around and surprised at just how big the city is. Very glad we won’t be doing too much walking.

La Concha Beach

We go for dinner at a local tapas bar Tribuna Norte close to our hotel and feast on patas bravas smothered in garlic sauce, spainish omelette, ham & cheese croquettes and large juicy prawns glistening with lemon and sea salt. We drink cold cervazas and watch the local team Real Sociedad play Real Madrid with a passionate group of supporters. Sociedad win 2-0 a bit of a turn up for the books but Real Madrid field a slightly weakened side with half an eye on the Spainish Cup final on Saturday and their Champions league semi-final vs Man City next week. A perfect end to a great day.


2 thoughts on “Northern Spain Road Trip – Day 1&2

Add yours

  1. The Sells-Browns are on the move again!
    Safe trip, safer driving, take care and enjoy.
    Between you two and Neil in South Africa I’m enjoying vicariously the most excellent exploits of my dear sisters and cousins.
    I agree Karen the “car-go” hold would have made an excellent indoor venue for “Le Cricket”. If I had been there I think we may have prevailed ;). Lots of love to you both. as Always I love your writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

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