My itinerary

Europe Travel Blog

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Day One:

  • Land in London and nap in Jason's flat
  • Attend "Taste of London" and enjoyed a myriad of yummy foods and wines
  • Pussycat Doll Concert at G-A-Y ... I didn't realize how much the gays loved this band - i think they squeezed in 500 people in a space meant for 100 - fun, but I thought I was going to be crushed!  Luckily the friend is 6ft 6in and served as a good guard.

Day Two:

  • Checked out Spitalfields Market for some shopping - arts and crafts, gourment foods; there are also great little pubs and bars in the surrounding area
  • Coffee with a new friend - Dominic
  • Made a lovely supper (cheese plate; mozzarelle, tomato and avocado salad; proscuitto & leek pasta; cannolis)

Day Three:

  • Walked along the Thames to Tate Modern, visited the Globe Theater
  • Lunch at Tas Pide (despite the rave reviews, I thought it was just ok)
  • Took the ferry to Tate Britain - loooved this museum, particularly the Pre-Raphaelite art (Lady of Shalott; also loved Sargent's work
  • Checked out Westminster Abbey, House of Frasier, etc.
  • Dinner at Roka to celebrate a bday (very overpriced restaurant - akin to Sushi Roku in LA, but three times as expensive)
  • One Bar

Day Four:

  • Shopping at Harrod's, Oxford Street, Bond Street - snacked on Laduree macaroons (heavenly delights in your mouth!)
  • Watched a world cup match at The Camel
  • Dinner at Thai Silk (again am shocked at how much food is at London - even mediocre food)
  • Almost got run over by someone running away from the cops (kind of scary)

Day Five:

  • Visited Hampton Court Palace
  • Dinner at Le Deuxieme (quite disappointing, and again, expensive)
  • Watched Avenue Q - soooo funny and refreshing - i'm watching it again in LA

Day Six:

  • Shopping at Covent Garden / West End / Soho
  • Lunch at Mango Room - I actually enjoyed this place - good food at decent prices - it's run by a guy from Australia - really nice guy
  • More shopping at Camden Market

Day Seven:

  • Lunch at Lavendar - fancier pub - pretty decent food
  • Travel to Bilbao - check into Sheraton Bilbao (nice location - near the city, next to a huge mall and a beautifully manicured park)
  • Explored the city and snacked on tapas (had some yummy machengo  and ham at Larragan Cafeteria)

Day Eight:

  • Room service breakfast - mediocre and pricey
  • Guggenheim museum - amazing architecture; art was good
  • Strolled through city
  • Lunch at a local eatery - Oredos - delicious clams, roasted fish and potatoes ... perfectly fresh and seasoned.
  • Napped!
  • Dinner at an Asador (steakhouse) - delicious but they didn't seem to serve veggies other than some lettuce and raw onions.  We had an assortment of fried cod & squid, steamed shrimp, duck breast, bloody steak (Jason's fav).
  • Wandered from hotel bar to hotel bar - At Escilla Hotel, I discovered the most comfy leather lounge chair and wanted to live there forever, but unfortunately, their wine was awful - barely drinkeable.

Day Nine:

  • Breakfast at Miro hotel - shrimp & asparagus scrambled eggs (yum)!
  • Explore old town Bilbao (gorgeous architecture - i fell in love with the balconies and picture box windows); snacked on delicious chocolate and churros - it was the thickest, richest chocolate I'd ever seen; walked across the White Bridge. 
  • Lunch at McDonald's ... not sure why we did this; perhaps we were tired of snacking on ham sandwiches all day.
  • Siesta!
  • Dinner at Tapelia - delicious sauteed squid and musrooms; salad with asparagus, ham and artichoke hears and steak & foie gras.  I think this is a chain restaurant - quite good food.

Day Ten:

  • Buffet breakfast at Sheraton - the most yummy pickled cherries - I tried to find some to buy but I think the hotel makes the cherries themselves - sigh.
  • Drive from Bilbao to Gernika (before we even left Bilbao, we had a mishap - a flat tire! - and some good samaritans stopped us on the road to tell us to find a mechanic - luckily we found a man who spoke absolutely no english but agreed to fix it for us for about $20).
  • Gernika - a gorgeous town with a tragic history - this area was completely bombed and devastated during the war, but has been rebuilt with love and care.  There is still a sense of sadness, but what you sense more is the incredible strength and pride of the people and of the town.
  • Lunch in Gernika - some random local eatery - literally the best deal I had in euroope - paella, fish, flan and a bottle of wine for like 9 euro.  And the flan was amazing!
  • Drive from Gernika to San Sebastian - beautiful scenic drive.  Kept hearing the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" on the radio...
  • Checked into Hotel Maria Christina - gorgeous, glamorous hotel - but our room was a bit outdated...the chocolate covered strawberries and wine was a nice welcome treat!
  • Explored the city and had dinner at Aita Mari - garlicky shrimp, bublly white "Txakoli" wine and veggies!

Day Eleven:

  • Breakfast buffet - yummy croissants (but I'm getting tired of ham...)
  • Walk along beach to see the "Peine del Viento" by Chillida
  • Lunch at Cafe Saigon - vietnamese food was a welcome change.
  • Shopped in city.
  • Dinner at Zuberoa - the best meal of my life - see photos.

Day Twelve:

  • Travel back to London and took Eurostar to Paris - ate a picnic for 4 people on the train even though we were only 2!
  • Rested up in John's flat in Paris - gorgeous location - he works in the U.S. embassy and I now know where my tax dollars are going ...Strolled around the neighborhood

Day Thirteen:

  • Explored the Louvre / Seine / Palais Royal/ Rue St. Honore
  • Lunch at Welcome Cafe (probably a tourist trap but i was pooped at the time) - I did discover "Kir Sauvignon" here - so yummy but no one in the U.S. seems to know how to make it properly
  • Shopping! 
  • View sunset along the Seine along with the hundreds of other people picnicking along the river - glorious!

Day Fourteen:

  • Woke up early to buy fresh croissants, eggs and fruit at the farmer's market using my pathetic french - but it worked!
  • Arc d'Triomphe / Shopping along the Champs Elysee / snack at Laduree (loove loove loove the caramel macaroons)
  • Lunch at an Alain Ducasse bistro - foie gras platter and cherry souffle - we also saw the most intense, serious sommelier here - he was like a mad scientist!  i wish i could have taped his dramatic display.
  • More shopping madness - definitely try to hit Paris in Jan or July - they have 2 major sales every year and it's amazing!  (the only stores not on sale were Chanel and LV ... arghhh).
  • Dinner at Taillevant to celebrate Jason's bday - beautiful restaurant - food was quite good (but not as good as Zuberoa)
  • Dancing at "Queen" until 4 am - i'm way too old to stay out so late; and to hang out with gay men who try to drop every single straight guy they find in my lap.
  • Dinner at Roubouchon Cafe - good, but slightly overrated.

Day Fifteen:

  • One last morning to shop in Paris
  • Return to London
  • Takehome Indian food for dinner
  • head home the next day - the end of a wonderful trip!
postaltiburon says:
Great food reviews! If I'm ever in Bilbao, I'll have to try Oredo's.
Posted on: Feb 06, 2008
mellemel8 says:
i am just like you. it's all about food on vacay. 95% of my reviews are food. no wonder you and sybil are friends :)
Posted on: Aug 31, 2007
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2,565 km (1,594 miles) traveled
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