Thursday, August 18, 2016

Monday Aug 15, 2016

I woke up and opened all the window and the skylights in the room.  It was about 8 I believe.  I could tell it was going to be another warm day but it was still cool.  I took a shower and got dressed-  I'm thinking I wore the same clothes from yesterday for the journey to save a clean outfit for arrival.  I had a couple pieces of toast with jam, and coffee, packed up and locked the room.

I made it down the few stairs to the hosts apartment/room and knocked on the door to return the key.  She offered to let me leave my bags outside her door, but I didn't want to have to go up and down those narrow stairs again, so I thanked her and left.  I decided to take the tram back to the train station which only involved finding the stop, buying a ticket, getting on the tram A, getting off and changing to tram C right across from the station. I managed to do this with only a little confusion, and the help of a rasta guy and his girlfriend who were also on the first tram and had lots of bags.

Of course my train was not for several hours so I went across the street to a café and had a breakfast of coffee, muffin, juice and croissant.  I finished that, then went into the ticket office to print out my ticket.  I saw a machine and attempted to use it, but it required I confirm the credit card I used to book it, and it could have been one of 3 or 4 cards I took with me so it wouldn't print.  I asked a guard, and he directed me to the line to buy tickets, which was fortunately very small.  I got to an agent and quickly had a ticket in my hand.

Still about 2-1/2 hrs to go so I went outside and sat for a few minutes, then inside for a few minutes and managed to kill an hour people watching.  Then I went into a café and had a chicken caesar salad and a chocolate mousse with a beer and killed the rest of the time.  The station is undergoing renovation and so it was a little confusing, but I managed to find my train, the car, and my seat.  My seat mate was a woman about my age, but didn't speak English.

Across the aisle was a young woman with a dog who spoke English and was taking the dog named Guzman to stay with her parents while she took off on two major trips.  The dog was darling and I petted it and chatted with her on the trip to Hendaye. They don't allow dogs in trains in Spain, so her parents were picking her up at Hendaye for the trip to Madrid.  There was a young girl who sat on the floor and played with the dog, a basset hound, for the entire trip.  She was darling. The dog kept moving to take up the entire aisle, so the girl had to keep moving him every time someone needed to get through.

Near the end of our journey, she shared a macaron with me from Paris.  We got off the train and I headed into the station and found the ticket machine for the tram to Amara Station in San Sebastian/Donostia.  I walked out of the station and down the street into the tram departure station, and got right on it.  It took us maybe 30 minutes or so to get there with several stops on the way.  The countryside is green and lush like the France I've seen over the past few weeks.

We got to the station in San Sebastian and I walked out the front door that overlooks a park with not a taxi in site.  My French sim card would not work without wifi, so I walked into the park towards a map of the city, and in the direction people were walking.  I had no sense yet of how easy it is to get around here, so I just kept walking finally asking a policeman where to find a taxi rank.  I couldn't even try uber since my phone wouldn't work.  The taxi rank was now right around the corner so I hopped in and in no time we were in front of #16.

A nice man leaving the building with his dog let me in.  I had no way to call or message my host, so I went back outside in the heat and tried to see if the buzzers on the outside would show her name.  No luck.  Finally after a few minutes, she appeared.  She was in #14 and had contacted airbnb and had seen I was heading her way and there was mistake on her listing.  By now I am soaking wet.  We enter her building which is very nice, and go up the elevator to the 4th floor.  I meet her friend and her little dog coconut, and after she explains the keys and such, it is around 8pm and I just go to bed. I am disoriented and better to start fresh in the morning.

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