Adios Catalunya

And then came my 7.30am train. Oh, the joys of waking up early before breakfast is even served to get on a train. Safe to say I have suffered. On the train I had to munch on some chorizo I had left.

My coping mechanism for these long trips (nearly six hours on this train) is all about mixing up activities. Recently my laptop has been acting very strange and the battery life is lasting two hours or so, compared to four hours only a couple of months ago. That was hardly an option for a whole train journey. Instead, I read one of my books The Virgin Suicides which is a pretty quick read. By this point, I had nearly completed the novel and decided to read another fifty pages or so prior to finishing the final 25.

Then, I remembered that I had downloaded a few albums on Spotify. Nirvana: MTV Unplugged. Yeah baby. Back to finishing the book, which gave me just over an hour to write some of the content for the blog as well as other odds and ends. Fun fact: even on reserved trains, Spain’s trains don’t have sockets. Or wifi. I never thought I would utter the words: “I miss Scotrail”.

I arrived in San Sebastian. First impression? Beautiful. It was almost eerily quiet at times, mainly because it was a Sunday, but it just had a much more laid back feel to it, unlike Barcelona. After a bit of an issue trying to find my hostel from the trusty Apple Maps.

But I arrived. A Room in the City is the name of the hostel. I mean they could’ve thought of a better name, that’s my only critique. The rest is brilliant. The rooms are bunk beds, but they are in a pod form. It looks really futuristic, but basic. You can sit in your own bed and do what you like with privacy. You don’t have to worry about disturbing someone with the glare of your screen – there is a curtain for that.

They have somewhere you can chill downstairs as well as a rooftop space and an outdoor area. At first I went to find somewhere to exchange money. Nothing is open on a Sunday I discovered. No supermarkets, no currency exchanges. OK, McDonald’s is open, restaurants are open and the odd shop too, but pretty quiet. I walked around for a while before finding a place to eat. Va Bene is a popular burger restaurant in the area, so I checked it out. I had a Bacon Cheeseburger and fries for 7.20 euros. I mean, yes it was relatively cheap, but also the meal wasn’t as big as I was hoping. It was a tasty meal, but I could’ve done with some more food.

On the way back to the hostel, I found a shop that was open (praise the lord) and grabbed some juice and a big bottle of beer. If you’re unaware, Spain has 1L bottles of San Miguel for just over a euro. You’re welcome. Arriving back, I took a leap of faith and sat with a huge crowd of people in the space there. Safe to say, most of the people I have met have been in more isolated ways, or if I meet someone in a large group, I already know people in the group. This was a little intimidating. But obviously, everyone is really nice. Also, everyone here is Australian. Seriously.

IMG_5749.JPG
Clearly accidentally used one of the potatoes as a camera for this shot.

In a group of 15/20 people, more than half of them are Australians, all either in couples or individual people. Turns out there are a lot of waves in San Sebastian and the stereotype that Aussies are surfers is apparently true. Really, there are too many names to remember from the night, but I can remember speaking to a couple (Laura and Matt if I’m not mistaken) and a girl called Tess. All bloody Australians. We bonded over our mutual love/hate for how bad our politics is in both of our countries currently.

Then, the whole group were forced to leave the area for hostel curfew reasons and someone suggested going into the old town. I wasn’t keen on spending money on alcohol too much, but I went along anyway. Then something wonderful happened: someone had a carry out. A girl called Maddy had like three bottles of wine to go around the group and we just sat in the old town for a while. Maddy is basically Jesus, except she turns wine into more wine. It’s worth mentioning, that this is technically illegal in Spain, but the police don’t seem to mind too much as long as you aren’t off your head drunk. First night can be considered a success, looking forward to tomorrow.

BUDGETING:
LUNCH: 7.20 euros.
GROCERIES: 2.30 euros.

Total: 9.50 euros.

BREAKFAST: Chorizo. Lunch: Bacon cheeseburger and fries.

June 25

Author: Michael Houston

Freelance journalist. Love all things film, sport, music and wrasslin. Multimedia Journalism graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University.

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