San Sebastian, Spain

I arrived outside Olga’s Place in San Sebastian, which was an easy 12 minute walk from the train station. However, the address I was looking for appeared closed up, and I only had 4% of battery left on my iPhone. I feared being stuck at 9:30pm at night in a strange city with no accommodation nor ability to look up where to find alternative accommodation. However, a friendly lady at a cafe near where I was standing raced across to me and asked what I was looking for. Another lady at the cafe pointed out Olga’s Place to me, and with the 4% left on my phone I was able to look up the confusing directions up to the second floor where Olga greeted me into the homely feeling hostel, which is basically her home. After chatting with two ladies in the kitchen I went to bed.

The next morning Kellie and I went to get a tasty breakfast in the cosy cafe across the road. Feeling good about travel again, we were about to wander off when, as Kellie had forgotten her wallet, we went back to the hostel and met Claire, another Australian, and all three walked off to explore. It was raining but we went shopping and I bought a pair of 10 euro jeans that I probably didn’t need but again, fit perfectly, in a way impossible in Australia!

We then walked to the old town for food as I looked up an article on my phone (that I had bookmarked months ago) which suggested we go there for pintxos. On the way Clare pointed out a little electronics shop that sold me a USB cord that worked on my camera. Hooray! We then found a place to have some tasty pintxos, or the northern Basque style tapas which is all on pieces of bread and laid in front of you at the bar: you choose what you want and they heat it up for you if necessary.

We wandered back to the hostel via more shops and I found a perfect pair of brown leather boots in a vintage shop! Despite this being the opposite of downsizing my luggage, they’re exactly what I would have liked to buy in Australia had I found them. And highly appropriate to wear out in this cold and rainy weather rather than open shoes with tights!

A few of us then hung around in the kitchen having some dinner before heading to Salt, a nearby cocktail bar slash restaurant, where we enjoyed the happy hour that was happening everywhere and involved receiving a free pintxo with every drink. I was impressed with my ability to converse in Japanese with Mako, a Japanese traveller, and consequently felt better about my complete inability to speak Spanish.

We then headed to a couple of lively bars in the old town, where we ran into the others who were staying at our hostel but had headed out earlier for pintxos.

The next day I slept in, had an uninspiring burger across the road (why don’t they put cheese on them? It’s so wrong!) then walked around the town for a bit, enjoying the fresh sea air, before heading to my 4:13pm six hour train to Barcelona.

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