After further having travelled down France’s Atlantic coast, I arrived at the small town Hendaye, located at the French-Spanish boarder at noon. I had only slept four hours but the idea of crossing the border by foot, a decision which I had made a few hours before, made me feel vivid and gave me the strength to do so.
Tuesday, August 21st
I stepped out of the train and encountered a big group of people waiting on the track. Some of them had backpacks just like me and I wondered where they could be going. Unfortunately, they took the train that I had just gotten out of, otherwise I would have asked them. I looked up the location of the bridge that I’d be crossing and as it was located only a few hundred meters away from the station, I started walking. Both towns, Hendaye which I had just arrived at and Irún, which I was headed to, weren’t of any particular beauty, yet they had their very own charm which contributed a lot to the feeling they provoked.
I crossed the bridge and within two minutes I found myself in Spain, the second country out of more than six other ones I’d be travelling to throughout my trip. I would have never imagined it to be that easy to cross the boarder between two countries, but here I was, standing on Spanish ground with my own two feet and a backpack that felt twice its size. I walked to Irún’s main station and took the subway to San Sebastian, where I arrived at twenty minutes later.
Since I had forgotten to book a hostel1 beforehand, I decided to walk through the city and directly ask at every hostel’s reception that I encountered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky as I had been on my first day so after more than three hours I still didn’t have a bed to sleep in. Which brought up the idea in my mind that I didn’t need a bed to sleep in. So, I got some more food at one of the local supermarkets and spend the rest of the day at the beach, where I had decided to sleep at.
Wednesday, August 22nd
I woke up at seven. Not by the sound of waves and the sight of the rising sun, but by the voice of two police officers standing next to me who told me that it was forbidden to sleep on the beach. Not really awake yet, I exchanged some brief words in Spanish with them, which seemed to have been enough for them to leave and make their way to the remaining sleeping people which have had the same idea as me. It took me a few more minutes until I was awake enough to have a clear head, to which I decided to have an early morning swim in the Atlantic water. The waves were still very small and the water cold, therefore after swimming for a bit, I just stood in the shallow water for a few minutes, admiring the morning’s calmness.
After I dried myself and had some breakfast, I walked to the central train station and put my backpack into one of the lockers provided. I then got some coffee in a small “panaderia”, and continued to explore the city, since I had been too busy to find a hostel yesterday for me to really enjoy it. San Sebastian has a huge beach promenade which I surely walked along at least four times during my stay there and which was too crowded for me. Thus, I decided to make my way into San Sebastian’s lesser visited areas and streets.
After having spend another entire day walking around the city, sitting on park benches and just enjoying my time, I walked back to the train station, got my backpack out of the locker and sat on the platform my train was supposed to arrive at. A night train to Porto, the next destination of my trip.
1Read about why I forgot to book a hostel in my latest Instagram post.
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