A Travellerspoint blog

Day 12&13, San Sebastian and Barcelona

sunny 22 °C

We spent Saturday waiting for our train in San Sebastian. We left our pension around 11 and then walked the boardwalk. Shane told me today that these beaches are among the top 3 in Europe, which made me feel pretty cool for not sun tanning with 1.3 million other people. During the summer it gets so packed you can hardly move, but it is completely different because it is the off season. We walked to the end and watched the waves crash on the walls for a while and walked on back to a place we had in mind for lunch. The square we walked to was packed full of people because the church (which looks like it is carved into the mountain) was hosting a wedding. There were traditional dancers and music, and seemed as though the whole town packed into this tiny square to watch. We inched our way closer to the door as the chimes rang out and the beaming bride and groom showed themselves at the top of the stairs. A round of cheering and kissing went as we sat for lunch.
Shane said it was the best calamari and chicken he had ever had. Both were very good but the latter was in a Basque style, brasied to within an inch of its life with a thick sauce for mopping up with a hearty, crusty molasses flavoured piece (or two) of bread.
We left lunch and bought dinner for the train, one dried chorizo, a half baugette, drinks, root vegetable chips and a little bag of fresh strawberries. We waited for our train (I took two Adivan, I needed it!) and climbed aboard. 6 hours and one Spanish dubbed Miley Cyrus movie (cleverly narrated by Shane and myself) later, we pulled into Barcelona.
Our first expierences with the city were not that great. Such a large and, at this point, very new city can be daunting. Especially at 10:30pm. It took a while, but we found our hostel, took showers and slept for the night (kind of).
The next morning we woke up to some toast and coffee, we asked about a laundromat and washed our clothes, thank goodness. After this we took the metro back to the train station to reserve tickets for a few (very important) trains. Once again we were told it was not possible, which has stuck us in a really tight situtation. The hostels and b&bs we are wanting to reserve are fast approaching tourist season, meaning all their rooms are booked up, we are having a really rough time finding accommodations. In fact in Dresden there is not one room or bed even available for our dates. Period. So we are needing to change our plans to find beds. As a result, we are booking the beds and wanting to book the trains to make sure we get there. If we don't book a train that needs reserving, we can´t get to our destination, so then we miss the bed we booked and we lose money. So we can't book the trains in advance because the different train companies don´t work together. Which means of course that we can´t book the accomadations in case we can't get to the cities. It's a very stressfull situtation for me. I REALLY wish I had known that when I bought the train passes. I might have reconsidered. To think that we spent $3300 on two tickets that can´t even really work for us. Anyways, we will do our best and I´ll try not to freak out. I might need more Adivan.
From the unsuccessful stop at the train station, we moved on to the Gaudi's unfinished Sagrada Familia. We walked around the outside, which was a marvel, but because it was Sunday, we decided not to go in. We took the metro to Park Guell, or to where we thought the park was. It ended up being quite the hike. We finally got there and walked through the park, but by this time we were STARVING! We tried to find somewhere to eat, but there weren't very many places. Finally we saw and smelled the most AMAZING chicken we´ve ever smelled. It was slowly roasting in a rotisserie slathered in a phenomenal smelling blend of herbs and spices. We saw a line of about 15 people and hopped right in. When we got the counter 45 minutes later (I'm not joking), we said "uno chicken". The old lady and her assistant looked at us and nattered something in spanish while shaking their heads the international symbol for NO! Apparently there was a list of people who had reserved their chickens earlier in the day. Did we have a reservation? Of course we didn't. So... SHE WOULDN'T SELL US THE CHICKEN!!!!¨ I couldn't believe it. We had stood there, absolutely starving, smelling amazing chicken for 45 minutes and she wouldn´t sell it to us. I actually cried, as embarassing as that sounds, it was a culmination of a lot of things, but I cried good.
Thirty minutes later (and still starving) I picked myself up and we went back to the hostel. Just next door is a convience store and I bought two bananas and a back of Cheetos. That was lunch.
When we got back to the hostel we discovered we had some new roommates and they were from Coqitlem. We talked (and drank) with them for a few hours. They are pretty cool and I was stoked that we actually talked to someone, because allthough we are sharing a room with 6 other people, we STILL keep to ourselves.
In attempts to salvage the memory of the city Shane and I went to dinner at Rias de Galicia, a very fancy (and delicious) seafood restaturant, were I ate a 42€ ($58 canadian dollar) piece of fish, that didn´t even come with vegetables or starch. It was an amazing meal and totally nessesary to keep us from hating the city.

Posted by s-a 07:56 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona san sebastian

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ok now im extremely jealous of you guys!!! my new goal is to go to Europe!!!

by Willena

i think you should invest in a sleeping bag for two. then you can be free of worries! and maybe go to holland first a pickup a big bag of dried sausage for those special occassions then you dont have to cry.anyway dont mean to belittle your difficulties but let it go!

by dad

spain is not a first world country. it has a reputation for being somewhat backwards

by dad

Enjoying your commentaries. I suggest you use your "charming personalities" to secure a bed whenever you can't book a room. You are a charming couple and you can melt the hearts of those lovely people. Just find an old Nana and Nano and look sad...............It will work I tell you.
Just enjoy and don't sweat anything. It's a holiday, a learning experience. Live and learn and laugh, laugh, laugh!!!!!!!!!

by helga61

How is it that you always find such delicious looking food?
Send some or at least learn to make it so I can try it. We all know that I am never going to get there.

by helga61

Hey Alisa and Shane
I wonder if you can look this train thing up online, and get some info that way.
Everytime I look at your blog, I'm drooling, the food looks awesome. (Except the flies of course.)
Hope you guys can figure it all out, have fun!
Auntie Jen

by Jenny Jansen

I hear cheetos are good for your health.. do they taste different in spanish? Also are the banana's fresher/less bruised since they aren't traveling so far? Cause I just wanna say bruised banana's are super gross. Oh and you should listen to the banana song but the 80's version.

by Tashabobasha

I am just loving your journal! You missed your calling as a journalist. It is awesome following you around. I hope you stay well and keep enjoying yourselves.

by Opa, oma and auntie Wilma

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