I woke up and headed out of the hostel with all of my things; and ran into Luis and Andrea, who were also checking out. Although the bus stop to get to Guernica was near where I was staying I had to take the metro to the bus station, check my bag into the “consigna” so I didn’t have to drag it around with me all day. Then back on the metro to the bus stop.
When I was waiting for the bus I noticed a girl who waiting; it’s always a fun game when waiting to see if you can spot a “tourist” (especially Americans). I couldn’t tell with her, she threw me off when she asked the bus driver a question and she had a descent Spanish accent. When we got off of the bus in Guernica, I asked her in Spanish “are you Spanish?” and then I could tell. So we started talking in English… Wisconsin accent is so entertaining! Guernica is a city in northern Spain that was bombed flat to the ground by Franco’s command (and the help of Hitler’s army). The town was leveled NOTHING REMAINED. But today it has all been rebuilt and there is a museum of Peace.
In the museum it talked about a Swiss teacher and nurse who volunteered to go to Spain in the 30’s and help deliver babies who were born on the trail to escape fascist Spain. She ended up building a huge home for women who were within a few months of giving birth and recovering from giving birth.
Then they had a cool exhibit talking about the definition of peace and many quotes about peace. And the third room had a floor made of glass and looking through it looked as if you were walking among the rubble of the bombing there were broken bricks charred wood and fragments of glass.
When we left it was nearly two so we had to kill two hours until the famous government building reopened. We found a place offering a nice lunch for 10 euros. I had the seafood soup and then had mushroom chicken.
By the time we finished the place had opened and we went to check out some tree… ok it’s a really important tree. All of the Basque government affairs for about the past 1000 years have taken place beneath this tree or on that same spot. They have had to replace the tree several times over the years but always from the trees offspring. They have a huge piece of one of the tree trunks from over 300 years ago.
Since my new friend Hannah (from Cantabria in the north of Spain) was fighting a cold and started to feel pretty bad she decided to leave Guernica, which was perfect because I was trying to make it to San Sebastian (about 1.5 hrs away before it got too late) we said good-byes at the bus station and I collected my bag and bought my ticket.
I didn’t have a room booked in San Sebastion or “Donostia” as the Basques call it. Side track for a second; Don in Spanish is like Mr. in English and Ostia is slang for cool or awesome… does that make this town’s name MR. Cool?…. anyway, since I didn’t have a place to stay I was kind of worried but since my bus didn’t leave for 20 minutes I called a place or two and found a room for 20 Euros.
Our bus got into town and night had already fallen long ago. The temperature here, although further north, has to be about 15 degrees warmer since it’s near the ocean. I wandered around like usual, lost, trying to find the hostel. When I got here I had to go to the bar next door to check in. the inside of this place is awesome! Its old but has been painted and furnished modern so it has a cool feel. Its like a 7 bed room apartment fully functional, nice kitchen.
I dropped my bags and headed for a walk along the ocean its like a boardwalk type thing but along the cliffs and that lead to the harbor where the fishermen bring in the days catch. After seeing the ocean I was ready to try their version of tapas or “pintxos” I got a skewer of purple squid with tiny little suction cups covered in some olive oil vinegar peppers and onions… I may move here instead of the south of Spain… we just have cured ham back in Segovia.
Debating whether or not to spend an extra night in San Sebastian or to head out tomorrow… gotta go count my money to figure out if I stay or go.