I woke up to Maria climbing down from her bunk and looked at my phone to check the time: 9:05 AHHHHHH! My bus left at 9… no big deal there are more. So I headed to the bus “station” if you can call it that; since it’s a parking lot outside of a hotel. I caught the 10 o clock bus from San Sebastian to Bilbao, arriving at 11. The next bus left for Valladolid at 4 but was full; leaving late meant I missed buying a ticket so I had to take an even later bus at 5:30.
With ticket in hand I checked my bag into the locker and decided to kill some of the 6 hrs by going to visit the town of Portugalete; you can get there by metro for 3 Euros. In a hurry to catch the metro that was about to leave I boarded the wrong train but luckily it was possible to hop off at a fork in the line and continue on the correct train. The only thing worth seeing is pretty cool, the “Puente Colgante” or hanging bridge. It is one of the world heritage sites since it was the first bridge of this design and served as a model for about 40 around the Europe and the US. The bridge’s design had to be high enough to allow huge freight liners to leave but low enough to allow cars to drive up onto it; so a genius design was formed. The bridge has two big towers and a long flat beam connected to the top of each tower. A floating ferry hangs from the beam, shuttling people and vehicles from one river bank to the other. The bridge is a rust- maroon steel bridge with an air of the Eiffel tower, which isn’t surprising since one of the designers was he who designed the Eiffel tower.
There was a marathon for some cause going on but there wasn’t much to see so I headed back to the San Memes bus station, hoping to be able to find an open seat on the 4 O’clock bus, which didn’t happen. I slept on a bench for about an hour, paced around, ate a snack, watched the clock, wrote some of this blog, watched pigeons fly around, inhaled too much second-hand-smoke, and finally freaked out when 520 rolled around and I couldn’t find my bus. At 530 I got onboard a bus that said it was going to Valladolid. We had to stop in Burgos to pick up A LOT of people. This station has the worst design ever the busses have to make a hairpin turn, requiring them to back up and pull forward about 5 times then back into the parking spaces, imagine parking about 25 buses in front of a 7-11 while 200 people wander around the parking lot…
We pulled into Valladolid’s Bus station at 930… 30 minutes after the last bus left for Segovia. No worries because the RENFE (high speed train) station is just a 5 minute walk from the bus station, surely I can get a train home (even though I already paid round trip for the bus). I got to the train station and found that there are NO TRAINS GOING TO SEGOVIA. I had one last, most likely, expensive option; taxi. The driver said it would be about 100 Euros!!!
I sat down in the Train station resigned to my only option of camping here all night, on this cold, hard, metal bench (at least there is heat in the train station..The bus station is about 55 degrees inside). The taxi driver just walked inside to offer to take me for 85 Euros, Still No thanks. After the seat became too uncomfortable I moved to the floor then the marble got really cold so I moved back to the chair. Around 3 am the two security guards threw a couple out of the train station for unknown reasons but I am certain they didn’t have plans of traveling. Sleeping here is not easy it’s really bright and every so often a loud speaker announces, “train to Salamanca leaving in 5 minutes is waiting at platform 3”. At 520 I woke up after sleeping for about 30 or 40 minutes; I didn’t think it would ever get here but finally it was time to walk back to the bus station.
The bus station was still closed when I got there so I had a light breakfast and waited. The bus from Valladolid to Segovia was pretty quick or maybe it was that I slept almost all the way home.
Irteera (Euskara for exit).