RTW Trip Bordeaux to San Sebastian Day 8

In an attempt to save some money and time on transport from Bordeaux, France to San Sebastian, Spain, I found a site for ridesharing called Blablacar. Basically, it is a website like AirBNB, but for rides. If someone is driving from Paris to Barcelona, and has 3 empty seats, they advertise it on Blablacar, and riders can search and purchase these empty seats. Drivers get reviews just like AirBNB so you know whether other people had good experiences or not.

We found a French girl who had a few positive reviews under her belt, but sadly, she cancelled 3 hours before departure because she said she had an accident!?!  Our AirBNB host had used Blablacar several times, and he made a few calls for us and managed to organize a ride for us.  Unfortunately, the guy had no photo and or reviews, but he responded right away, and we really needed to get to San Sebastian.

We met at Le 48 Patisserie by Gare Bordeaux Saint Jean, and as expected, a white Renault rolled up, and we shook hands with our expected host. Here is where the weird part came in. With him, was an thin, chain smoking man in his late fifties who ended up driving the white Renault, while the host we were communicating with ended up driving a red mini. There was no explanation why there were 2 cars and 2 drivers. To make a long story short, as weird as it was, we arrived safely to Irun/Hendaye.  Since our driver only drove us to Irun/Hendaye, we were then able to take a local train to San Sebastian.

When we finally arrived to San Sebastian, we settled into our AirBNB, and then walked our 25 minutes to the town center.

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I had already been to San Sebastian years ago, but had forgotten how lovely this place really was. If you like beaches and food, I would say this is the place to go. It was already late in the day, so we opted for hiking up to one of the viewpoints of San Sebastian (Catalan name is Donostia), rather than spending the day at the beach. We then got lost walking through all the charming streets with a gazillion pintxos bars.

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View of San Sebastian beach

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Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro

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Pintxos, the Catalonion tapas, is THE thing to eat here. I think I read somewhere that a pintxo is generally eaten in 2 bites, and served on a slice of baguette. Most of the pinxtos I saw though, were definitely more like 3 to 4 bites. While we had tried a few while we were in town, I would have to say that my favorite place was Extaniz, located on Calle Fermin Calbeton. This place was easy going, and everything was 1.60, including the small glasses of beers.   I think they may have added a surcharge on the beers in the evening. They rotate their food quite a bit, and the variety is quite good. I even ate one that had a bunch of angulas on them.

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Extaniz

Costs:
3 for tram from AirBNB in Bordeaux to Blablacar meeting point
Blablacar fee from Bordeaux to Irun/Hendaye 31.64
Internet at train station 1
Bread and bananas 1.3
Train from Irun to San Sebastian 5
Water 0.50
Pintxos and beer 13.60
Beer 2.60
AirBNB $55

Total cost: $129.82 / 2 = $64.91 per person

*We went over our $50 per day budget, but we went under on other dates.  Check out our $50/day running log page.

What I learned: When going on Blablacar.com, the drivers that show up in your search are generally those that can speak English. If you think that you can communicate in French or Spain, go to blablacar.fr or blablacar.es to find more rides. You will see that there are way more rides on these sites. Also, try to go for someone with a photo and previous reviews so you know what you are getting into. Also, be sure you know the size of the car before booking. European cars are way smaller than western cars, so if you have a big backpack, you have to be sure it will fit or you won’t be able to get your ride. It is also helpful to have a phone when doing Blablacar, especially if the driver’s starting point is a different city than your starting point. Finally, be sure that your driver confirms your booking on the site before setting off on your ride.  Once he/she confirms, you receive a code to give to the driver so he/she can get paid.

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