Showing posts with label Eusko Tren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eusko Tren. Show all posts

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tourist Office to the Rescue!

Tourist Office to the Rescue
And efficient cheap transport in France.
More pics here

Theatre in San Sebastian
Fish display in San Sebastian

The Eusko Tren is well signed in San Sebastian

Kursaal centre in in San Sebastian

On the one day, we let someone else do the driving, the someone else didn’t turn up!

We had booked a private bus trip from Hendaye to San Sebastian, via the local tourist office, only for the bus driver to “forget” he had passengers in Hendaye and was down in the Spanish town before we and the Tourist Office, across the road from the stop, found out what was going on.

Quite a cock-up. But the Tourist Office came to the rescue in a big way and that was how we found out so much about the efficiency of and reasonable fares on the French public transport system.

Firstly, we were told to grab a local bus and get to the rail station. The local buses cost nothing while the narrow-gauge rail trip to San Sebastian cost just €2.80 per person return. We enjoyed our trip to the beautiful Spanish city and returned to the Hendaye tourist office the next day to sort out refunds and so on.

By then, the bus company had come in and offered a full refund and a trip on any other of their excursions. We had been looking at the one to Bilbao (including the Guggenheim) and that was what we choose.

The only problem about it was that we’d have to travel about 13 kilometres up the coast to the bus office who apparently wanted to deal with it personally. As it turned, we were at a loose end that afternoon and took the bus as the man in the Tourist Office suggested. Might as well take a stroll around the lively St Jean as one around Hendaye. The bus, believe it or not, cost a euro!
Beach of St Jean

Cool sup as temps hit 30s on Thurs 14th June
It took us right to the bus company’s office where we met Sandrine who knew all about us, even if she had no English. But we got on well. She refunded us our 34 euro straight away and then produced the tickets for Bilbao and apologised.

We were glad to accept. We all make mistakes but it is how you deal with it them that counts and I think both the Tourist Office (where each and every member of staff that we met was helpful) and the bus company dealt with us well and now we are looking forward to Bilbao next Wednesday.

The major memory for us from this faux pas by the bus driver is the efficiency and low cost of public transport in France. That Eusko Tren (Basque Train) to San Sebastian was punctual, state of the art with regard to messages flashed across as electronic banners (the station you were at, the side to get off, the time, the temperature, the next station) and was spotless. And the €2.80 for the 45 minute return trip was incredible.

Incredible too was that one euro cost for the 25 minute trip from Hendaye to St Jean and we had a very helpful driver aboard as well. Next time, I get tired of driving, I’ll be quite happy to take the public transport, maybe the private one too (after Wednesday next!)