Saturday, 5 October 2019

Catching the train from Spain.

A month ago Susan and I travelled from Donastia - San Sebastian in Spain to Saint Jean de Luz in France. There are a number of ways of doing this, but I decided we should do it the way a local would - by catching the metro to Hendaye, and the bus from there.

The Donastia Metro is run by Euskotren, the Basque railway. The trains are new, and run on narrow gauge lines across the Basque region - and that includes across the border into France. The fare from Donastia to Hendaye is 2€65 for a 40 minute ride and the scenery is spectacular - where you can see it. Because the mountains meet the sea much of the line runs through tunnels, and you just get tantilizing glimpses of mountains on one side and the sea on the other.

The goods yard at Hendaye, looking into Spain

The Euskotren station in Hendaye is at one end of the SNCF mainline station, a one minute walk away even with luggage.

The bus is a local service run by Chronoplus, and runs from the SNCF station in Hendaye all the way to Biarritz for 2€ a ticket. There's not much to say about the bus - except it's a bus...  We were interested that the bus was pulled over by the Douanes (the French customs and border police) and everyone's ID was checked. We used our Cartes des Sejours for ID, and they were very, very closely inspected. Maybe because they are almost brand new, or maybe because neither of our photos look like us. (Quite frankly, most CDS photos I have seen could be stock photos tagged "criminal, generic")

The route is here.


Colin and Elizabeth said...

Nice train... The UK should take note, most of our trains and services can be described at best as 'poor' compared to most of Europe...

Susan said...

Yes, like many other things in the UK they have been allowed to run down through under funding.

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