Murphy's Law. Again. Lift wasn't working or someone was hogging it. So, I had to lug the heavy suitcases down the stairs. Ok, it was only one flight of stairs, but it was a long one. Anyway, it was better than some of the other places I'd stayed in where they were 3 or 4 floors up, no lift. It was just the frustration and how Murphy gets his timing spot on all the time. I'd never used this lift except for the first day and it had to be not working the very day I needed it; don't you think that's incredible?
So, suitcases down, out the door, right and left and we were at the tram stop within two minutes. Tickets bought, validated (we didn't validate them when we came, stupid tourists!), along came a tram. In and wham, chugging along - goodbye Goog - down and up to the bus station.
Long queue. Forget that. Machine, go for the machine. Queue, albeit shorter. Well, well, what do you know. ALSA, sold out. 12pm bus to San Sebastian sold out. No, no, next one's too late. Let's go for the PESA. It's gonna cost more, but it's better than hanging around for a couple of hours. No machines. Short queue at the ticket office. Yes! There are tickets. Yes, the next one. I think there's one leaving at 1pm. Next one...? There's one leaving now! At 12! Ok, get it!
Well, up we went and in no time, we were on our way.
Moral of the story: Bilbao to San Sebastian is a very popular route. In summer and at weekends, my advice is to buy your tickets in advance. Unfortunately, buying from ALSA's web site will cost you at least €1 more per ticket. That's what I call backward thinking. The cost for the normal bus on this route is €6.56. On PESA, it costs €11.75!
The choice is yours. The ideal thing to do is to get the tickets from Termibus, the bus station.
PESA's seats are quite narrow - I don't really know if ALSA's are wider because I didn't have this experience: thank goodness, the journey was just over an hour because I got the seat beside a guy who insisted on resting his arm on the armrest, with his elbow jutting into MY space ALL THE WAY! And also with lousy headphones where I could hear screechy noises (can't really call it music) emanating from the back of them.