The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seville–Last stop in Spain

The following takes place on days 170-171, May 16-17, 2011.

IMG_6471Having a really lazy, late start to the day isn’t always a bad thing. That is, if you’re in a regular temperature city. I am not. I am in Palma del Rio, a good three kilometers walk from the train station. By being lazy, I just condemned myself to walking to the train station with my backpack in the hottest part of the day. Not the brightest move on my part I must say.

Lucky for me, there was shade on at least one side of the road for most of the way until I got to the old Roman bridge right by Kelsi’s family’s home. I was a bit sad that I couldn’t say a proper goodbye to Kelsi but her family was home and she was busy working with the kids. It was still fun to spend a couple nights with someone from back home. Certainly killed a little of the homesickness I was feeling.

The train back to Seville was uneventful and seemed to take less time than coming from Seville. A quick hop into a cab and I was soon at the hostel in Seville I had looked up online before coming. It was pretty new, just like the one in Lagos, so I didn’t bother reserving a spot as I knew there was lots of room. I managed to get a bed in a 14 bed dorm with a private bathroom.

And for a 14 bed dorm, the room was massive. Usually a dorm will be as tightly packed with beds and backpacks and random clothes from people but this one was immaculate. Lots of space, clean beds, modern look. Very much like a hotel room, just with a lot more beds. Having settled in, I took a walk along the river once the sun had dipped a bit lower in the sky.

Seville already gave the impression to me of a really relaxed atmosphere. Not very in your faceIMG_6479 flashy. A subtle charm. Very unassuming. I quite enjoyed it. I walked along the riverside, watching as groups of people in kayaks, canoes, and the like went by on the water. I came upon one of the older bridges of the city which lovers lock padlocks marked with their names on in what I can only assume is a good luck in love sort of ritual. I had heard of such bridges or fences in other places but wasn’t expecting to find one here.

IMG_6491My wanderings took me past the large bull fighting ring, the Gold Tower, and into a cafe district where I ran into two people from my hostel, Rosario and Ronaldo, both  from Mendoza, Argentina. We ended up walking together into the large community park to the Plaza de España. A huge semi-circular palace dominated the area. The whole plaza was large enough to even support a small “river” that people could rent boats to row from one end to the other in the shadow of the palace. IMG_6498

I spent much of my time walking from one end to the other, admiring the tiled mosaics representing every province/county/state of Spain, one for each. Who knew that a country as small as Spain(small compared to Canada) could have so many states? or provinces or whatever they call them here. Bad Corey for not researching beforehand!

IMG_6544And in my random wanderings, I noticed a building in the background that looked interesting so, after saying goodbye to my Argentinian roomies, I wandered over. With that building, and another near the university, both bearing names of countries other than Spain, I realized that I was finding the buildings used during the 1929 Worlds Fair. Still up and still being used by the city in different fashions. I ended up finding the buildings for France, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Cuba, and Morocco before it got dark and I decided to head back to the hostel.

The next day I started with a mission. Buy my bus ticket to Algeciras so I can start the journey toIMG_6597 Morocco. That’s how it started. It ended with me buying a bus ticket all the way to Fes, Morocco. I just felt much better having done it all in one shot instead of trying to figure out tickets for the ferry on my own, then trying to buy a bus ticket in Tangiers to Fes on my own. Normally I would have no qualms about doing all this on my own, but seeing as I will be in a country where I have never heard the language before, I just felt better doing it this way.

Back to the hostel I go! A new guy has checked into the hostel and after learning that I was going to head down to the Cathedral opted to tag along. Nicholas, as that was his name(King of obviousness I am), and I ended up stopping at a little cafe for a drink considering it was nearing 40 degrees. Why I insisted on wearing jeans, I have no idea.

IMG_6620We chatted a bit and when I found out, with horror, that he had never had a sangria before, well . . . that just wouldn’t do. I immediately ordered a full pitcher for us to share. On mainly empty stomachs, we became a bit inebriated at 2 in the afternoon. Giggling randomly at the phallic shaped towers around the cathedral, and scoffing at the idea of paying eight euros to go in. So we just took photos outside.

We continued walking around, getting a bit lost at one point before finding our way to a major street that we could actually locate on the map we luckily had with us. We finally found the hostel again and I immediately shed my pants and put on some shorts. While Nicholas had a nap, I went upstairs to take advantage of the happy hour specials in the hostel bar on the terrace.

Five beers later, Nicholas shows up and we buy another pitcher of sangria. It’s looking to be aIMG_6641 great night. We managed to hear through the grapevine that there’s a little pub crawl leaving the hostel that would first stop somewhere for a free flamenco show. I quickly run downstairs to change and decide to shower first quick. Unfortunately for me, while in the shower, the group decides to leave. Nicholas did let me know a few days later that he went to find me but couldn’t(I was in the shower at the time) so I never got to say goodbye to him.

I attempted to catch up with the group but not knowing exactly where they were going, I gave up and went to a different bar since I was dressed to impress anyways. And with my bus leaving at 4:30am, I had no plans to sleep to begin with. On the upside, I managed to increase my kiss count up to 9 that night at the bar. So it wasn’t a complete loss!

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