Made it to España after a five hour bus ride from Lagos to Seville. Heather and I woke up at the lovely hour of 5:00 a.m. to catch the bus and arrived in Seville around 2:00 p.m. It was hot, hot, hot (90+ and sunny) which normally I am all about, but when you have to walk 45 minutes to get to your hotel with extremely heavy backpacks on your back – the heat is not exactly your friend. The long hike was made slightly better due to the fact the we walked straight through the heart of Seville, which turns out to be quite a gorgeous city.
Once we finally arrived at the hotel, we dumped our bags and headed out to scout out the perfect tapas restaurant. That’s basically all Spain has for restaurants which I am more than okay with. I mean what’s not to love about tapas? You get to try a little bit of everything, it is inexpensive, and you get to try new things. Heather and my conversational Spanish is pretty good, but we have discovered our knowledge of food words is pretty much nonexistent. It has lead us to try some pretty interesting dishes, such as accidentally ordering an entire plate of olives (which both of us hate), and I ordered an entire squid somehow.
We spent the rest of the day just wondering the city and doing some shopping. The Spanish are notorious for eating dinner late, anywhere between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., and now I completely understand why. The sun doesn’t set until almost 10:00 p.m., so it is pretty much unbearable to be outside before then. However, it is really quite nice out once the sun sets, so everyone takes to parks and restaurants to enjoy a meal outside.
By the time we finished our dinner (consisting of tapas of course), it was nearly midnight so we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. It’s the first hotel we have stayed at during this trip, and to be honest I really prefer the hostels. They have a more community feel, and I love meeting all the new people and going out with them at night. Plus it is really nice to have a kitchen.
The next day we slept in and then went to the supermarket to get some food for a breakfast in a nearby park. After polishing off some bananas and granola bars, we set out to see some of the famous monuments that Seville is known for, such as the Cathedral and Plaza de España. Once our stomachs were growling and legs were exhausted, we got more tapas and then headed back to the hotel for a siesta (aka a mid-afternoon nap). I have never been one to take naps, but after a while all of the constant walking (we have been averaging over 20,000 steps a day) and the heat really starts to get to you.
At around 5:00 p.m., we ventured out to see some more sights and to enjoy some churros. Call me crazy, but honestly I was not a fan of the churros and chocolate sauce. They were too greasy and fried for me. Yes, I know. How can anything ever be too fried for an American? But they just weren’t for me. For dinner we had more tapas in the park and were in bed by midnight.
One thing I have not been a fan of here is all the smoking. When Heather and I were sitting outside eating our dinner, every single table around us had at least one person smoking. I inhaled so much second hand smoke that my throat started to really hurt. Besides smoking at patios, people on the streets all seem to have cigarettes in hand: old people, teenagers, working men in suits. It doesn’t matter, the disgusting trend does not appear to discriminate.
As I write this, we are sitting on a three hour bus ride to Granada. I am super excited for Granada, mostly because our hostel we are staying at looks amazing! Stacked bunk beds five high, hammocks everywhere, and best of all – free buffet breakfast.
Also, as a side note, I have been reading up a storm thanks to all the long bus rides, so I thought I would share with you all some reccommendations:
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – a story based in Barcelona
- Thirteen hours by Mitchell Zuckoff – tells the tale of the Benghazi attacks in 2011
- Me before you by Jojo Moyes – soon to be a movie, this is your classic tale of girl meets boy, but has such an unexacting ending that you’ll have to read it for yourself