My adventure in Spain begins! On Monday the 18th June it was a 5am start to drive to Edinburgh airport and fly to Malaga. The journey went smoothly, and when I arrived in Malaga to a toasty 24 degrees it was easy to ask about a bus to the city centre, where I could then catch a bus to Sevilla. My Spanish was even understood – win!! After lugging my battered pink suitcase off the very crowded bus, I was able to buy a ticket to Sevilla almost immediately. I didn’t realise I’d managed to board the luxury bus, with “goodie bags” (water, peanuts and headphones), black leather seats and an HD TV. The journey passed quickly and I soon arrived in the bus station at Sevilla, where I met Kirstie. We had a hurried walk to the metro (she had a class to teach) made difficult by my suitcase which was refusing to co-operate. We finally reached the metro and after a short journey went our separate ways. Kirstie had helpfully drawn a “map” back to the house. I was naively confident the map would be easy to follow. It was not. Not long after setting off, the pulley of my suitcase broke off and scraped all down my leg. Now dragging it was nearly impossible, and the temperature was over 35 degrees (also, my leg hurt). I was on the point of sitting down, crying and waiting for Kirstie to return, when I miraculously stumbled across the right street. I was so exhausted I had to sit on the steps for five minutes before I could face climbing them.
When I made it inside the house was beautiful and I collapsed on the sofa and waited for Kirstie to return, changing into my bikini as it was too hot to wear anything else. When she got back we went outside to laze by the swimming pool (next door! next door!) and then headed to the poolside bar to watch Spain play Croatia in the Euros. They won, and the bar went mental. Crazy Spaniards love their football. We were joined by Rachel, who lives with Kirstie, and ordered some yummy tapas (including my fave, bread with spanish ham, brie and jam) and Tinto de Verano – red wine mixed with lemon fanta.
The next morning was a lazy start and when Kirstie returned from school we headed into Sevilla to check out some of the sights. Our first stop was Kirstie´s favourite tourist restaurant for patatas bravas- potatoes with a spicy ketchup and garlic mayo sauce. So good!! We visited the cathedral, which was beautiful and very interesting – Christopher Columbus is buried there. It was then time to climb the Giralda, the cathedral tower. The whole walking uphill thing was more tiring, but the views from the top were worth it. We then headed for something a big more modern – a giant viewpoint (I forget the name) that you can walk over giving a very different experience of the city.
Last of all, we stopped to grab some yummy frozen yoghurt, which is a big thing over here in Sevilla (and hopefully the rest of Spain, as it is delicious!). That evening Kirstie took me to her school, to see the childrens’ leaving party. The younger ones put on a play in adorable costumes, and everyone stood around the bar drinking beer and tinto, and steadily getting tipsy while the littlest kids charged around past midnight. It was strikingly different to Scotland, and really captured the Spanish way of life.
On Wednesday, Mary (one of Kirstie and Rachel’s friends from home) was also arriving. This was a very relaxed day, which we spend mostly lazing around the house waiting for it to cool down enough to go and sunbathe by the pool. Kirstie made a perfect Spanish tortilla for lunch – I was very impressed by this and took hundreds of photos to prove it – and then we headed outside for a bit of a swim and work on our “tans”… I WILL return to Scotland brown!!
When the sun was started to dip, we made our way back inside. Mary napped away her long journey, the rest of us made a supermarket trip to stock up on food and the possibility of searching for a new suitcase. I managed to buy a massive orange monstrosity for only 60 euros – it’s far bigger than ideal, but was the sturdiest of the bunch, and should make packing easier. When we returned home, no-one could be bothered to cook despite all the newly purchased food, so we headed to a nearby Tapas restaurant, “Jamon Jamon. It was delicious, and we sat outside admiring the colour-changing fountain and consuming a huge variety of different meats, prawns, and the famous ham, all washed down with tinto de verano (of course). As Kirstie is a regular, the owner then “invited us” to a free shot. Well, you can’t exactly say no!
Thursday was my last full day in Sevilla, and a day of sightseeing! Bieeeeeeeen! It was another late start (quickly becoming the norm here…) and I did some sunbathing off the terrace before we all headed out into the city. We started by talking a stroll to Plaza Espana which was absolutely beautiful. Could have stood there all day watching people float by on the little boats and getting splashed with cool water from the fountain. When we did move on, it was through some of the most beautiful little streets, which all seemed so typically Andalucian with their white washed houses.
It was then a visit to the Alcazar, the palace gardens, which are one of the highlights in Sevilla, and it was easy to see why. The gardens seem to go on for miles, and are absolutely beautiful, remnants of the moorish influence on Sevilla – the tiling and architecture of the buildings reminded me a lot of Morocco. We took hundreds of photos throughout the gardens, but I don’t know if any will come close to capturing it properly.
It would have been possible to spend hours lingering there, but eventually we had to move on. It was then a rapid change in tempo from a relaxing stroll round the gardens to a crazy stampede round the shops, as we helped Kirstie get everything she needed to make cards for her school, while I ran in and out of shoe shops. Knackered, we decided it was time for a sugar hit, and dived into the best cake shop in Sevilla – it was definitely one of the beautiful cake shops I have even seen. I treated myself to a miniature cream pie and OMG. So, so good! By the time we got back the idea of making paella was out of the question, so we settled for deep fat frying some yummy hammy cheesy things. Possibly not quite so nutritious… but equally delicious!
Today is my last sort-of-half day in Sevilla. Sad to leave, but have had a wonderful time here, and already love this city! I can see why Kirstie and Rachel don’t want to leave. Sevilla is brimming with Andalucian magic, the people are so friendly and seem much less reserved than back in Britain. It’s a place I would definitely like to return to if I find myself in this region again – I’m sure there’s a huge amount I still haven’t seen of Sevilla. But for now, it’s off to Granada for five days to meet Elvira, explore the Ahambra and see the rest of the city. Adios Sevilla!