Well, I don’t know how many people I still have following me through this blog, but to those of you reading this, thanks! I’ve really been neglecting the blog since mid-December, and I am hoping that this weekend I can get all caught up.
To say the least, it’s been a rather busy month, and I am planning on just staying in Motril this weekend to catch up on the blog and relax. I am going to first finish Rachel’s visit. Here we go.
The morning after Christmas my uncle brought Rachel and I to the bus station. We were going to start the next part of our travels and our first destination was Seville. We arrived at the bus station about 25 minutes before the bus was to leave, and when I went to buy the tickets I found out the bus station did not accept credit cards, and neither Rachel nor I had enough cash to cover the 24 Euro total bill for the tickets. With no ATM at the bus station my uncle, who also didn’t have any cash on him, raced me to the nearest ATM (about a 5 minute drive) to take out cash, brought me back to the station, and luckily we had a few minutes to spare before the bus left. It was an adrenaline rush to start the morning.
The bus ride from Algeciras to Seville was about 4 hours long with all of its local stops. It took us north along the Atlantic coast towards Cadiz and then back inland and further north towards Seville. We arrived and took a taxi to our hostel that was located near the river and Plaza de Toros. We wanted to get out and see some of the town so we left the hostel and walked towards the centro (what the historical center of Seville is called). I was super excited to take Rachel around Seville since I had spent over a month there earlier in the year and know the town well. With that said, I knew all the places I wanted to visit and the places where I wanted us to eat. Our first destination was a tapas place near the centro. We ate some croquetas (fried balls of mashed potatoes and ham), carne con tomate (a meat and tomato sauce dish) and another tapa, which I don’t remember. After enjoying our first Sevillian tapas we walked down to the Cathedral and the Giralda. Rachel was pretty impressed. We were even able to step inside the Cathedral for a few minutes and Rachel got her first taste of what was (more on this later in the Barcelona post: two words, Sagrada Familia) the most incredible church building I had ever been.
After walking around we decided we were going to go into another restaurant. It was Sunday and I was itching to watch some football with Rachel. We made our way over to Tex-Mex, a restaurant I had discovered with my friends back in September where they show NFL games on live on Sundays. Sure enough, the bar had the Chicago Bears and New York Jets game on and Rachel and I ended up staying for the entire game eating tex-mex, having beers, and watching football—all in Seville, Spain.
The next morning we were out the door by 11 am. A little late, but no problem, I knew what I wanted to see and had the itinerary all planned out. We first took off towards the area of Seville where I lived when I was there. Our first stop was going to be in this area, Basilica de Macarena. After passing my old flat we arrived and entered the famous church. Rachel was pretty impressed.
After the Macarena we walked back towards Seville’s art museum. However, when we arrived we found out that it wasn’t open on Mondays. I decided that we would save the museum for the next day and we walked towards the centro and to the Real Alcazar. Check out my previous post on the Alcazar for details, but here are some pictures of Rachel and I enjoying the old Moorish and Spanish palace (Note: there is still a part of the Alcazar that is an active residency for the Spanish royal family, they just rarely use it).
After exploring the Alcazar we were hungry and I had the hope of bringing Rachel to a little place I had picked out back in September, unfortunately it was closed, so we walked around for a while before we found a nice restaurant to get a late lunch (by late I mean a 5 o’clock lunch…).After lunch we decided to head towards Plaza de Espana, one of the main attraction in Spain. Check it:
After the plaza we headed towards the main shopping areas of Seville, Teutan, and did some shopping. A few purchases later we headed to our hostel to drop off our bags and headed across the river to Triana for tapas. Seville at night is beautiful, but it is even better while sitting on the river in Triana. We found a restaurant that had a heated tent along the river walkway and indulged ourselves in some enormous tapas. Afterwards we made our way back to the hostel after a successful first day in Seville.
We woke up late again on the second day, but again, no worries because I had our itinerary planned out. First stop, Plaza de Toros. We took the tour and afterwards Rachel made a pose.
After the bullring we made our way towards the centro and got in line for the cathedral. It was time to blow Rachel our of the water, and when we walked into the main part of the church I made sure to take a mental snapshot of Rachel’s face. It was something like this :O
We spent 2 hours walking around the cathedral, taking pictures and talking about what we saw. We then hiked up the 35 plus flights of ramps in the Giralda and enjoyed the view from atop the famous bell tower.
After the cathedral we made our way towards the art museum, but on the way stopped for some bocadillos (sandwiches made from baguettes, basically a cold sub). We arrived at the art museum and took in the centuries of art, mostly centered around Catholicism (images of Mary and baby Jesus, as well as Saints). The art museum was an old monastery and I wanted to show Rachel the old chapel, which had some amazing pieces of art work done by a local artist as well as an incredibly detailed painted ceiling. Rachel and I thought about just lying down in the middle of the floor and staring up at the ceiling, but we decided not to. Unfortunately you can’t take pictures in there, so that means you all have to travel to Seville to see it yourself!
After the art museum we headed back into centro to do some more shopping. Rachel wanted to buy some Christmas gifts. While doing this we came across a marching band that was playing all types of Christmas songs as well as Disney movie theme songs. It was pretty awesome. After doing some more shopping we headed back across the river to Triana to get some tapas. We went to a place we scouted out the night before that said they were going to have a free flamenco show. We arrived around 8 because we wanted to eat early because the next morning we had to get up around 6 for our flight to Barcelona. Unfortunately, the flamenco didn’t start until 10:30 and we didn’t want to be up that late. However, we did get to seem them practicing near the back of the restaurant as we ate.
While walking over for tapas we had passed a street vendor who was selling churros. Churros are basically fried dough in the shape of long tubes. They are delicious when dipped in sugar or chocolate. Rachel was eyeing them and I had promised her that after tapas we could come back and get some. So, keeping my promise, we stopped by and destroyed an entire plate of churros in less than 5 minutes. After the churros we went back to the hostel, packed, and went to bed. We had an early bus to catch to the airport and an adventure in Barcelona to start the next day.
I am working on the Barcelona post now, and hope to finish it today. I just don’t want to do a blog post overload so I will wait a day or two to post it. I am going to do the same with what I’ve been up to since Rachel left and my brother’s arrival too.
So, adios for now.