2 April 2016

On our Way!

Our journey to Sevilla in Spain was largely uneventful. We did envisage problems with the rail part of the journey, as we did not believe that an App boarding card for the flight to Madrid on our BBF's iPhone would be acceptable. We were right but there was sufficient time for Alan to find the Customer Service department in the station, where a nice young lady issued him with a ticket, at no extra charge.

When we exited from the rail station in Sevilla there were orange trees in blossom lining the street, and the scent was so nice. It reminded Alan of another time and place under a Jasmine Bush with Hanna, by moonlight.

The walk was only about 30 minutes to our hostel and we began to get a feel for the city and enjoyed being in Spain again.

The evidence of former Roman occupation in the form of an aquaduct, was a timely reminder that it is our intention to walk the old Roman Road, the Via de la Plata to Santiago de Compostella.

Our hostel is a new one right in the middle of the old part of town.

There are six bunks in our room and ours, as you see is number 5. It has its own electric plug for charging iPhones, etc and a lockable locker underneath. 

Once we had sorted ourselves out our BBF left us to secure the place while he went in search of an isotonic drink.

An initial walk round town to find a place to eat was next on the cards.

They didn't have a Pilgrim's menu, but one could start with a mixed salad, which was a meal in itself and well remembered from last year. After the meal Alan went in search of ice cream to round it all off. Thereafter he had little energy left so retired to bed.
 In the night, cramp in his calves forced him out in the dark, to be surprised to find a Muslim couple in the middle of prayer! 

At first light Alan went to shower and washed his clothes in the shower. Later he returned to the room to find them in prayer again, but collected his things and left quietly to begin his day.

Alan took us first to the Pilgrims office, just to locate it and then went and found a place for breakfast. A supermarket was found and a tin of sardines was bought, Pat and Dan will be pleased to know, amongst other victuals for our onward journey. 

We returned to the Pilgrim's office, but it remained firmly closed despight the sign saying it would be open from 10:00 hrs  till 12:00 hrs. Alan rang the telephone number displayed on the door, but the man on the other end only spoke Spanish.

The statue to "Carmen", one of Alan's favourite operas is directly opposite the Bullring, so Alan took us in there for a guided tour.

We found the tour interesting and Alan bought us tickets for the Bullfight tomorrow night.

There were long queues to get tickets to go into the cathedral, but Alan did not have the patience to stand in such a queue so we walked some more.

The city is a vibrant one with many people out and about to see and be seen, we thought.

It was now around 13:00 hrs and we had had enough and insisted on some Tapas for lunch. So. Suitable bar was found.

We have not yet found the sort of Tapas Bar we enjoyed so much in Santiago, where one can choose what to eat from that on display. Here one has to order them from the menu, but they are tasty nevertheless. 

We had a siesta and when we woke we found to our delight a lovely little three year old boy named Gabriel in our room. He was the son of the Muslim couple and a right handsome chap as well as being bright, for he understood some English and was able to answer in English, though it was not his mother's tongue.

We went into the kitchen, dining area to write up the blog and then Alan took us out for a meal and another walk around town.

Being a Saturday night the city was heaving and it was easy to find where the incrowd went. All those places was packed out. There were also many desperate groups of men and women celebrating their stag night. Alan was quite taken with one women's group which was earning beer money by allowing people to give the prospective bride a cream slap in the face!

Paying a Euro for the privilege, Alan first kissed her to apologise for what he was about to do, then did it anyway!

Eventually we found our way back to the same restaurant as yesterday. A meal was had and Alan wrote up his diary before we headed for home and bed.

On Sunday we slept late and so missed the Muslim couple with Gabriel leaving, but were up early enough to get easy free access to the Cathedral before breakfast.

Saint James who's shrine we are walking to.

After breakfast we walked to the Plaza de Espana.

There were many people here and quite a number of pretty Spanish women who were there just to be photographed.

After taking the ubiquitous selfies we returned to the hostel for a beer and to write up the diary. Alan also wants to get his kit ready for the off tomorrow.

We had a siesta and then went out for coffee. It started to drizzle again so we retuned to the hostel when it stopped to get wet weather clothes and our seat mat for the Bullring. Then it was off to see the bullfight.

All the fighting was done on and from horseback. The Matadors were only there to assist. There were six riders in all and they each changed horses at least three if not four times. All the horses were magnificent animals and had a true fighting spirit.

One horse even tried to bite the bull as the rider attempted to touch it's head.

In the end though you had to feel sorry for the bull which did not really stand a chance. The skill of the horse and rider though had to be admired.

The last fight was particularly admired by the crowd which stood to applaud and waved white handkerchiefs in admiration.

We left to find a restaurant as they dragged out the last bull. 
We have enjoyed Sevilla, but are pleased to be on our way tomorrow.

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