Day 3: May 23 - Sevilla
We woke up at 10:45 a.m. and boy that was wonderful.
Having only one other person in the room instead of 7 like we did in Barcelona was great as it was much quieter. Our other room mate did come in at 4 a.m. but it didn't wake me up but it did wake up Doug.
Anyways, after getting up at 10:45 and showering up we set out into the streets of Sevilla for our second day. Yesterday, we visited all of the main tourist attractions and took the photos that all tourists take, but today we had a completely new agenda: get lost in a park and all windy roads.
We tried to rent bikes again from our hostel but they apparently already rented out the bikes that we were supposed to have so we asked where the nearest bike rental area (Sevici) was and headed that way. About 10 minutes later we found it and after a very confusing rental process (done completely by machine) we had unlocked three bikes and were on our way down Avenida Menendez Pelayo towards the beautiful Plaza Espana and Parque Maria Louisa.
Traveling on bikes is incredible. Forget using a subway/metro or bus. You'll pay about two euros for a one-way trip and not get there any faster. Hop on a bike, weave in and out of the people on the street. Let the older people yell at you because they don't like tourists but smile back and say "gracias" but in their native dialect which calls for the "c" to be pronounced like "th". Put on some headphones and play U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" and realize its rhetic has the same meaning to you in a foreign community where the streets might as well be called "A" "B" and "C".
Ride until you come to place so regal that you have to pull over, take off the headsets, put the kickstand down and run through a fountain (like Marek did) completely ignoring all social norms and realize that your clothes will just dry in a few hours and the memory won't.
We found such a place, kind of by accident, kind of by design, but nontheless we found something worth stopping for. This park, Parque de Maria Louisa, was built along the Southern border of the "center city" for the 1929 World Exhibition along with the Plaza Espana. This massive piece of show-off-manship is quite a site to see. We took lots of photos of both the park and the plaza but this one of those "photos just don't do it justice" type of places.
After meandering around and taking down a couple bottles of water, we headed over to a recommended bakery near Plaza Amadeo Jannone. This bakery, Las Palomas, was recommended to us by our friend Lindsay Houts who used to live in Sevilla. It was good to get over to that area, an area we would not have seen had decided to walk at the beginning of the day because it was too far for our legs/feet to endure and still have some energy for the rest of trip. This bakery was great. Small little shop on the corner of a strictly residential area. Lots of housing and cars but you could tell that this area was not used to having tourists visit. It was a great little break. After a chocolate triangle and a Cruz Campo, we set out back across the river into the "city center" to take a couple photos of the famous Torre del Oro...it was at this point the knock-off sunglasses I boutht two years ago in Prague decided to snap right down the middle while I was wearing them. Right down the middle. While I had them on my face. Great time.
After that, we rode around the Universidad de Sevilla and circled the walls of the Alcazar (Fortress) and found a bike rental place to return our bikes and headed back to the hostel for some rest. Even though we had bikes, riding around for about 6 hours and on our third day of 10, we don't want to over do it and not have energy to go out for the night.
We signed up for a tapas tour hosted by our hostel in which we would join three other hostel's participants in a bar-hoping atmosphere of tapas and sangria/cerveza/tinto verano. Considering the large amount of people we had (16), we had tons of tapas to sample at each of the three places we went tonight. We met lots of travelers from all over including a few from the States, Canada and across Europe. This tapas tour ended around 11 p.m. and we grabbed a few beverages to-go and headed to the terrace of our hostel and laid out on the beach-style lounge chairs, shared a couple laughs and then headed to bed. Our 9:30 a.m. wake-up schedule might sound like sleeping in, but on this kind of trip, you can't sleep/rest enough. First day: Barcelona. Day two and three: Sevilla. Tomorrow: Granada.