Early trains are usually cheaper than those at a reasonable time, and every time I book one I kick myself for such an early start. But, it’s always worth it in the end, and as I walked to Valencia station passing people on their way home from their night out, I tried to remind myself of that fact. I was running a little late as I’d struggled to get everything in my bag with my recent shopping spree, and although my calves were burning I was adamant I wouldn’t miss my train! Making it with minutes to spare, which is concerning considering that in Spain you can’t always just walk straight on to the train, instead having to go through a security checkpoint to have your bag scanned and ticket checked.
A relaxing train journey later and I rolled into Seville station. So happy to be back in this city I love, as I walked to the hostel in the centre I began to wonder why I had only booked one night. I love Seville, why wasn’t I giving myself more time there? Arriving at the hostel, I even enquired whether it’d be possible to extend my stay at short notice. Realising that I would then lose out on the more expensive accommodation in Granada, I decided to stick with my current plan and just come back to Seville another time – hey, any excuse!
Although I have been to Seville before, I hadn’t really seen much of the city. Leaving my bag at the hostel, I was straight off to explore, wanting to make the most of every minute I had. Making the same mistake as the first time I had visited Seville, I found myself getting lost in the lovely narrow streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, eventually finding my way out to enjoy a wander through the gardens.
Popping out near the university, I continued on to the river and Torro del Oro. After a quick educational visit in the tower and a few photos from the top, I carried on to the bullring for a tour. Unsure of what to expect as I don’t support bullfighting, it was actually very interesting to see. Guided tours take you through the back rooms, the preparation and animal holding areas and then into the main bullring. Once I’d finished the tour, I wandered back to the hostel to finish checking in and freshen up before heading off to Las Setas to meet a friend who lives in Seville.
He had planned to take me to the top of Las Setas, but once we saw the queue and I broke it to him that I had been up before, we decided to just find a bar and sample some cocktails. As I hadn’t eaten and am somewhat of a lightweight anyway, by the time we parted I was feeling a little merry. He was off to a concert, and left me with directions of how to get to my next stop – Plaza de España.
‘Turn left when you see Burger King Becks, ok? Then it’s just straight’
Well, let’s just say I wasn’t paying attention, and had been walking for longer than I thought I needed to when I looked back and saw my turning point way back. I couldn’t be bothered to go back the way I’d just come, so carried on and enjoyed a walk along the riverside to Plaza de España. By the time I arrived, it was dark and the temperature was dropping. I stopped for a few photos when an elderly gentleman approached me and asked for the time.
After a chat during which I found out about his entire life history, I moved on to see the city tiles that cover Plaza de España. As I stopped to put on a jacket, a moment of panic struck as I thought my purse had been stolen. Genuinely considering whether the old man had been distracting me – it was a long and detailed story he told – so that someone else could mug me, I was devastated. As it turns out, I just couldn’t see my black purse in my black bag because it was dark, but lesson definitely learnt – be more aware!
The little scare had somewhat killed my happy exploring vibes, and it was getting late so I made my way back to the city centre, soaking up the atmosphere with the street performers and people still wandering the streets at this late hour. Tonight was my first ever night staying in a hostel, and my rookie self hadn’t prepared properly. I hadn’t got any of the stuff I needed for the night out of my bag, so spent about 20 minutes trying to quietly retrieve everything I needed from a metal locker while making the least amount of noise possible. I did not want to be ‘that person’ in the hostel!
The next morning, I was up early because I wanted to get back to Plaza de España before I had to leave for Granada. It had been pretty last night but I thought it would be even better in the daylight, and I wasn’t wrong. Walking through Parque de Maria Luisa to get there, the lack of crowds and early Sunday morning sunshine was so peaceful, I fell in love with Seville all over again. Perfect timing, as I was just about to jump on a train to Granada!