Nov 11 - 13, 2000

 Our Travel Experience

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Our Travel Experience

We were extremely happy with the weather in Seville. It wasn't hot, summery weather... but it wasn't the cold/windy/rainy weather we'd just experienced in Madrid either. Both of us had to stop just outside the train station and take our outermost layer of clothing off before walking to our hotel. From the hotel, we went straight to eat at a Tex Mex restaurant we saw advertised in a tourist information guide. On the way, we stumbled upon the Cathedral where a wedding was being held. The city was very pretty at night and there were numerous horse drawn wagons in use. Thus, the whole town smelled of horse, but it wasn't bad. 

Seth had a few things he wanted to do in Seville. One was to see a Flamenco show. Another was to see a Moorish building in the city and finally, he hoped to get his hair cut at a Barber in Seville. We were disappointed with what we were able to do in Seville actually because everything was closed from Sunday afternoon through to Tuesday. And it was on the Sunday afternoon when we really first started to talk about how we had only just over a week left in Europe and that we weren't going to be able to see what we wanted to.

We did get to see a Flamenco Show and were both very impressed. We especially enjoyed the various cameo performers who would dance on stage alone. One man moved his feat so fast that your eyes could not follow his movements. Another woman wore a black and white polka dotted dress with a 20 foot train. The train and how she whipped it around as she danced was an integral part of the show. Tara had never seen anyone dance with noise makers in their hands and was intrigued by the music that was made by hand-held wooden noisemakers and even just numerous people clapping. Tara thought all the female dancers looked alike since they all had long, black hair that was tied tightly into a bun. Seth, however, thought the female dancers were very distinct and swore that one of them could have been our friend Eileen. The only disappointment of the show is that we were distracted when photos of ourselves were handed out and then re-collected when we didn't want to purchase them. Overall though, we're very glad we woke up from a nap and went to the 10pm Flamenco Show.

Sunday's plan was to see the one tourist attraction that Seth really wanted to see: the xxxxx. We'd been given a tourist guide from tourist information, so we checked ahead of time on the opening hours. On Sunday, the xxxxx was only open until 2:30pm, so we planned accordingly. Our hotel did not offer breakfast, so Tara went out to a small local shop and in halting Spanish managed to buy some fruit, meat, cheese and bread. Thus, there was no hurry getting out of the room in the morning. We left the room a bit after 1pm and arrived at the xxxxxx slightly after 1:30pm. We were extremely disappointed to find the doors shut tight and a sign on the front saying "closed on Sunday from 1:30pm to Tuesday 9:00am".

The bad experience with the official Seville city tourist information guide containing the wrong hours is just one example of how poor we found the whole country of Spain to be at providing tourists with any help, support or information. Of all the countries we'd traveled to over the past four months Spain was by far the worst. And, seeing that we'd been to: England, France, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, San Marino, Monaco and Andorra.... we had a fair idea of the type of tourist support you receive around the rest of Europe. Spain was the worst all across the board:

Getting back to our experience in Seville. We missed the one tourist attraction that Seth really wanted to see since the opening hours published in the official Seville tourist information were wrong. After we found out that one place was closed, we sat on some steps near the cathedral. We ended up talking to American student who had taken one year off of college after taking her medical school examination tests. She was living in Seville and enjoying it. When the friends she waiting for arrived, we headed off to see the cathedral. We then found out that the Cathedral was also closed for the whole day. We were glad we peeked in the night before when it was open for a wedding! We then started just walking around town some talking about what we wanted to do. The big choice was if we should take Monday (when all of Seville was closed) and try to see maybe Cadiz on the coast or maybe Gibraltar. 
We finally came to sit in front of a big fountain in front of a pretty building surrounded by a rose garden. It was a nice and sunny spot. We were reminded of Florida since we could see many palm trees swaying in the breeze. It was also beautiful when a large group of white pigeons would suddenly fly together in front of the building. We sat there and talked and talked about what we should do. In the end we decided that we can't see everything and that it would be easier all together to just have a final night in Seville and then start towards Sophie's in Geneva the next day. So, we packed up and started walking back towards our hotel on the way to find lunch. 

We didn't find lunch, but we did find the bull stadium and a nice bench from which to watch the sun set across the river. By the time we found an Irish Pub for dinner, the weather had turned cold. We had a yummy tapas dinner and then decided to rush back to our hotel for more clothes instead of freezing on a boat tour. Well, we were so sleepy by the time we reached the hotel that we never made it back out for the boat tour.

The next morning, there was a point when we thought we would be flying from Seville to Geneva. However, the price a tour agent had quoted Tara for the flight was only for youths... even though Tara clearly told her (in Spanish) that she was 31 and Seth was 36. Oh well, the price for adults was so, so much, that we traveled on trains after leaving Seville for nearly 27 hours!
The first leg of our journey was on a fast train from Seville to Madrid. The scenery we flew by was gorgeous, but very dry/desert-ish looking. 


The TexMex restaurant the 1st night. The Irish Pub this 2nd night. The very beautiful tiles we saw everywhere:


Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience 7
Ease of Journey 7
Accommodation 5
Activities 7
Coolness 7

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