I left Chefchaouen at 6.45am and spent a couple more hours in Tangiers again before taking the boat to Algeciras which I did for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see Gibraltar (from the boat) which was a waste of time, and secondly I had a return bus ticket to Seville from there.
However, when I finally located the bus station the next bus (using my ticket) wasn’t till 8am the next day so I had to bite the bullet and pay 17 Euro’s for a new ticket with a different bus company. I arrived back in Seville just after 9.30pm and checked into Hostal Picasso again which I had stayed at on January 1st after my original hostel had had some problems and had to transfer me.
My room-mate was a professional New Zealand Rugby League player (now plying his trade in France after time in England) and despite him being in bed and me having just brushed my teeth he suggested going for a beer. It wasn’t really in my mind to go out but sometimes you have just gotta go for it and it’s not as if you can get a feel for a place by sleeping there is it? We went to a few tapas bars followed by the local Irish bar which he wanted to go to. After a busy day of travel I eventually called it a night at 2-3am.
I didn’t get going till midday the following day but I was still able to walk around the whole city with relative ease and what a beautiful city it was. Oranges growing on trees everywhere, cobbled narrow streets, palm trees, flowers, fountains, plazas, tapas bars and a huge cathedral with giralda. My main port of call will be talked about in detail in the next blog entry and one other small point of note on my walking tour were a couple of places (Alfonso XIII Hotel and Plaza de America) which doubled up as Middle-Eastern settings in the epic ‘Lawrence Of Arabia‘.
Late afternoon I went to Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza (bullring) on a tour of the stadium and museum. While I did learn a fair few new things about the sport it didn’t heighten my interest so much. I guess its best to just leave these kind of things as the novelty sports which they are to most of us – something which is fun to see for a few moments.
In the evening I set out to get something to eat which was no easy thing as the city was absolutely packed as the following day (Jan 6) was a national holiday and there was some kind of parade which I didn’t hang around for. Instead I had dinner (black paella with seafood in it) and then went out with my room-mate to a house party, on to a bar and home by 4am!
The main event for me on the 6th was having a local lady collapse right in front of where my colleague Mark and I were having a spot of lunch. Such a horrific event was handled well by the staff and I am a bit embarrassed to say that it didn’t put me off finishing my meal. We basically walked around most of the same sites yet again to wile away the many hours before our evening flight back to England which we discovered that afternoon was in crisis due to the heavy snow that had fallen that day.