We are now in lovely Seville, Spain! I have never visited Spain, but so far I am liking it quite a bit. Everyone is so friendly, even if we [quite often] can’t speak to each other. I have been getting by with a lot of pointing and gesturing, but it’s been surprisingly amiable and everyone is very patient. What a relief!
As you know, we left Nice on Sunday afternoon and arrived here Sunday evening. We had a 3-hour layover in Barcelona, which wasn’t bad because that airport is pretty tricked out. Not only was it stylish, but there was lots to see (like an entire Zara just plopped in the middle of it), and there was a place to go outside for a breath of fresh air (or, conversely, a smoke). We had some food and watched some Downton Abbey on the laptop and then it was time for our flight – easy peasey.
Our flight landed a little after 9pm and since it was a Sunday I was a little nervous about getting to the apartment and getting in touch with our landlord to let us in. He was expecting us and he lives in the building, but I am a worrier, especially when we have our crapload of luggage with us (both because I didn’t want to carry it far, and I hate looking like idiot tourists). We called our landlord Ralph from the airport and he was really nice and spoke English, and told us that he was at the apartment whenever we got there. We grabbed a taxi and headed into town (we had some trouble communicating with the driver, but he put the address into the GPS and we were on our way).
Unfortunately, once we got within a few blocks of the apartment, he pulled over and said that we’d have to walk the rest of the way because the one-way streets were making it impossible to get to our apartment by car from where we were. Though we were only a few blocks away, the streets are a bit of a maze around here, it was dark, and we still had that crapload of luggage with us. We worked our way to the apartment by asking three successive people for directions and they were all super nice, including one woman who was out walking her dog and walked us all the way to our street, and a friend of our landlord who pointed out the building. It was a little stressful, but ultimately the situation made me feel really excited to be amongst such obviously friendly and helpful people.
I had a momentary heart attack when I saw our graffiti-covered building and my mind started conjuring thoughts of internet apartment scams. When Ralph came downstairs though, the first thing he said was, “I know, it’s the ugliest building on the block! It’s all re-done inside!” and showed us his plans for the exterior renovation. That cracked me up – way to put me at ease, Ralph.
Our apartment is really cute and has everything we need. It’s small but laid out so well that we don’t feel cramped and we still have a place to lounge. It’s not a villa but it works really well for us. We’ve been here a few days and we’re still walking around saying, “I really like this apartment!”
We also have access to the roof terrace, where the washing machine is located. It’s been sunny but kind of chilly here (though it’s warming up now), but the rooftop is always warm in the daytime so that’s been a nice place to lounge.
The neighborhood that we’re in has a very East Village vibe to it. There are tons of restaurants, bars (e.g. tapas), funky clothing shops and we almost instantly found gluten-free bread and a gym within two blocks of our apartment. We’re up in the Macarena neighborhood (inside the city walls) but so far everything has been within walking distance since the city center isn’t that big. And yes, we have been making that joke. A lot. Please don’t get the song stuck in my head again.
Jared is happy as a clam to be back in Spain, and I’m liking it a lot so far. Food is super cheap here too – we’ve been eating for about 10 Euros a day so far, and wine is about 3 Euros a bottle. Heaven! We’ve seen some pretty cool sights already too, which I’ll start recapping next week. Tomorrow we’re taking the train to Granada for the night to see the Alhambra, so might as well prepare yourselves now for a ton of pictures.