Monday, July 25, 2011

Sevilla, Spain

After nearly missing the bus to Sevilla Jordan and I prepared for the long overnight bus.  We arrived in Sevilla around 5 am before the sun was even up.  So we wandered the streets trying to find the hostel in the dark and found some pretty cool things… like a shop that sells clocks shaped like animals and all the animals eyes move with the pendulua…ok well that was actually pretty creepy. 

Anyways we went to the wrong hostely by accident… but they had the same name for some reason.  So we eventually got to the hostel and couldn’t check in until noon or something like that so we waited in the general common room and slept a little more on the couches, used the computers and mooched some of their breakfast.  After finally checking in, we acquired a map and went exploring.  We just hit up things on the map that looked interesting such as; the main cathedral in the city, some really pretty gardens, a park (were we sat and swung a little ) and la plaza de Espana.  My favorite place that we stopped at was la Plaza de Espana (see picures).  It was a beautiful plaza that had a moat running on the inside of it and across the moat in the semicircular plaza there was a dedicated mural and map to each region of Spain.  It was quite spectacular.

From there we continued exploring a bit and had churros con chocolate from a stand and it was amazing.  We learned about this in Madrid but basically you dip a churro (or fried dough) in liquid chocolate and simply eat it.  Amazing. 

On our further explorations we ran into what looked like a parade of the KKK.  Now I must reassure you, it was not a KKK rally or anything of the sort.  What we ran into was a procession of the Semana Santa (or Saints week) basically the three days leading up to Easter (as we found out later).  It was really cool at first seeing the procession and the floats with the virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and various ones of Jesus, but eventually it made crossing the street nearly impossible and we would try to avoid the streets where it was but it was excruciatingly hard to do so. We eventually made it back to the hostel to nap and check the internet and such, but not before taking a massive detour. 

Later that night I was talking to some of our hostel-mates and we all decided to go out together to see a flamenco show in the city.  As soon as we left our hostel we had to cross the procession route…  it was a proper mess.  I ended up getting separated and taking a wrong turn.  Then map-less mike found a hotel and got a map so I could find my way to where we thought the show was.  I made it to the place walked around for about an hour looking for them and the show, before deciding to just chill under the awesome looking parasol.  Then I tried to make my way back to the hostel thinking that if the procession is on the east side of the city center, that I should try the west side to get back… WRONG  the church is on the west side and naturally the thickest part of the procession is near the church…  it took me about 2 hours to get back when it was only like a 20 min walk…  I did see the resurrection of Christ float which was pretty cool.

After getting back I found the people I was going to meet chilling on the roof lounge and it turns out they didn’t find the place either and we just sat up there and told stories of the night and how ridiculous the crowds were.  We then went to bed after it started raining.

The next morning i was eating breakfast and turned around and saw a guy that looks just like my floor mate from freshman year at PSU.  We stared at each other for a while and then randomly enough it was!

Yes i saw Tom Schweers randomly in my hostel in Sevilla...But it rained pretty much all the rest of the day and was completely miserable.  BUT they didn’t have the procession in the rain so streets were clear and bars were packed.  Jordan and I hung out with two Norwegians that we met the day before and we went back to the Plaza de espana cause we liked it so much and they hadn’t seen it yet.  Then they had to catch a bus back to Portugal (where they were studying) and Jordan and I went back and packed up our things to leave the hostel. 

When we booked the hostel basically every one was filled because of the Semana Santa and we were racking our brains for alternative places to sleep since we had a flight the next day.  Well turns out Jordan has a good friend who studied in Sevilla last year and her friend has friends in the city so we ended up staying at Jordan’s Friend’s friend, Oscar’s place which was just outside the city center, an easy 45 min walk from the hostel.  His place was pretty nice and him and his friends were really great hosts.  Oscar works as a translator so that was perfect for us who spoke very little Spanish.  The next day he drove Jordan and I to the airport so we could catch our flight to Rome.

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