A Little bit Lost, Some Butt Cheeks & a Cathedral

Seville* is one of those enchanting places that beguiles you to believe that if it weren’t for the Spanish tongue uttered in conversation, you could be in some other enticing country. For the onset of what had become my longest solo travelling mission, I warmed to this city with open arms.

After my first night in Toc, in a bunk bed stencilled with ‘Come Inside & Have Some Fun!’ I braved the breakfast bar downstairs. The true beauty of hostel-style accommodation is that it forces you out of your comfort zone, from behind the safety of your smartphone and you really just have to pipe up and say “Hi!” Or in my case, join a vacant seat at a table with a squished croissant and start talking. This is essentially where day plans can blossom from ‘Oh, no’, to ‘Let’s go!’

‘Nagoya’ was a sweet Japanese girl with limited English. Apart from both being female and traveling on our own in Spain, our only other commonality was needing to purchase tickets from the bus station. She was off to Portugal that evening and I wanted to book a seat from Granada to Valencia.

On the map it was just going to be a ten minute walk. What the map hadn’t accounted for was me, ‘NJ Who Was Just About To Find Out That She Was Occasionally Incompetent With Maps’. Depending on who you talk to, ‘occasionally’ could possibly probably be stretched to a more looser meaning of the term. I’m usually/sometimes/ok with my sense of direction.

An hour and a half later, we’d happened upon the bus terminal. That time in between was merely going where the crow flies (home, after it had been at the pub for a bit), and me trying my best to assure Nagoya that we’d be fine. But those are the best adventures, right? The ones that you don’t really know where the eff you’re going. We saw and photographed some cool shops and churches and had a lovely stroll through a tree-lined path along the breezy river.

Rewards are delicious lunchtime treats. Following Nagoya with her printed guide’s ‘la recomendación’ of a tapas restaurant, we zigzagged our way through deserted streets to the soundtrack of the clink clank scraping of cutlery. Tucked up against a ledge along the wall in Enslava, we were lucky enough to be ushered to two bar stool seats. Sampling our menu selections it was imminent that even though there was a lot of lost in translation between us, the unspoken sentiment of appreciation for good food had cut through the blank looks, as we both smiled, sinking our teeth into some divinely made choices.

I don’t know if it was the mid-summer’s heat that warped my vision or that I was just seeing ‘interesting’ things from tourist eyes. The first was my little chuckle at the driver of the horse-drawn carriage, seen texting. Do I need to explicate the humour in the contrast of old technology with new, or the fact that this would somewhat be considered a naughty no-no of texting while ‘driving’. The next was double taking at a teen who was posing in front of the Seville Cathedral, wearing the latest Euro fashion trend of a crop top and denim shorts that show more butt cheek than coverage. Or avoiding the clumps of women adorning the Cathedral’s steps, thrusting some rosemary sprigs of prosperity upon tourists with the ruse that if one is in your possession you must give them money, or you will essentially be cursed or cursed at. I avoided eye contact, which avoided that situation completely.

That stunning Seville Cathedral was one of those touristy things that I was glad I paid to have a nosey around. Oreo Cookie’s friend, Miss Fab, joined the queue with me. Standing inside, I really was speechless at this structure that renders your mouth to gape and your mind to quiet in the sheer beauty and magnitude of this ancient construction. It’s hard to imagine that the ornate details have lasted hundreds of years. Even more impressive and unbeknownst to me was that Christopher Columbus’s tomb is housed there. I really can believe the initial report of “Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad.”

A part of me wished that I could be alone in there, to soak it all in. Another part of me felt like I was alone in there, amid the hushed hubbub. Miss Fab snapped away, as I meandered.

Up atop the wind of The Giralda, there was a glorious spread; a feast of cityscape eye candy. As per usual in these serene and momentous occasions, there is always an opportunity to tweak the tonsils with a titter; mine was watching people jump at the sound of the enormous bell tolling.

Back to the street and back to the short shorts phenomena, my time in Seville was curtailing quickly. Miss Fab and I dined and said our ‘See you soon’s!’ because her and Oreo were literally following the same route that I was.

I picked up The Beast and we cruised on a short subway ride, in anticipation of our next adventure. It started when I got off at my stop, to meet my driver from Blablacar.com. Apparently this is the go to way to travel around Spain, with the locals purported to use this more than public transport because it is a heck of a lot cheaper. Essentially it is a driver going from A to B and posting this up on the website. If you’d like to go from that A to that B, you get in contact, pay the specified amount of gas money and pretty much are good to go.

My Blablacar mates were first timers, too, and had the best two degrees of separation story. Both Aussie, they’d met in Seville. After talking, they were both from the same city, worked for the same company and knew the same people. The hostel in Granada they were both staying at with their own friends, mutually knew each other. Moreover, I kept bumping into each of them in my consequent cities toured across Spain. It wouldn’t surprise me if somewhere along the line, that they’d be related somehow.

Seville had opened my eyes to more Español culture than I had expected and had opened my heart to solo traveling and backpacking. Next stop, Granada; the city with the ancient metropolis of The Alhambra, the ‘Oh si, gracias!’ free tapas with drinks, and the intriguing gypsy caves along the hillside. I promise there are more awkward stories to come. Until then, X

 

*One of the most important things for me, while traveling, is making sure that I say the place names properly. Seville is said ‘Seh-vee-yah’.

About stuffnjsays

I'm NJ, and my life motto is to maintain happiness and be true to myself. I love to write, travel, laugh out loud, and be awesome! I believe in making my dreams come true, and using my life experiences to help other people. Check out what I'm up to, here: stuffnjsays.com
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