Holding Hands

Sevilla Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 47 › view all entries
So, would my luggage arrive in Sevilla? It was an odds on bet so I stood next to the carousel with one eye on the flap and the other eye on the exit door, trying to catch a glimpse of my wonderful patient friend, Eduardo,
Time passes slowly when you are in a hurry - or so it seemed. Finally the carousel stopped - no more bags.

I hesitantly approached the elderly man I had seen waiting in the VIP lounge in Barcelona (for 6 hours like me). I guessed he was also a stranded Singapore Airlines passenger. He spoke no English but my Spanish got us by. He said that because we were international passengers, our bags may be on another carousel. He was correct! Bags collected, x-rayed and out to arrivals into the friendly arms of Eduardo.

I was not the only one to have a crazy day. His car had broken down so he took the bus to the airport to pick me up! What a lovely man. A quick taxi ride to the hotel and I was set for the next few days.

The first night in Sevilla was magic, just as I remembered it from last year. Warm with a slight breeze, and the cobbled streets still reflecting the heat from the day. By 8.00pm the groups of friends and families were all out and about, just walking or gathering at small bars for tapas and drinks.
Eduardo had arranged to meet a friend of his from Scotland so I joined them in a small lively plaza, lined with bars. Not long after, two lovely girls from UK (Sarah and ?) also joined us and it was an animated conversation about travelling and teaching English.

By 11.00pm I was fading fast and while the others went on to another venue to meet up with yet more friends (remember - it is a Tuesday night!), I went home to sleep, And sleep I did, waking at 8.00am.
I had a 10.00am rendezvous with a lovely young friend I walked with on the Camino last year, Javi. He and his father and uncle made up ‘The Knights of Santiago’.

We had a wonderful breakfast nearby (tostada y cafe con leche) and then wandered the streets automatically falling into a dual language conversation. Javi teaches me words in Spanish and corrects my mistakes and I do the same with his English. It is a perfectly mutual arrangement. The only hiccup is that his English is much better than my Spanish.

We have made a plan to meet regularly when I return to Seville and continue our sessions. By wandering the streets, the conversation naturally turns from one topic to the next depending on what we see or hear. It is a wonderful way to learn.

My first full day in Sevilla was cut short at about 2.00pm when I returned to my room and literally collapsed on the bed. I woke up 4 hours later. Unfortunately the Tamiflu tablets did not do the trick and I still have a very heavy chest cold. The sun and relaxed lifestyle is bound to be my saviour!

I had a message from Sarah to meet later on. How lovely! I headed out and soaked up the evening culture again. I had not yet been to the Cathedral and so wanted to get back to the place I started and ended my Camino last year. It was now 8.00pm and a lovely time to navigate the zig-zag streets (very challenging for my sense of direction).

Everywhere I turned I saw smiling faces, gorgeous well-behaved children, couples holding hands; it is the very personification of why my heart pulled me back to Spain.

I have read that the economy here is the worst in all of Europe, unemployment is 20% and jobs are like hen’s teeth. These folk are resistant to letting external problems encroach on their community and family life. Is there something they know that we don’t?
I am determined to observe and absorb all that is the fabric of this culture. It is what makes me realise I am happy.

Wanders! That is my favourite term for just walking where the senses take me: following my hunger to a tapas bar; eyes to a shoe shop; ears to a divine church; joining in with hippies juggling; listening to the screech of boys on skateboards in public places (behaving!) or following ‘old world’ horse carts . . . .it never ends.

While waiting for Sarah, I sat and people watched. What struck me most about the Spanish is their general displays of affection in contrast to how we approach friends. Everyone is hugged on meeting. While walking, most couples regardless of age will be holding hands or have arms around shoulders. I cried not for the first time since being here and certainly not out of sadness. I am heading back to my core again. Just watching the colour and movement, I feel a part of it.

I am being embraced by Spain and Sevilla is holding my hand.

Sarah and I enjoyed a lovely evening in a local back street bar. She is a kindred traveller, shunning the tourist spots like me - happy to assimilate the life and love of a new culture.

Along the entire counter were plates and plates of tapas, all safely speared to a chunky slice of french stick with a tooth pick. The deal is this - you select whatever tapas you like and eat as many as you like. When you pay, the tooth picks are added up and your bill prepared! Could you imagine that concept (honesty) working in Melbourne? What else does that say about the humanity here?
Two tapas and a small red wine were sufficient and I headed back for more sleep while Sarah went out again. I could have joined them but my level of concern about my health won out in the end.

So I am now sitting in a cute cafe down the street from the hotel. It is 8.00am and not much movement on the streets yet. The cafe con leche is strong and hot (without having to specify) and the toast is yummy. A gorgeous elderly man just entered, dressed in a pale suit, immaculately groomed and topped of with a straw fedora - now that’s what I am talking about - chic!

Today is my last full day in Sevilla as I have booked a 9.30 am bus to Granada in the morning. I know I will be back here even before I have completed my studies in Granada.

Sevilla is reaching her hand out to me!
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Sevilla Hotels & Accommodations review
Simple - Wifi - central
Central, easy to walk everywhere. I had asked for a room with balcony and double bed and received 2 single beds and a window that opens. The room i… read entire review
photo by: JP-NED