Published: November 27th 2006November 25th 2006
Driving in the Rain in a BMW…still fun!
Before I go on, I got my first chance to drive a Bimmer today and it was a ton of fun, even if it was a small Bimmer not sold in the US (Model 116) and a rental car. I have always stayed away from BMW’s because I feared that once I drove one I wouldn’t be satisfied with any other car. I can say that it was fun to drive but nothing absolutely amazing…I still had a blast either way. More about all this in a minute… Leaving Sevilla
For our last night in Sevilla we went out for a fairly early dinner (about 8pm) figuring that we needed to go to bed early for our departure and because I was sick. I currently have a mid-grade cold. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst thing I’ve ever had but it definitely dampens my spirits and causes me to cough incessantly which is tiring. Therefore, I felt that I needed to get some rest prior to leaving for our next destination.
Dinner was pretty normal fair at a small café in Sevilla. We ate some
tapas and had some water (no alcohol because I was sick). We ended up having a conversation with the people at the table next to us. They were on their honeymoon, had gotten married in LA, and both live in China. She works for a small company doing education and development work in China (whatever that means) and he’s studying Chinese art. Kel and I both felt pretty uninteresting in that company, but it was still cool to talk to other Americans. Rental Cars and Driving Craziness
For only the second time in almost 3 weeks we took a cab from our hotel. It was raining pretty hard and the almost 2 mile trek to the train station just seemed like a bad idea. The train station in Sevilla is larger than any I had been in yet (remember we’ve mostly taken buses and one commuter train, still haven’t taken a long distance train anywhere). We found the Hertz desk inside the terminal and started the rental car process.
A couple of things about car rental: a) it seems that car rental is pretty much the same everywhere b) the “return it empty” charge is
always outrageous (almost 100 euros here) and c) I’m always a sucker for a low cost upgrade. In this case the low cost upgrade was from a small 4 door Opel to a small four door BMW. Pardon the expression but…Hell Yeah! For 8 euros a day (exactly 56 euros) I am now the proud rental car driver of a Red BMW 116.
The unfortunate bad news of the situation…what we thought was a pretty low cost rental was a bit more expensive when you add in the CDW insurance and the taxes. It actually about doubled the cost of the car rental. At this point they had me hooked though, too bad it’s expensive I MUST have my red BMW. Kel was a champ; she was cool with us renting the car anyway. Enough of my bragging…
The first challenge faced by the intrepid travelers who want to rent a car in any new place is…how do we get out of town. I was of course worried about driving a stick since it had been at least a month or more since I sold my Acura RSX and, as my friend Chris Haines will attest, the last
time I drove a stick that wasn’t my car it took me some time to not make an idiot out of myself. Thankfully both of these challenges were no problem for this group of intrepid travelers. BMW does do a wonderful job on its transmissions, so that was pretty easy and Kel is a great navigator even without a map. Her ability to read every road sign at almost any speed helped out immensely.
Once out of town, the rest was pretty simple. A quick 2 hour jaunt through the countryside ended at the town Arcos de la Frontera. We arrived just before 2pm which happens to be when everything closes for siesta. We made it to the tourist information center just before it closed for the afternoon and got a map. From here we scoped out a hotel close by which had available rooms and didn’t require us to take our bags far from the car. Arcos and Rain = Wet
We spent the next hour walking around Arcos. We found a decent restaurant and got lunch which consisted of eggs and chorizo while Kel had a chicken dish. The table next to us
was occupied by two Spanish couples. They ordered some drinks that came in 3 small corked bottles which intrigued Kel so we asked them, as best we could, what they were drinking. Each bottle had a different liqueur in it, one of apple, one of coffee and one of “herbs” whatever that means. They asked if we wanted to try the herb liqueur, which of course we did. They didn’t seem that interested in it because they thought it was strong. Kel and I both tried a bit and didn’t find it to be that strong, but it was really nice of them to let us try some.
We went back to the hotel and read for a couple of hours prior to dinner. Since it had been raining all day there wasn’t much to se in Arcos; thus, we rested. After our rest we went in search of dinner (it was now 7:30pm) but we weren’t prepared completely for the downpour of rain that had begun while we were resting. By time we walked the ¾ of a mile to restaurant we wanted to eat at, our legs were soaked. Our superb rain coats had kept our bodies/heads
dry but could do nothing for our legs. Thankfully the restaurant didn’t seem to care.
After a nice dinner we then went back to our hotel and are now writing this blog. Hopefully we can get it posted tomorrow so that you can all read it.
Hopefully you all had restful and fulfilling T-Giving weekends. Keep the emails and comments coming, we love them!!
There are more photos below