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Published: November 12th 2010
Hola from Sevilla!
Well, we start our African adventure not on the African continent itself, but with a few cushy days in Southern Spain first! You know, to ease ourselves into travelling mode ;-)
On flying into the quirky landing strip that is Gibraltar airport, we were out pretty quick and walking over the border into Spain to collect our car. (Which by the way Crown Auriga has ridiculously good rates if youre down this way...). We find out that our booked Ford KA has been upgraded to the not-much-bigger Kia Piccanto. Wed decided against bringing our Sat-nav which has Western Europe on it as well, as then wed have to take it around Africa afterwards, so with printed google map directions in hand off we set. It was a smooth drive inland to our first stop, Seville. The roads are good and feel really new/well maintained. It was a balmy 24 degrees (oh for winter weather like this!) and there was something awesome about seeing palm trees again.... its been far too long! Anyway, drive was good, took us just over 2 hours and we only made one wrong turn on the motorway. Once we were in town
it was a bit of another story as we drastically tried to find road names before we passed them etc.... but eventually winding our way down some cobbled streets and finding very helpful signs pointing to our hotel, we made it!
Going for cheap and cheerful this trip, wed booked the Hotel Europa, but were really pleasantly surprised, it was clean, tidy, super friendly staff and charm to boot, maybe we just got a really good deal because it is the quiet season? It was right smack bang on the doorstep of the old town and a very quick walk to the Cathedral and main points of interest. Clap on the back us! Would definitely recommend it.
We went for a walk around town in the arvo and were instantly under the same impression what a cool city! Impeccably clean and charming, it quickly impressed us! After a quick dinner, we had another stroll around as the lights started to come on this place is magical indeed!
The following morning we had a bit of a sleep in (We can feel those early starts in Africa looming....) and then went for another walk all around the city
for a couple of hours, including down the main street of Avenida de la Constitucion, around the impressive Cathedral, along tiny cobbled lanes and twisting paths, along the very cute orange tree lined avenues (something very cool about having orange trees planted all over your city!), through the lovely park called Jardines de Alcazar, past the tower - Torre del Oro from the first half of the 13th century, along to the pretty bridge Puente de Isabel II where lovers fasten padlocks to the railings and throw the keys into the Guadalquivir river to symbolize their love, and along Calle Betis before heading all the way back again. Lunch was, obviously, cerveza, sangria and tapas......... awesome.
Since were in Spain, it was most definitely time for a siesta after this so off we went back to the hotel, just stopping on the way for a few more Sangria, Beer and Olives. Mmmm.... Later that night, we did like the Spanish do, and headed out for dinner rather late, following a recommendation from hotel staff. We found the Tapas restaurant La Bottega di Figaro in Pastor y Landero and inside the staff member from the hotel who had originally recommended
it he was stoked to see us! The place lived up to his recommendation though, the tapas were awesome and we gorged ourselves silly at this cute little place under the streetlights in this fairly small back-street Sevillian lane. A few Sangrias later, and we went for a walk around town to take in the sights again with all their lights a glow. Back down to Puente de Isabell II (bridge) and then back down Avenida de la Constitucion, stopping for ice cream just to fill any gaps. ;-)
The following morning, considering ourselves pretty confident at navigating the streets of Seville by now, we managed to find our way out of the city really easily and on to the motorway heading for our next stop, Cordoba.
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