Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Seville Day 1 - From Touchdown to Downtown

Seville's San Pablo Airport has a IATA code as SVQ - don't ask me why because there is no V and no Q in the name and I have never understood how they come up with these codes; they probably use a dart board with alphabets. Anyway, its a charming little airport and is about 10 km to the north east of the city. 

The immigration queue at the Seville airport was extremely short. When we reached, there were two windows open - one for EU residents and one for the non-EU ones and Ripley's Believe It Or Not, husband and I were the only ones in the non-EU line! The immigration officer scanned our passports with a fair amount of doubt and some amount of disbelief about the fact that the Schengen Visa on our passport was indeed not a fake one. Being an ardent SRK fan, I wanted to say the much rehearsed dialogue of "..and I am not a terrorist" from My Name is Khan but the husband nudged me and asked me to shut up.

We didn't waste much time wandering around the airport after that as we were too excited to get out and wander out into the Andalusian sunshine. I suggest you do the same. 

Taxis are probably the quickest way to get the city centre from the airport and the trip should take around 15 to 20 minutes and cost between 20-25 euros. We however chose to hop on to the bus and that is when the fun and struggle with Spanish language begins. The driver blurted out something in Spanish, he was probably asking us for tickets but soon noticed the blank expression on our face with eyes wide open not knowing what to say. He then very kindly held up both his hands to show eight. 

The husband who has a proven higher IQ immediately understood (or so he thought) and promptly pulled out two 10 euro notes and handed them over to the driver. The driver obviously realised our ignorance and that we had not done any homework before landing in this city and gave us back 12 euros and explained to us that two tickets together cost 8 euros. Now for anyone who has lived in London and has paid a minimum of 16 pounds entry fee for  something as ridiculous as a 2 mins round trip in the London eye, this felt like an impossible deal. 

Bus line ‘EA’ (Especial Aeropuerto) links the airport terminal with the city. The journey takes about 35 minutes and Plaza de Armas, in the city centre is the last stop. During this journey I calculated how monetarily beneficial it would be to live in this city and started thinking about possible job opportunities. Four days later, while travelling back to London, I would have realised that the only career option I would have in Seville was to open a Indian tapas restaurant but having evaluated my culinary skills, I would dismiss this career option and make my peace with the expensive London city.

Having got down at the last stop (Plaza de Armas - which is the bus station), we were sort of lost not knowing where to go. The map that we had wasn't really helping much and there were no clear signs on where to head to. Now the husband, like most men, doesn't believe in asking directions. So after having wasted a fair amount of time and going back and forth and around the bus stations, we were still at the exact same place where the bus had dropped us. Few hours later, that night, the husband will look at his Fitbit and be proud of having walked around 20 kms in a day of which atleast 5 will be due to our adamant nature about not asking for directions.

I walked inside the bus station to see if I could find some Tourist Information Centre but instead I found free WiFi. I immediately put our hotel address in Google Maps ans suddenly I was in charge of the situation. Our hotel was around 15 mins walk from the bus station and right in the middle of the old town and with the aid of Google, we finally found our our way to the old town.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Seville Day 1 - Idling in the plane...

By the time the flight took off, I was wide awake.  The husband decided that it was important to catch up on the sleep so he dozed off as soon as the flight was in the air. That means I was stranded sitting between the sleeping husband and a teenage girl who was so engrossed in playing Candy Crush over her Ipad that I dared not interrupt her to start any sort of conversation. I scanned three rows ahead and behind me but I could not find anyone who was awake and without a electronic device glued to their hand.

So I thought that the best way to pass time would be to read the in-flight magazine, except I forgot that I was flying Ryan Air. Ryan Air is a low cost airline, I mean I am cheap too but Ryan Air beats me hands down. They charge you ridiculous amount of money if you forget to print your boarding pass, they sell scratch cards on flight and at one point they were even considering charging people for using toilets, so you know what I mean, they are cheap. Safety cards are printed on a tacky yellow plastic on the back of the headrest in front of you which is simply just offensive to your eyes. Not only that, they have taken away the seat pockets ! So there’s nowhere to put your belongings during the flight. It’s a pointless form of discomfort, probably just devised so they can psychologically screw with their passenger and did I mention that they are cheap?

OK, so the point I am trying to make is that no seat pockets equals to no magazines to pass time and I had to find some other way to beat the boredom.

Just then I realised that no seat pockets also means no sick bags. Now I don't get motion sickness but imagine how it would be just in case there was a turbulence and if I was to get really sick and about to vomit. I started imagining how the events would roll up - I would call for help but probably no one will come because its Ryan Air or the attendant might come with a sick bag but by that time the vomit would be already flying through air.  I imagined how the vomit would come out in slow motion, I tried to imagine it in the way they show in movies where they pause the hero kicking in the air and go around 360 degrees. So I went around the vomit and in between zooming on the expressions of fellow passengers. In all this slow motion imaginations, the husband was still seen sleeping.

I think this weird imagination went on for sometime but I am not going to detail it here lest I make you all sick if I have already not. Eventually I fell asleep because I don't exactly remember on what happened next but I was woken up by a sudden thud when the aircraft landed in Sevilla.

Upon landing, there was this really annoying music that Ryan Air played to celebrate the fact that the flight had landed on time. It was cheesy and probably the last thing I wanted to hear after a really uncomfortable flight but I think was too excited to have set foot in the city where the sun shone brightly in the sky ...


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