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.



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