Andalucía 2011 — Día Uno

Long has Spain — any part thereof — been on our list of “gotta-go-theres.” We bought a Frommer’s Spain 2009 finally after several years of not making it happen (blame Provence) and still never made any progress in planning until this year finally. Sarah had heard nice things about Sevilla, and thinking about how far inland it is, perhaps the Pescados and Mariscos saturation level would be a little lower (as compared to a directly coastal city like Cádiz or Barcelona, for example).

I don’t remember if an airfare special prompted us to book, or if we selected the weekend (in the dregs of German Winter) and then sought out the airfare, but however we did it, it worked out. It seemed easy while we were planning it, but from start to finish, door-to-door, we ate up a whole day in just getting there. We caught an 8:44 train from Regensburg down to Freising, boarded a flight around 11:00 and changed from one plane to the other in Palma de Mallorca with an effectively negative layover (thanks to a delayed departure from Munich). Seville’s airport seems perfectly manageable and not too chaotic. We found the tourism info booth in the arrivals area and inquired as to the best route into the Casco Antiguo, the part of town containing the Catedrál, the Alcázar Real and our hotel. She was helpful in pointing us toward the bus, showing us on a free inner city map where the bus lets out in relation to our hotel, and even gave us a flyer about reserving tickets to visit the Alhambra in Granada. “Great,” we thought. We wanted to do a side trip to Granada anyways, so it seemed all our bullet points were lining up nicely.

We took the Airport bus into town — about a 30-minute trip for a very reasonable 2,40€ per person. After a little initial kerfuffle about in which direction to head (I am still astonished that not all maps are printed with North towards the top), Sarah’s excellent sense of direction prevailed and we got to the hotel just as the sprinkles started coming down.

We found our hotel, just spitting distance from the Cathedral, checked in, and started wondering what to do next. So we headed downstairs and tried our luck with the hotel staff. The guy on duty recommended the Bar Estrella, practically just around the corner, and that was a great tip.