Sunday, January 13, 2008

The reign in Spain

I had quite forgotten just how dull Sundays were. I mean real Sundays, the kind that busy people hanker nostalgically after. The Sundays we used to have when I was a child before 24-7 became the byword that we all live our lives by. Well I'm having a taste of that now. Castelleja de Guzman is a small village on the other side of the River Guadalquivir from Seville. It has been quite an overcast day, threatening rain for some time. This is a place where the Sabbath is still kept holy - at least the shops do not open, anyway. My group has been rattling around the Colegio Mayor Santa Maria del Buen Aire wondering what to do with themselves. Well, that is not strictly true, since most of them didn't see their beds until about 5am! Most made it for lunch at 2pm and many have taken themselves off to Seville. Two days in and a combination of hangover, lack of sleep and boredom has caused an outbreak of homesickness. "What's the matter with you?" I said, " I was hoping you seasoned travellers would be well used to this. I was hoping you could teach me a thing or two about survival away from home?" I am, nevertheless, enjoying being able to fulfil the function of team mum, providing a shoulder to cry on and hugs on demand. Well, most are barely older than my eldest.

So, the story so far. We arrived ahead of time on Friday. We had a cold dinner ready for us when we arrived. Then we went straight out into the village to a local bar, which was very nice. I just went along for one and was back by midnight. Some others arrived back about 1.30 and the hardened drinkers came in about 4am and woke the whole place up. Apparently they were reprimanded for it! Good start, but at least Babe, my cuddly pig companion and I were tucked up in bed. Saturday we were up early in the morning as we had to be showered, dressed, breakfasted and out by 9.30. We went to the Fine Arts Museum and were given a talk by some professor of Art History from the university. Sadly we couldn't enthuse too wildly as everyone was knackered. We then had to walk across town to the Real Alcazar. That was a bit like the Alhambra. Actually, I think the Alhambra has it won in terms of its location; the views of the city of Granada are breathtaking but I would say that the interior of the Alcazar is more impressive than the Alhambra.

Then it was off to meet your buddy. Except mi compaƱera couldn't come because she was sick - or had the idea of an old biddy buddy frightened her off? Anyway it was all a very convivial al freso affair but there wasn't quite enough warmth to take the edge off the temperature! Lovely and sunny but really quite chilly. I was glad of my scarf and gloves. Coming home was a faff and a half. We got on this bus, which was a circular bus route. There were two we could have chosen from - same route, circular but opposite directions. Suffice it to say we took the one which must have been furthest from our stop as it took forever to get there. We had been told to get off at a certain stop where we would be able to get our second bus. But no-one had told us we had to catch it from the indoor bus station just behind the stop we'd just got off at. There were three of us , including one recovering from a broken leg and walking with the aid of crutches . She had done brilliantly with all the walking but was feeling it by now. My head was pounding and when we finally got back I slept (as did most others!) After dinner the others went out on the town but I stayed here. Clubbing in Seville city centre is not for me! Two of us stayed behind and we watched an episode of Curb your Enthusiasm and one from the Office. My laptop is going to be a real lifeline and it was worth making room for it in my suitcase (although those thieving bar stewards, Ryanair charged me £11 for the benefit of carrying 2.7 kilos over the measly 15kg limit!).

Seville is a very beautiful city with lots of open spaces. But it is cold in the shade though it does warm up as the day progresses. The thing that has struck me so far? The oranges. Everywhere you go, walking through little squares or even just along the road, there are orange trees and occasionally lemon trees laden with well ripened fruit. I think I will stay in tonight and get my head around the paperwork for tomorrow.

Click here for flickr photos.

1 comment:

Sonrisa said...

Gosh, I'm tired just reading about it all! Speak to you later!