Valencia to Sevilla
Today was probably the day of the trip I was least looking forward to: a day fully in transit, from Valencia to Madrid via bus, then Madrid to Sevilla via high speed train. But Lindsay, you might ask, why not just go direct from Valencia to Sevilla? Well, there is only one train daily that runs that route and it was sold out. And it was 8.5 hours on a slowwwww train. I figured it’d be a bit less tedious if the trip were broken up. (turns out it was more of a hassle to make transfers; live and learn, eh)
I had prebooked my bus to Madrid thinking the demand might be high after Las Fallas, but I got to the station super early and switched to an earlier bus. The bus ride was fine, aside from melting from the sun.
I had an hour to kill at the Madrid train station, which I mostly spent drinking coffee and wondering why/how the heck there was a mini-rainforest in the middle of the station. The train itself was nice and fast and even showed a movie (‘The Switch’). I spent those 2.5 hrs going back and forth between the tv screen and the baby sitting across from me who would just light up as soon as I flashed her a big goofy smile
Up until now, the day had been long but not too traumatic. Unfortunately that was shot to hell when I finally arrived in Sevilla. I hopped on the right bus, which was completely packed with locals, and made a small scene when paying for my ticket and dropping coins all over the place. I then proceeded to get off at the wrong stop (still not sure if it was too early or too late), and walked to the next busstop, where I determined from the route maps that I was nowhere near the hostel I had booked and that the bus I had been on didn’t even stop at this stop. Ugh. At this point it was after 9pm, I was tired and frazzled, and would much rather throw a few more euros at a cab driver and have him take me there than deal with any form of public transport.
The cabbie didn’t quite know where we were going, so together we found the general area on his map and I was able to walk the rest of the way there. I realized the second I got to the hostel door that I had left my trip notes in the cab (the cabbie had taken them to see the address I had written down). I was SO UPSET!! Seriously, so upset. When I travel I always take copious notes of what I did each day, which I later turn into blog/journal entries. I was also keeping diligent track of every purchase on these papers, not to mention they had all my lists of things to do in every city. And all of this was gone when I lost the papers. Not happy.
Upon checking in at Oasis Backpackers, I was given a room in their second building, a 5 min walk away from the main one, which I wasn’t too thrilled with. I was not happy to walk into an all-but-abandoned house and have to lug my massive bags up 3 flights of stairs in the dark. At the very top of the stairs was a door I had to unlock, which apparently was my room. No one and nothing was there. The room looked to be a converted kitchen still with a stove and cabinets. The bathroom was just outside the door. Oh, and the deal breaker? No lockers! In the whole building! Which of course is not even an option when you’re traveling with $8k worth of camera gear.
So admittedly, I broke down and had a moment of tears, then pulled myself together and trudged back to the main building and asked to stay in the main building. I’d have to switch rooms during my stay, but it was worth it. Oh but of course someone had been sleeping in my bed the night before, meaning I had to move all their crap to another bed and remake my bed. And of course I couldn’t figure out how to work the lockers. Sigh.
Wanting so badly to salvage the night, I headed out in search of the cathedral. It took several wrong turns, but I did find it eventually. And it was so beautiful that I felt completely ridiculous for almost letting all that other crap ruin my night. I mean I’m in Spain… life could be a whooooole lot worse.
(Although when I brought a pizza back to the hostel around midnight, both the bar and deck were closed for the night and I literally had to sit on some steps next-door and eat by street light.)