SEVILLE , CORDOBA , madrid
How I savour the Moment
I am quite chilled out and I find this helps – time comes to a standstill when I am people watching …or scenery watching.
My favourite journeys are train journeys. There is something romantic about a train as it chugs away down the tracks, slicing through huge expanses of land as I sit and gaze at the fleeting landscape through large train windows.
seville & COrdoba
Ryanair carried my flesh from a cloudy London to a sunny blue skied city of Seville. The airport is small and upon exiting, I noticed the first of many orange trees I would see while there. There is an airport bus that charged 5 Euros to take me to the Seville city centre. Using google maps, I got off in the centre and walked about admiring the architecture and mediterranean plants.
If you can, jump onto a city sightseeing tour bus and get a feel of the city. You can jump off later and focus on the parts you want to see on foot. I did a lot of walking : )
I found the people to be friendly and helpful and I enjoyed walking through the narrow lanes of central old town Seville. Highlights for me were the cathedral and the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace). The latter took about an hour to queue up to buy tickets but it was lovely after that. Amazed by the architecture.
Acomodation: As I had travelled during off season, I managed to get a very cheap room at Hilton , breakfast and dinner thrown in , cheap as chips! Downside was it was just on the city outskirts and had to take a local bus to get to it – it was no bother and catching a bus only added to my travel adventure. Buses were cheap and you can download a bus app for Seville which was very accurate in showing bus arrival times and routes.
Seville is served by a high speed rail network (operated by RENFE) connecting it to Madrid via Cordoba. Cordoba is a lovely city which was influenced by Moorish / Islamic influences and the architecture is worthy of a visit. I bought return day tickets the day before from Sevilla Santa Justa train station and I think I thus paid a lot (30 Euros approx).
If you book in advance it is much cheaper – I’m told as low as 7 or 8 Euros – so try out RENFE’s website. Anyway, the journey by ultra fast train is only 45 minutes and the scenery was pretty much orange groves everywhere. An alternative bus journey to Cordoba will cost about 12 Euros and ripen your bum (journey time 2hrs30 min).
From Cordoba station, walked to the Cathedral of Cordoba/Mosque which is like in a walled fortress. It was beautiful. If you visit Seville, do visit if you are into art and architecture.
Madrid airport is huge, and I recall having to walk a fair distance from the terminal I landed at within the airport to get to the terminal where the trains into the city depart from. I flew Ryanair so possibly why the long walk (if your plane parks further away, cheaper for the airline, but more exercise for you and me 🙂
I travelled to their central station called ATOCHA and my hotel was nearby. There is also an airport bus for 5 Euros that ends here, I only noticed later so used that for my journey back.
There is a city tour bus that you can get on near here, ask any of the shops where the tour bus stops and should see one in 10/15 minutes. You can pay on board and it shows an overview of the whole city in about an hour. That way you can choose to revisit certain parts on your own later.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Museo Nacional del Prado and spent about 3 hours there. There is bag storage for your backpack.
If you are staying on a Sunday, you must visit the weekly flea market where hundreds of shops occupy several roads. El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro , located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo.