Ohh glorious España! Im not going to lie, Spain was my least favorite part of this entire trip but I already know the reason behind this is because I need more time to explore the smaller, less touristy towns. I think a Spain road trip is certainly in order soon! I had originally planned to catch a bus from Faro to Seville to then hop on another Bus to head to a smaller town along the southern coast of Spain to hang out with my buddies Andie and Tony but they had to scratch their trip two weeks out so I decided to hangout in Seville for a few days instead. I arrived the day before Easter and they say that Spain goes ALL OUT for Semana Santa or their Holy week. The night I arrived there was a procession that was happen at the Sevilla Cathedral – which I was conveniently stayed directly across the street from – but….. everything is gated off so…. needless to say I saw a whole lot of notta. Which was kind of sad. I assume that because it was the end of the Holy week is why but I was honestly expecting more. I think the procession I encountered in Faro was far more personable and intense – and thats coming from someone who is not religious at all.
I snagged a bed at the the TOC Hostel which was, I crap you not, right across the street from the Cathedral and conveniently located in the heart of Seville. You could walk to anything and everything and the Hostel itself was very swanky. I loved it. Hated their Wifi but I loved the hostel itself. I slowed things down a bit in Seville. I took one day to wander to a local park called Plaza de España and it was a perfect day spent. I sat on one of the benches and people watched for almost 2 hours. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day so I figured, what the hell, why not? Kids were running around playing with bubbles, everyone was off work -mostly- as it was Easter Sunday. I then shoved all kinds of Mexican food in my face. I know, how awful to be in Spain and eat Mexican food but when the mex restaurant is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to your hostel, you eat there damnit! And so I did. It was DELICIOUS and I do not regret it at all. Besides, Tapas aren’t really my thing. After going into the Mexican food coma, I called it a day and binge watched Narcos the rest of the day while sipping a very expensive beer at my hostel. Fabulous Sunday well spent!
The following day was just as laid back as Sunday. I had one goal, get lost in empty streets and eat Gelato. I was successful at both, so HA! I walked around city center and anytime I saw a road or an alley that had no people, I took it. Don’t worry, my own safety is my top priority when I travel and Seville is a very safe city in my opinion. Not one did I ever feel unsafe in any of the empty roads or alleys I walked. I scored some delicious chocolate gelato not once but TWICE. All of which was very expensive to me. Gelato in Portugal cost me about 2 euros but my gelato in Seville ran me 4. Thats expensive for a small cup of gelato but it was delicious and heavenly so no, I am not complaining 😉 After scoring some gelato, I stumbled upon the bull stadium of Seville. It was a beautiful building. I LOVED the colors of this city but the yellows and white this stadium use are beautiful together! I didn’t purchase tickets to tour the stadium or see a fight but I did wander the grounds as far as I could legally haha!
Right across from the stadium is the canal, even though it seems more like a river to me. I walked along the canal and took in the perfect weather mother nature was throwing my way again. I even stumbled upon the Torre del Oro – a stunning tower built in the 13th century to defend Sevilles port. It was a stunning piece of architecture I honestly knew nothing about. I really didn’t do any research before this trip. Just kind of….went with it.
After my short time in Seville, I had two days in the beautiful city of Madrid. Heads up, if you travel the week of Easter, there will be loads and loads and loads of middle aged kids traveling abroad with a tour. EVERYWHERE I TELL YOU. In Seville and Lisbon too just not nearly as many. Anyhoo, Madrid really surprised me. Im not a big city gal as y’all should already know but as I wandered around this city, it surprisingly charmed me with this quirky design and busy streets. The Royal Palace is a stunning piece of work that I spent some time lounging around. The gardens beneath the palace was the perfect place to relax, people watch and enjoy the views. My hostel, The Hat, had a roof top bar that had a pretty awesome roof top view of Madrid that I was not expecting. Madrid is beautiful from above too!
I have one completely full day in Madrid so naturally, I left the city. haha. I booked a day trip to visit the city of Toledo. It was beautiful and I am pretty sure I encountered more hills and stairs than I did in Lisbon ha! That says something… Im joking but still. Toledo is a STUNNING ancient city known for its Arab, Jewish and Christian works throughout the walled city. I really enjoyed the views of this city but one thing about cities like this, after spending an hour and half getting lost within its streets, everything start to look the same and then things go boring fairly quickly. But I remember seeing a hiking trail along the river when I was at the overlook so I found my way to the trail and spent the last 3 hours of my time there enjoying the nature this city has at its finger tips. I really need to come back to Spain and just drive. Stop in small towns and really dive further into what this county has up its sleeve.