Day 4 - Leaving Lisbon And Off To Seville

he said,
why why, what a terrible time to be alive
if you're prone to over thinking and
why why, what a terrible time to be alive
if you're prone to second guessing

Pretty Shining People - George Ezra

One of the thing my mom often tells me now that she's gotten used of me travelling alone is that to stay alert and not to get into my own thoughts so much that I daydream or get dazed. Indonesian has 1 word to express that deep into thoughts, daydream, daze situation, that is melamun. In English, I need so many words to describe it. Well perhaps what she needs to be telling me now, which I realize now is a frequent occurrence with me, is to not give so little time when I need to be somewhere. I realize I may have a problem with this because of the so many, "Please God help me" that I say when I feel like I'm getting late. So that's kinda what happened when I was trying to leave Lisbon. By the way, for photos from Lisbon, please click here.

So just like when I arrived, I was also taking Aerobus to go to the airport. When I got out from my hotel, I saw there's a bus at the bus stop, but I couldn't run with my luggage and cobblestones. So it left and I had to wait at the bus stop for like 20 minutes or so, maybe more. When another bus came I was so happy. But then when it passed Praça do Comércio and Cais Sodré, the traffic was heavier and it was taking too long and I started to get worried :( I had checked in online so hence I wasn't rushing to the airport, but with the bus getting stuck in traffic I wondered if I'd miss the window for luggage drop off :( As I was sitting in the bus, I realized the bus would actually go to Rossio which was near my hotel. I could have walked to Rossio when I saw that first bus that I missed and managed to catch it there. Oh the worry, very worried. I kept on checking my watch and asking God to help me. We left city center and I didn't know how far more the airport was. Then the bus made a turn and suddenly I saw the airport and it was like hallelujah! I made it. Thank God!!! I knew the right way would be going to Rossio to catch the bus but now thinking about dragging my luggage through the cobblestone, I may have stuck to just using the bus stop nearer to my hotel. Yes, I'm stubborn and apparently don't learn well.

The airline that I took to Seville was Tap Portugal. If I'm not mistaken, that's the only airline flying there. Managed to drop my luggage on time. The guy at the counter offered in perfect English if I wanted him to print a boarding pass for me. He had difficulty scanning the one in my phone. I said yes of course, delighted to hear his perfect English. Had some time in the airport and bought a box of egg tarts, but they weren't good because they're not freshly baked. Had some of them which caused me to feel full and not eat my in-flight sandwich. The airline also gave us egg tart too. Very Portuguese I guess. The flight was full and I sat at the very back, but all was okay. By the way, I thought the whole of Schengen would be in the same time zone, but Portugal is not. It's 1 hour behind Spain. I only learned of that a few days before I left for my trip. Assumption, never a good thing. Anyway arrived in Seville, got my luggage and found the stop for the bus. There was already a queue for the EA bus, luckily I made it. The fare is 4 euro. Got to the correct stop and my hotel is short walk away. Chose this hotel for 2 reasons. I needed a hotel that's easy to access with the public transport. Except for the time I went to America and one time in London, normally I take buses or trains to get from airport to the hotel, hence I always choose a hotel that is near to the stop. The second reason is because this hotel is near the Seville train station, Santa Justa, which only now I realize is the same name as that lift in Lisbon that I had to queue for so long. As such I did know that the hotel I chose is not near the old town. I accepted that. The other hotels that the EA bus passes through are not quite city center too, so I thought the one I chose was the best one for me. This hotel was more expensive than the one in Lisbon, but I don't think it's better. It was bigger and I had so much more space. The bed could fit 3 people; when I laid in the middle and I stretched my arms, I couldn't reach the end, but overall I don't think it's value for money.

Anyways, after I put my things, I thought I should just quickly go with the plan which was to visit Plaza de España and the Parque de Maria Luisa. It's important to make the trip also because I would be trying out the C1 and C2 bus that I needed to take to go nearer to Seville old town and then to come back. Both the C1 and C2 bus stops are near my hotel, so that's good. As the bus went, I thought well Seville is quite a city city. Passed a mall, a soccer stadium, and a university before I got down at Prado San Sebastian. When I headed out, I think it was 4 pm something and it was hot. I made it to Plaza de España and it was quite interesting. It was big and actually it houses many government offices. There were many tourists. Saw a flamenco dancer in one section. Of course there were people selling souvenirs. There's also like a small waterway where people can row boats in them.

There's also these spaces along the bottom wall with unique tiles representing the different Spanish territories. By the way when I told mom I was going to Spain, she was like didn't you already go to Spain. I told her this trip would take me to a different province. Sometime the things my mom remembers surprised me. Anyway this tile below is showing Zaragoza.

Then I went to Maria Luisa park which is connected to Plaza de España. There were a lot of trees, but it was still hot. It's big and it reminded me of New York Central Park, but I know it's most probably much smaller. Saw some people riding bicycles around, I thought that must be fun, but I walked, all the while getting tired and also having to deal with the heat. The park actually has many interesting sections called glorieta. I don't know what glorieta in Spanish means. I just google translated it and google said, "space surrounded by bushes and branches or by a framework of bars, sticks, etc., interlaced with climbing plants that are in some gardens or outdoor places. Square in a garden with a gazebo in the center.". So there you go, like there's this Glorieta de la Concha which happened to have a lot of blooming roses when I was there.

Other things include a pond with lotsa ducks. Pond is a must in a park, I guess. I saw a cute baby duck. Then there's Fuente de las Ranas which I guessed from my Italian knowledge as the Fountain of Frogs. It's rather cute and in the middle it's a swan.

There's also a section with a small waterfall. I don't think I explored every single part of the park. I was getting tired and it was hot and I also had a very early day the next day, so I decided to call it the day. Took C2 bus to go back. There's a supermarket across the street from my hotel and I went there to get some water. Wasn't particularly hungry and didn't feel like sitting down in a restaurant to eat or get Burger King which was also across the street from my hotel. So I was thinking of getting something lighter to eat from the supermarket. Passed a very small instant noodle rack and I was shocked with the minimal selection. It hit me that in other countries, instant noodle may not be a thing. Anyway I got a cup noodle made in Spain because I was curious how it would taste like. Also got 6 big bottles of water and some bananas. You also have to pay for plastic bag in the supermarket. It also hit me that unlike Portugal, not many people in Spain speak English fluently, this is despite of Seville being a touristy place. Anyway, struggled with trying to put my water into the plastic bag and a kind Spanish uncle helped me with that. I don't know if I said muchas gracias correctly, so I also said thank you so much repeatedly. I think I looked so silly trying to get all my things into the plastic bag and they must have wondered, this weird Asian girl is rather silly :D

When I got back to my room, I realized the room didn't have a kettle so I couldn't actually eat that cup noodle, *sigh* :( I still have it now and haven't tried it. Side note: the day after I found there's like an Asian supermarket nearby the hotel. I didn't go in, but from the window, I saw that there were racks filled with instant noodles and brands that I knew like the Korean ones or Nissin. I didn't spot any Indomie, but somehow seeing all that made me feel like the universe is in good order again :) Anyway, suddenly there's a knock at the door. When you're a girl travelling alone, I don't know if you welcome a knock in your room. I did open the door and there's a hotel staff bringing me a free welcome tray and a bottle of water. Yay! That's a first. Never experienced something like that before. Yeah the hotel was nice, but I still don't think the hotel is value for money. The tray consisted of chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, and gummy jellies. So I had all that and the sandwich from Tap Portugal which was unexpectedly very very good (the bread was soft and there was egg) as my dinner. Gotta admit, my first impression of Seville wasn't all that warm and fuzzy and I kinda missed Lisbon that first day, but hey you're always experiencing wonderful things when you travel. Some place may capture your heart more, some may not, but it's always a good experience. At least for me. All my trips have always been good and I thank God for that :)

:) eKa @ 10:58:00 PM •

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