On our three previous trips to Europe as well as our trip to Hawaii my husband and I had been very lucky. We had stayed at nice places and although we had many tiring days we had not had a day from hell. As I mentioned in my previous entry (https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/return-to-espana-day-9-from-barcelona-to-seville/ ) our luck ran out in Seville. Our hotel room sucked, although that was our fault because we didn’t do the proper research we should have. Not to mention my camera died. When I woke up on the tenth day of our vacation I was kind of in a daze. The bottle of wine I had drank the night before at dinner had left me with my first hang over in almost nine years. I also hadn’t slept very well. There had been an awful noise that had kept waking me up. In my drunken sleep I had thought it was a garbage truck. I had also been woken up a couple of times because of the glare of my husband being on his phone. Once I was awake for real I found out the noise hadn’t been a garbage truck, it had been thunder from an awful storm. I also found out the reason my husband had been on his phone so much was that he hadn’t been able to sleep.
My poor husband had awful night that first night in Seville. While I had the benefit of the wine putting me to sleep, he was stone cold sober. The twin bed he was sleeping in was extremely squeaky and the headboard was loose so every time he moved in that awful cot like bed the noise woke him up. There was awful a weird noise coming from the walls, like there were mice or rats inside. At one point my husband had tried to sleep on the small couch in the room but then the thunderstorm began and any chance he had of getting sleep was gone. All told he probably got, at most, ninety minutes of sleep that night and it certainly wasn’t continuous. He was so miserable that he found himself wishing he could just go home to Los Angeles. That is no way to operate when you have four full days of your vacation left. The fact that he had such an awful night was the reason he had been on his phone so much the night before. He had been looking for a new hotel for us to stay at.
When my husband initially proposed switching hotels I was resistant. We had prepaid for our room and it seemed like a waste of money to only stay there for one night when we had paid for five. But then I really thought about it. I wasn’t happy with our hotel room either and since it would be the two of us paying for the new room together it wouldn’t be that bad financially. So, I agreed to switch hotels. He had found another one that was much nicer in the same area of Seville. The problem was we couldn’t switch hotels right away. We still had a broken camera we had to replace and timed tickets to the castle in Seville. What was already going to be a crazy morning had just become mission impossible.
We quickly came up with a game plan. We were going to shower, eat a quick breakfast in our crappy room, then take the metro to the camera shop so that we could be there as soon as it opened, buy a new camera, take the metro back, go check out the new hotel and then go to the castle. In order for this to all happen in less than four hours we had no room for error.
Unfortunately, luck still wasn’t on our side. As we were eating our breakfast my husband got a text from his mom that his youngest sister back in Texas had found her pet bunny dead in his cage. This sent my husband over the edge. He absolutely adored that bunny. All of the stress of the awful hotel room, the broken camera and not having enough sleep was funneled into his grief about the bunny’s death. I didn’t know what to do. I knew he was upset, but I also knew there was no way for us to make our timed tickets to the castle if we didn’t stick to our plan. We had to keep going. So I pushed him forward, hangover and all.
We were quite a pair. My husband, sleep deprived, and me, hung over. Still, we left the awful hotel and headed for the metro.
Seville is different than other European cities we’ve been to because it doesn’t have a comprehensive metro system. In fact it had just one metro line. Luckily for us both our first shitty hotel and the camera shop were near that one metro line. The metro in Seville may be underdeveloped but since it is new it is also the nicest metro system I’ve ever been on.
I love riding different metro systems in all the cities I visit. I just wish I had been able to enjoy the metro experience in Seville more. Instead, we were two men on a mission. We got to the camera store a just a few minutes after it opened (but that was a few minutes behind schedule). They were extremely helpful and we were able to find the same brand of camera that we had before.
Not only was it the same brand it also took the same type of rechargeable battery so we could put in a fully charged battery and immediately begin taking pictures with our new camera.
We breathed a small sigh of relief but we still had a lot to do and at that point we only had a little over two hours to get it all done. We hurried back to the metro and took it back to where we began. We then walked as fast as we could across the neighborhood known as Triana to check out the nicer hotel my husband had found online.
By the time we reached the new, nicer hotel we were already exhausted. We instantly knew the new hotel was perfect for us. It was much more our style and although it was going to cost us several hundred more dollars it was going to be worth it. They had a room available for the nights we wanted, so we booked it. We would be able to check into our new room later that afternoon after we visited the castle.
When we walked out of the new hotel we felt better. We were ready to start making our way to the castle when I realized we had made yet another mistake. When we had left the old, crappy hotel we had been in such a hurry that we hadn’t brought our tickets to the castle with us. That meant we had to go back to the crappy hotel to get the tickets before we could head to the castle. With less than an hour to go before our timed ticket reservation we were more under the gun than ever before. I think my husband wanted to sit down and cry but we couldn’t. We still had a chance to pull off this miracle but only if we kept going.
I told my husband to meet me in the lobby of the old hotel and I hauled ass leaving him behind. All the fast and furious walking was catching up to me as I felt a blister starting to form on my right foot but I didn’t stop. I pushed myself ahead. I entered the old hotel very sweaty from fast walking. I took the awful elevators up to our room; I got our tickets and headed back down. When I met up with my husband in the lobby of the hotel we had less than a half an hour. I didn’t think we would make it if we walked but I came up with an idea. The crappy hotel was just a four minute walk to a taxi stand. That was our only chance and I knew it. Once again we walked as fast as we could to the taxi stand, got a taxi and took it to the castle. We arrived with less than ten minutes to spare but we made it!
After seeing a small exhibit we found our way to the cafeteria so we could relax, get some food in our stomachs and some caffeine in our systems. We allowed ourselves to reset. While we were eating we were befriended by a cute little stray cat that clearly lives in the gardens of the castle.
He was really cute.
We named him Tyrion after a character on “Game of Thrones”. It was the perfect name for the cat because the biggest reason we had decided to add Southern Spain onto the end of our trip was because the castle in Seville was going to be one of the new settings on season 5 of “Game of Thrones”. We thought it would be cool to check out this new filming location in person before watching it on the show. (I also blog about “Game of Thrones” every week. Check out my last blog entry for the most recent episode which included stuff filmed at the caste in Seville https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-6/).
Upon completion of our lunch we wondered around the gardens for about an hour.
They were absolutely breath taking and amazing.
There was even a hedge maze which allowed us the opportunity to make up for our ruined hedge maze experience in Barcelona.
After all the stress of the morning it was great to be back in full vacation/fantasy mode.
After exploring the beautiful gardens we headed inside the castle. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the amazing influence from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome that can be seen all over Western Europe but it was nice to see something that looked different.
The influence in Southern Spain comes from the Middle East and North Africa which gives it a very different style.
The Moorish influence is just so different and beautiful.
I really enjoyed just wondering around and marveling at the Non-Roman designs of the amazing castle.
We took lots pictures with our new camera but there was one downside to that. We took so many pictures that the battery was wearing out and we didn’t have a spare with us (again). So once again we had to fill the gaps with the camera on our phones.
We, of course, went hog wild at the gift shop before leaving the castle. We felt so grateful that after our morning from hell we had managed to have a pretty great afternoon at the caste.
We had planned on doing one more thing that afternoon and we tried to fit it in. I wanted to go by the bullfighting right and take a tour and visit the museum on the history of bullfighting. So we made our way over to the ring.
We found out that we couldn’t get a tour until three hours later. At first I was disappointed but after discussing it my husband and I realized that was perfect. We still had some hotel business to attend to and three hours would be more than enough time to do it. We purchased our tickets for the 7 pm tour and then set out to put an end to our hotel nightmare once and for all.
We walked from the bullfighting ring to our new hotel. We checked in and then went up to our new room to go to the restroom. We were so happy with our new room.
It was a giant improvement. We then walked back to the old, crappy hotel for the last time. We packed our stuff up as fast as we could and then checked out of that hellhole. We walked out of that dump I think we both wanted to jump for joy. At that point both of us were starting to get blisters from all the fast walking so we decided to take a taxi to our new hotel.
Once we were back at our new room we both had a chance to relax. We unpacked and then I took a bath while my husband took a nap. After my bath I relaxed and watched a little Spanish TV and my husband took a shower.
We arrived at the bullfighting ring with a few minutes to spare. I had one of our extra batteries with us but I had trouble switching it out. Thankfully, my husband figured it out so that by the time our tour of the bullfighting ring started our nightmare was finally over.
I don’t know if I could attend an actual bullfight but I loved seeing the bullfighting ring.
It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
The museum part was also fascinating. My main interest in bullfighting is its historic role in Spain and the museum provided me with a lot of information in regards to that.
Upon the completion of our bullfighting ring tour it was time for a late Spanish dinner. We found a little hole in the wall place that served an amazing mushroom dish.
After dinner it was back to our new hotel.
We were both relieved. We were so happy to put the camera and hotel nightmares behind us. We felt that we had been able to salvage the Seville part of our trip. And we were very, very happy to get so sleep in a nice big comfortable bed.
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