Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Sevilla and Lagos
Before my five hour high speed ride on Friday from Santorini to Athens, I finally ran into my Canadian friends again. I had been unable to find the villa where they stayed, so it was nice to visit with them for an hour while we waited for our boats. Once I arrived in Athens, I met an older guy from Oregon, and he tagged along with me to find my hostel. We got buzzed into the building, found an non-functioning elevator, and then hauled our bags up five flights of stairs. While we climbed the electricity flickered several times, and I noticed some blankets on floors as if the homeless were seeking rest there. The oddness continued when I entered reception, which was dim and lit by just a lamp. The owner looked like a wizard and after spewing a ton of information at me, I finally asked for the bottom line. And that was that he did not have a room for me despite my reservation and paid deposit through www.hostelworld.com. He told me to check back at 7:00 and that he might have a bed then. Michael and I left our things there and went out to find better accommodations. We did, got checked in, and enjoyed a dinner of gyros together. Then I set out to explore Athens some more on foot and enjoyed a three hour plus walk.
The next morning I woke up before 6:00, took the metro (it took 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the airport!!), and rested on my 3 hour flight to Madrid. In Madrid I caught the metro, switched trains, and arrived at the bus station right in time for a 5 hour bus to Sevilla. In Sevilla I was greeted by a parade for Jesus Christ. It was sort of funny, but also nice to see people so excited about Christ. And there were two really good bands in the parade, so it kept me entertained while I waited for my local bus. By 8:30 I was in my tiny four person room. I had forgotten how long daylight lasts in Spain. It is wonderful! And I love how people are out walking until midnight. So I walked around and could not believe all of the magnificent buildings, churches, and fountains right outside of my hostel. I had my favorite flavor ice cream--nata, which translates to "cream." Sunday ended up being just a day for me to wonder around and soak in all of the very old and pretty stuff and gardens. I bet I walked over ten miles.
Sevilla was really hot, so I decided it was time to head to the beach. On Monday morning I took an early bus to Lagos, and I am still here enjoying the sunny beaches. The six hour ride wasn´t too terrible, and it was fun to learn more about Australia from Arti, a woman I met in Sevilla. The owner of the guesthouse I am staying in picked me up from the bus terminal, and after I enjoyed a lunch at a nearby restaurant (fish of the day) I took a nap before exploring. Lagos is a laid-back beach town with plenty of beaches to explore and lots of shops. I am staying in a home with an elderly lady who reminds me of a Portugeuse version of my great-grandmother, so it is nice to have that sort of homey feel about accommodations.
As for Morocco, I am going to see what tour group options I have once I am in a city closer to the ferries to Tangier. If there is some sort of day trip with a group and guide, I might hop over. Otherwise, I will likely skip it. I have decided all of the hassle and worry of visiting there is not a vacation, but I could handle one day if I were with professionals! Thank you for all of the comments and e-mails, they have certainly helped. And Kathryn, I am emailing your buddy right now!
Tomorrow I will leave for Cadiz, which is on the Southern tip of Spain. For years I have wanted to visit there, so I hope it is as lovely as I have imagined.
Oh, check out the ridiculously good waffle I had for breakfast one morning in Santorini.
p.s. I am grateful for finding "pavo" (turkey) in the supermercado and not eating out for a few meals.