August 12, 2018

We had booked to stay for 2 nights in Sevilla. It is only a 2 hour drive from our house in Vilamoura and so quite easy to get to (on a motorway).  As Helen’s luggage was meant to be arriving from Madrid (via Costa Rica and London), and because we could only get our accommodation from 3pm, we decided to go via Faro airport (which is sort of on route).  We arrived at 12:30pm. Unfortunately the baggage handling is only in the arrivals hall and to get into the hall you have to apply for a temporary access permit. Only 1 of us could get the access permit so I did the chivalrous thing and went for Helen. You have to go through security scanning (why I have no idea because you can only get into the baggage hall and nowhere else). They then wouldn’t allow me to go to the counter without an escort (which finally arrived after a few minutes). There was a queue at the counter but the good thing was that I could see Helen’s bag … yipee! I sent her a whatsapp photo as proof before I got my hands on it.

When I re-emerged from the baggage hall, Helen’s irritation that she was holding back for 5 days came flooding out! She asked me to type an email to BA complaining about their service and to tell them I was doing it with my middle finger 🙂 It took her a few hours for her irritation level to subside to normal levels.

We arrived in Sevilla at about 4:30pm (there is a 1-hour time change when you cross the border so it felt like 3:30pm for us).  I had told the handling agent (we had rented an apartment for 2 days) that we would be there at around 3pm (not knowing that there was a 1-hour time change). Waze (the navigation software) took us down some pretty smalls streets again and then said we had arrived at our destination. Wasn’t clear to us that we had arrived.  Managed to pull over (not understanding whether we could park there or not) and phoned the agent and she said she would be there in 3 minutes.  Turned out we were at the correct place – the door just wasn’t very obvious. We unpacked the car and then B and I went to find the parking we had reserved (you don’t want to drive in Sevilla unless you have to as the roads are ridiculously narrow). They also make the parking garages with the smallest possible entrance (I reckon they must have a deal with panel beaters) and the parking spots are built to only fit a mini (but we had to get our station wagon into one of the spots). We managed to negotiate everything without damaging the car and then walked back to the flat (temperature was around 36 degrees at this point).

We went for a late afternoon walk around the area we were staying.  The Plaza Nueva was very close to the apartment (that is the Plaza at the centre of the city apparently and contains the city hall). We also walked around the shopping district and then back to the apartment for a quick rest before dinner.

We had dinner at an appropriate Spanish dinner time – around 8:30pm – the temperature being 32 degrees at that point still! We had been recommended a few tapas restaurants which were all pretty close to us so we picked the one we liked the most (and could get a table in). We really enjoyed the food and some sangria (for ladies) and good Rioja (for men). The pork cheeks in sauce, the calamari and the grilled goats cheese were undoubtedly the favourites.

P, H, B & S

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