Sevilla. My last Spanish city I should travel to this year. A place that fascinated me and I will always keep in mind – also because of couch surfing which has never failed to provide me with the most amazing travel experiences.
To Sevilla with BlaBlaCar
As I had been in Madrid before, I travelled from Madrid to Sevilla in the early morning by BlablaCar which is a great way of travelling cheaply. I just discovered BlablaCar recently as buses to the city were to expensive and the BlablaCar option popped up on my laptop. So I decided to try it out. BlablaCar is a car sharing website and I just love their concept. People who are going to a certain destination anyways share their car with strangers so that they are not driving alone unnecessarily. Way better for the environment than if everybody would take their own car. What I also like about BlablaCar is that it is not only a car sharing service, but also a very sociable concept. It´s made to talk, to interact and to exchange experiences and all my rides had been really nice so far.
Arriving in the city
My BlablaCar arrived in Sevilla in the early afternoon. It dropped in me at the bus station and then I still had to find the place of my couch surfing host. Luckily, his place was right in the center and not hard to find. I arrived with the sun shining down on me brightly, the whole city seemed to be out on the streets enjoying the sun. I liked Sevilla instantly. The unique, arab influenced architecture struck my eyes from the very first moment. The city is beautiful and not too big so that you can walk anywhere by foot. Situated at river you can also take a walk right next to the water. Which is also where I walked towards my couch surfing place.
At my hosts place I was warmly welcomed by him, another Argentinian girl he was hosting as well and another Italian girl, a friend of his. He was living right in the city center with an old man who soon joined us for dinner. While eating together, the old man told me how he loved and adored Vienna, my hometown and how he visited it many many years ago. He was nice, but his Spanish was nearly impossible to understand. With the others I had no problem at all, but understanding old people in another language can be challenging. Especially if you never really talked to an old person before. So I was mainly just sitting there, nodding politely and saying “si” once in a while. Luckily I wasn´t the only one who seemed to have troubles understanding him as the others confessed later.
My host was quite busy during my stay as he had some tutor classes. The other couch surfing girl, however, didn´t have any plans for the evening so we went to see the sunset at the Metropol Parasol together. Which are six huge mushrooms at Plaza de la Encarnacion. The viewpoint was situated on top of them. We had to take a lift upstairs and after we stepped out of it we could witness the most amazing view the sky was crazily pinkish and orange on this day. It was such a perfect mix of colors we could just stand there with our mouths wide open admiring the beauty of the setting sun. We wandered around on top of the mushrooms for a bit until the sun fully set and it was getting dark.
Food fare of Sevilla
Afterwards, we went through the city a bit, talking and getting to know the city at night. It was already late and we were quite hungry so we decided to go to a food fare close to the main square and our couch surfing place. Soon we were standing in front of a lot of white tents lining up next to each other offering food of a lot of different countries. From Australia to China to Peru and more. I couldn´t decide between a Peruvian veggie burger and açai from Brazil. In the end, I opted for the second one. Then my host and the Italian girl also joined us and we all hung around, eating and talking, our topics ranging from exchanging couch surfing and as well as relationship advice. Once again strangers whom I only had met hours ago had already become friends.
Morning yoga class
The next day, we decided to wake up early as the Argentinian girl had to leave the city in the early afternoon and I had promised her and the Italian girl to practice yoga with them. As I had told them a lot about yoga and how much I love this practice before, they were interested to try it out, so we decided to meet up in the morning and have a yoga class at home. My host unfortunately couldn´t join as he had to go to university in the morning – so it was just us girls. I am not a yoga teacher yet, but as I have been practicing quite a while already I felt confident to give a mini yoga class. It was their first yoga experience and it made me really happy to see the enjoyed it afterwards.
Discovering the city
After yoga we went on to have breakfast in a café with our host who could take a small break in between his classes. It was a typical Spanish breakfast. Coffee, toast with tomato and cheese (and just tomato for me) and orange juice. My very first Spanish breakfast outside of home I have to admit.
It was a rainy day, but still, we went on the discover the city in the rain afterwards. My host went back to university again and we girls proceeded our way through the city. The Italian girl, who was living in Sevilla for a while already was our tour guide, telling us a bit more about the city and leading us to the most important sights.
Cathedral of Sevilla
First, we went to see the Cathedral of Sevilla which is a UNESCO world heritage site – and it´s easy to see why. It´s an impressive building and was the biggest cathedral in the world for a long time. Today, it is still the largest gothic church and the third largest church in the world. We didn´t go inside as we didn´t want to pay for it, but could see a lot from the outside already. We wandered around the church for a bit, then went on to another viewpoint the Italian girl suggested. The viewpoint was situated on the last floor of a gallery. We just walked in, asked if it´s allowed to go up and up we went. From there, we could even see the church a bit better from distance while overlooking a nice little green garden in the middle of the plaza.
River of Sevilla
After enjoying the nice view, we had a quick look on one of their markets. I always love seeing such an abundance of fruits and vegetable and there was certainly no shortage of it. Then we went on to cross the bridge over the river of Sevilla. We went on to a vegan shop I discovered and wanted to check out. It was time for my traditional vegan couch surfing pizza again which I usually bake for all my hosts and I still needed some cheese. So we went there, I got some cheese and cake for myself and then we proceeded to the Ladies Garden of Sevilla.
Sevilla and Game of Thrones
Afterwards, I was told that a part of Game of Thrones was filmed in Sevilla – which was one of my personal highlights. A part of it was filmed in a hotel and a part in the Ladies garden. As Sevilla has a lot of Arabic influenced architecture, this city was the perfect spot to shoot the magical, far away land of Dorne. The Ladies garden was truly amazing – and would have been even nicer without the pouring rain. We were walking around with our umbrellas, fighting rain and wind. As it was getting a bit worse we decided to go home to not end up completely wet.
Couch surfing moments
As our Argentinian friend was about to leave we just hung around in the house for a little bit talking about anything and everything, figuring out how we all had been working in a restaurant/catering service at one point of our lives. Sharing our experiences we figures out how much we learned about life from these simple, humble jobs. This is also an experience you mainly have on couch surfing. Complete strangers become best friends in a day or even less. We were sitting in the living room and talking like we would have known each other for months. When all of that just happened in a day.
In the afternoon, our Argentinian friend already left. Me and the Italian girl started to prepare the pizza when our host came home as well. After eating together it was still raining and my host had to go to university again. He was lucky to not having a long way going back and forth all the time.
The Italian girl wanted to show me the city, but got a bit sleepy and eventually decided to stay home. So I went on to discover the Plaza España by myself – which I had heard a lot about and was really excited to see. I went there in the rain, but the Plaza is astonishingly beautiful. Built in the same Arabic style as the other parts of the city, but bigger, breath taking. Beautiful and big, made out of reddish stones. I spent almost an hour there just wandering around in the building and taking pictures. As the building is really big, you can easily spend one or even two hours there just walking around. I had seen everything after an hour and decided to take a last walk along the river.
Along the riverside
So I started following the river into the city, just walking and taking in some impressions of the city. I love doing that. By just wandering around you normally cross the most important sights and you experience the city your own way, in your own pace. After walking around for a bit, I already had to go back as my host was planning to leave the city soon and I still had to get my luggage. So, I went back and it was already time to say goodbye to another wonderful host and a great city guide. People who made my travels even more enjoyable and which I am very grateful I got to meet. But it was time to go now. To go to the airport to fly back to Barcelona. Another great adventure had come to an end. Another great couch surfing experience.