Today we head to Sevilla. Sevilla is located in the south and will require a five hour journey on the high speed train called the AVE. We booked our tickets last month through a broker called Loco2. Very easy process and no lines! I recommend choosing first class seats for such a distance as the seats are larger and recline with footrest. First class is called "Preferente" on Renfe. The ticket also gives you access to the Sala Club which is a pleasant and secure way to wait for the platform announcement while sipping complimentary coffee, tea, or beer.
Travel Tip: Train stations are a main target for pick-pockets. You are distracted while trying to navigate the station. Keep all valuables out of your pockets and if possible in an enclosed bag such as purse or money belt. Do not allow anyone to assist you with bags or you might just loose them. Do not pay attention or look at anyone trying to engage you in conversation. Should someone touch you, say firmly "no". They will back off. If traveling with someone else stagger your position so one of you can keep an eye out. As soon as we entered the station in Barcelona we had a pick-pocket right on us. I was able to identify him quickly and alerted Michael. When Michael turned the Pickpocket veered off and quickly disappeared. Things to look for: A person(s) without luggage, someone walking very briskly close to you, someone trying to offer you something or ask you questions. Hope this helps!
We arrive safely and in good spirits in Sevilla. We opt for a welcome pick-up at the station to take us to our hotel. This made our arrival so easy and stress-free, recommend this service highly.
Our driver, Jonathan, was very helpful and gave us lots of information on where to eat and what to see in the city.
We have booked a room at Hotel Casa 1800 located in the heart of old town and just steps from the Cathedral. The hotel is housed in an old building from the 1800's and just ten years new. We are whisked away to the courtyard for welcome cocktails, my kind of hotel, while they check us in. The hotel is beautiful, full of charm and very comfortable. Our room is large with a queen bed and our own privated patio to relax in. On the roof is a pool and several tables to sit at and enjoy the view. service is impeccable! We are shown to our room and left with a bottle of chilling Cava and candies for us to enjoy.
In the early evening the staff provide turn down service and leave us a weather report for the following day, chocolates and a goodnight pouch with an eye mask and earplugs. It is so quiet here I doubt we will need the earplugs.
Out into the city we go!
Sevilla is a beautiful city filled with color and cobbled streets. It is also packed with tourists. There are so many tapas bars and restaurants it's sometimes hard to tell where one stars and the other begins. We find a side street and sit down for a bite and a drink.
The scallops and risotto was good start. But...
It is hard to find a really good tapa bar in the midst of all this tourist food. It takes some searching and asking questions. We have made it our goal to keep hunting till we find the real tapa. Most tapas we have found here so far are fried seafood, covered in mayonnaise or raw "tartar" seafood. We will give it another go tomorrow.