Monday, 5 January 2015

Bienvenida a España!

4am this morning (5th January 2015) was the official start to my Spanish adventure as I got up after a short sleep at the Premier Inn at London Gatwick airport and then made my way over to south terminal with my mum in the freezing cold British winter weather. And it was at the precise moment when I said to my mum that in just a few hours time I would be arriving in sunny Seville that the chaos started!

When I talk about chaos, I mean the unexpected surprises that often tend to occur when I travel and cause me immense amounts of stress which I then later look back on and laugh. And today is definitely one of those situations.

When my flight to Seville took off from London Gatwick Airport at 6:35am this morning, it all seemed as if everything was running on time and that we would be in Seville within two hours and twenty minutes. However, once we started our descent into Seville this all changed as the pilot realized that the visibility was so limited that he would not be able to land the plane. This was the result of an unusually thick cloud of fog that was hanging over Seville for quite some time this morning. As a result of this, the pilot drove the plane back up above the clouds and drove round in a big circle for what turned out to be over an hour whilst we waited for air traffic control to give us the all clear. However, when it became apparent that it would not be safe to land in Seville any time soon, the plane was unexpectedly diverted to Malaga which I knew very well is on the Costa Del Sol and therefore started to worry when it looked like each passenger would have to get themselves back to Seville individually. Once I had made a number of phone calls that failed due to my phone being temporarily capped when I arrived in Spain, the pilot fortunately announced that the airline were going to fly all of the passengers back to Sevilla once the weather had cleared up. This was to my utter relief as I had been worried about having to work out how to use the Spanish trains and arrive in Sevilla in the middle of the night. Therefore it all worked out well in the end.

We landed in Sevilla at about 13:30 Spanish time which was many hours after we had taken off from Gatwick airport but we were all so relieved to touch ground at our destination that we forgot about how long the journey had ended up taking. Once I had collected my bags I braved going to ask at the tourist office in the airport which bus I needed to take to get to Sevilla city centre. Having not spoken Spanish for quite a few months, this was quite a scary experience but I was surprised that I managed to get out what I had hoped to say and receive the information that I needed. Although I then felt I roughly knew what I was doing, I went to an airport cafe and got una ensalada for lunch as I remembered that I had not eaten properly since 5am.

The bus journey then went smoothly and I even met another Erasmus student on the bus which is always comforting. However, once we went our separate ways I was not surprised to find myself quite lost again. I had no idea how to get to my hotel from the cathedral so I spent about an hour wondering around a small area of the city which seems like a maze to me at the moment. Once I had been to the tourist office and asked about four different people on the streets for directions, I found my hotel in a lovely old fashioned narrow cobbled street. I was very pleased to find a lovely room that I will be very happy and comfortable in for four nights so once I had put my bags down and had a five minute break, I set off to explore a bit of Sevilla as I was so excited to see where I am. I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around, watching the Christmas parades, and taking pictures of the impressive monuments and buildings as it really is a very beautiful city!

To round off the long and eventful day, I went to a tapas restaurant and tried tapas for the first time as I wanted to have something really traditionally Spanish on my first night here. It was very tasty and I would definitely have it again so I am glad that I did that to start off my six months here.

So there you go, two weeks ago was the day I got home from France and now I am in Spain! It is scary how time flies! Anyway, I need to go and get some sleep now as I have been up for far too long! However, I will be back in a few days time to tell you all about the start of my teaching internship!

Hasta la vista!

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