The train ride itself…
I’m telling you. Train is the way to go. It’s incredibly scenic, the Renfe national train system runs like a dream, and also is very affordable.
I slept like a sleep-deprived college student for most of the trip but in the in-between moments, I started falling in love.
How do you fall in love with a country and a city so fast?
The love affair starts when you take a two and a half hour train ride that is a thousand times more comfortable than a plane.
It creeps up on you when you pass the countryside Spanish villas with low laying stonewalls that are straight out of Don Quixote.
It continues when there is livestock roaming free near the bottom of the hills/mountains (I have yet to figure out what they were).
It sneaks in when the little old lady in front of you is knitting and listening to Carmen far too loudly on her iPod.
It grows when you wake up from a much needed nap to see groves of orange trees lining one side of the track on and off for miles.
It finds a little piece of your heart to call its own when you first catch a glimpse of the city you’ll be calling home for the next six months.
When your taxi driver blares “Staying Alive” on repeat the entire way to your hotel.
When orange trees line the parking lots, too.
When there’s a palm tree outside of your hotel and a balcony attached to your room.
When it’s absolutely beautiful and you haven’t been anywhere near the city center or the places Sevilla is known for.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I am off to meet my host mom, unpack, settle in, and go to my welcome event for CIEE!
FINAL SIDE NOTE:
Let me tell you something about Spain that has been cracking me up since we landed in Madrid.
I could see my breath in Madrid, so the coats and scarves and general sense of gloominess regarding the weather was to be expected, even though it was still warmer than Indy by far.
The coats and scarves and general histrionics and loud sighs as the Spaniards went outside in Sevilla were less understandable as it was a balmy 64 degrees.
I’m not kidding. These people are bundled up like the polar vortex is going to hop across the pond and strike them down. Meanwhile here I am in a short sleeve shirt and mid-size jacket/cardigan and I’m sweltering.
This is what happens when you take a girl from one of the 20 coldest cities in the U.S. and move her to a city an hour away from the Mediterranean.
(So sorry for the lack of pictures ya’ll. I was sleeping on the train and never could wake up fully enough to take a picture of something I liked before we passed it. I also was exhausted and could barely see straight the entire day. I promise to do better from here on out!)