Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random Weekend - Day 1

On our first day of class one of our professors told us that he didn’t mind if we made plans to travel that may conflict with his class since it is cheaper to geta round Europe now that we are on the continent.  He also mentioned that it was possible to go to the airport at 6 am with a bag packed for any kind of weather and ask for the cheapest flight.  Two other girls and I couldn’t believe that this was actually possible, so we thought we would try it out…..

Our alarms went off at 4 am last Friday and as we made our way through the streets of Sevilla around 5 am with our backpack stuffed to the brim, we realized that everyone else on the streets were heading home after a night out on the town.  When we got on to the bus that connects the center of town to the airport my travel companions, Kelly and Kelsey (who are roommates), decided to get out the bocadillos (sandwiches) that their host mom had made for them….only to find that they had accidently grabbed some raw, frozen fish and lard that had been wrapped similarly to their usual bocadillos!  When we got to the airport and started asking around at all the airlines (Ryanair, Iberia, Vueling, etc.) we were disappointed to learn that due to the long weekend (this Monday was a holiday in Andalucia) the cheapest flight (one way) was 145 euro to Barcelona.  After debating on what we could do so we wouldn’t feel like we completely failed for the weekend, we decided to head back into town and do the same thing at the bus station.

We knew of some people that had made plans to go to Lisbon for the weekend and thought we would try to go there if possible, however by the time we got to the bus station (about 8:30 am) we had missed the morning bus and would have had to wait until 5 pm.  Finally, we just asked for a beach destination and 13 euro and an hour and a half later we were in the “center” of Matalascañas.  The city of Matalascañas itself is nothing special, however it is right next to Doñana National Park and many nature reserves….and the beach is gorgeous!  After walking around looking for a cheap hostel we decided to ask a man driving a vehicle that looked like a train that should be in Disney Land for any suggestions.  Seeing that we were tourists and complete strangers to the town he insisted on driving us in his tourist train back to the “center” of town free of charge and pointed out a few hostels before suggesting a house that rents out rooms a couple blocks from the “downtown” area.  In the end we opted for the house up the street from the main “center.”  I have been using the quotation marks around center/downtown, because in reality there was almost nothing there that was open….it looked like a ghost town.  During our entire time in Matalascañas we were surprised at the large number of senior citizens and lack of a younger crowd.

We spent the majority of the afternoon on the beach and even though the water was still freezing it was nice to be in the sun and smelling the salty air in February!  Before going back to the house-hostel we stopped at a cute little market and bought fresh fruit, veggies, bread, and snacks for breakfast and lunch the next few days.  When we got back to the house we realized that even though it was February, sun block might still be a good idea for non-Spanish skin.  Too exhausted (and fried) to change, our lounging around and watching Spanish TV quickly turned into a hardcore siesta and when we woke up at 10 pm we were worried that even though we were in Spain, the few open restaurants would all be closed already.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a couple open restaurants that would satisfy our hunger before calling it an ‘early’ night and returning back to bed.

My friend Kelly on the beach in Matalascañas.

Beach at Matalascañas.

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