With no tours scheduled and only dinner/show at night, we had the day to ourselves. Our legs were feeling a little worn out after a couple of weeks marching through Spain. So we planned a light day since we knew we had a long tour to Toledo scheduled for the next morning. We slept in an extra hour to rest our weary legs. Then after a late breakfast and a couple of cups of strong Spanish coffee (the only type the Spanish make!), we set off for Palacio Real de Madrid, the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Packing our bags and leaving Seville, I was a little disappointed. Before the trip I had little interest in visiting the city, but it surprised me. I really enjoyed my time in Seville, so now I was sad to leave it. But we had one more city on our itinerary and it was time to see it. We were heading to the capital city of Spain…. Madrid.
Whenever we travel, we like to build in some “downtime” in our itinerary. This gives us time to relax and perhaps see some sights in our own time. While the personal tour guide concept on this trip has been a great idea so far, part of traveling is to mingle with the citizens of your host country. On this day in Seville, with nothing on our schedule, we slept in a little to catch up on our sleep a little bit. One of the few drawbacks of traveling in Spain is that their daily schedule stretches late into the evening. A lot of people are settling down to eat dinner there when most Americans are getting ready for bed. For us, our days have been pretty long. While we have been enjoying a daily siesta nap, that doesn’t compete with a good night’s sleep.
When we first planning this trip to Spain, it was because I was interested in visiting scenic mountain villages and towns that “time forgot”. This day of the trip was devoted to fulfilling that goal. This tour began at 9:00 am when our tour guide Sam and our driver Pacos met us at the hotel. Heading out the city, we drove past the rolling hills of the Andalusian Plain around Seville to the mountainous region closer to Malaga.
We love to explore areas “off the beaten path” when we travel. While we still want to see all the sightseeing attractions and landmarks like regular tourists, the difference between a traveler and a tourist is in understanding the day-to-day life of the people. We feel that when we understand how others live, we can find a way to live on this earth together in harmony.
Next up on the trip itinerary is a journey to Seville, a city in the south of Spain and the capital of Andalusia. From Nerja by car it is about a 3 hour drive. Our driver meets us at our Nerja hotel at 9:45 for the journey south (and west). The ride was pleasant as the mountains around Malaga gave way to the rolling hills of Andalusia.
We arrived at the hotel Gran Melia Colon around 12:30. This beautiful hotel is in the heart of Seville’s shopping area. It also provided an excellent jumping off point for our treks around the city.