Well, anyway, enough of the Hike Norfolk crowd, and back to me.
So, my flight arrived into Seville at around 00:30 this morning, and I hadn’t made any arrangements for a hotel. That was because I was conscious that the last bus was at 00:51 and I didn’t think I’d make it, and a taxi from the airport is relatively expensive. So I had a plan that I could wait around at the airport for a few hours and get the first bus into Seville.
That plan made sense to me, as I thought it’d be nice and cool, and then I could take some early morning photos of the city centre. I don’t normally get up early enough to take those, but photos at 05:00 are of course usually devoid of people and the lighting is much better.
Anyway, when I get into Seville airport I remember that it’s all in Schengen, which means that it takes around sixty seconds to get through the entire customs process. I then discover that I can catch the bus into Seville with just a couple of minutes to spare. So, I decide on impulse that this is a good idea, and get the bus.
Whilst on the bus, I thought about booking accommodation with hotels.com, which you can still do at that time in the morning. Interestingly, you can’t with some hotel sites, including Accor, as they just assume that the date has now passed. So, I ignore the Ibis which is between the airport and Seville city centre and just keep on until the final stop.
I decided against booking anywhere on hotels.com, as there was nothing which seemed to be quite a large hotel. I didn’t want to book a room and then find that I couldn’t get in the hotel, as it would present a nightmare to get the room cancelled and my money refunded. So, I thought I’d get a list of hotels with cheap rooms and then just walk to them and ask in person.
So, the first hotel that I try is closed and locked up. So, good job that I hadn’t tried to pay for that. There was a hotel nearby but the man spoke Spanish at me and I didn’t have a clue what he was saying, and more importantly, it looked too posh. By this stage it’s 01:30, and I’m conscious that there are a couple of large hotel chains in the city centre, and in extremis, I can just go to those, so I still feel nice and safe. But, there was a challenge to be had in finding a room.
Incidentally, Seville at 01:30 feels safe, there are some families still around having completed their evening meal (the Spanish really do have late meals…) and so I thought I’d give myself until 02:00. I try the next hotel, which is actually one I’m staying at for a couple of days later in the week.
The hotel is locked, but there’s a doorbell, so I excitedly press it. I’m buzzed in immediately, so this looks like it’s great. I stand at the dark reception desk thrilled at this fortunate development, although as nothing happened for around a minute, I did wonder whether the night porter had realised I needed assistance. I was hoping not to go and have to go back outside and press the doorbell again. That would be awkward….
Anyway, all proved well. The night porter was friendly, helpful and we stood in the dark whilst we went through the check-in process. The prices looked a bit expensive, so after some showing the night porter the prices on on-line booking sites (which I could have technically used to book the room, he’d have found it difficult to stop me) we agreed a price. It worked out to be around £17 and this pleased me enormously.
So, a late night adventure, and the Seville trip begins for me. Before you know it, I’ll be travelling like Jonathan does, finding this an incredibly exciting challenge. Or then again, maybe not quite…