Rainy Day #1: Sevilla
Contrary to popular belief, the rain in Spain does not fall mainly on the plains – it is falling in Sevilla today. Trudged over the bridge with raincoat and umbrella in the morning. No way am I getting on a Sevici bike in the rain or on wet cobblestones. Saturdays are rife with tourists and people in general .. but not in the rain. City center is an empty wasteland devoid of cars, people and bikes. Only a few brave souls are out and a handful are sitting at cafe tables with their noses pressed to the glass.
1) Duck into a cafe and camp out online.
I waste a few hours in the ever fabulous Cafe de Indias; online for the price of a cup of tea. A plug here for skype and the fact that it allows me to talk to and see my parents many, many miles away – gratis. Next week will (hopefully) bring the addition of a national identification number in my life, and we all know what that means. Bank account! Internet at home! It’s going to be glorious.
2) Cross a bridge in a torrential downpour.
Unintentionally, we’ve made plans to meet fellow auxiliares at 3 p.m. which is also the time that the sky opens up and rains all over the city. Once again we forsake the nearby Sevici bikes and set out across the nearest bridge. It begins to rain sideways and I recall how much I dislike damp denim. We sprint into a doorway with everyone else stuck in the same situation and watch an older man take photos of his friends and their umbrellas.
3) Have a late lunch in a bodega.
Wine and complex tapas wait for us at a bodega with white tablecloths and a cute waiter. The rioja is just right, the chorizo is delicious and we have a salad for once. Meeting up with auxiliares is a great way to gauge your own experience and compare notes on schools, directors and students. I appear to be the only sucker with a four day work week, much to my dismay. I will renew my campaign on Monday.
4) Run for the bikes at the first sign of sunshine.
The skies turn blue and we head for the Sevicis, aiming for Parque Maria Luisa. This is a wide open green space full of horse and carriage rides and overly romantic Spaniards on park benches. Our 30 minutes about to expire, we tear through the park now muddy after the rain and full of puddles. Parking our bikes in the last two spots we walk toward the epic Plaza de España.
5) Bask in the late afternoon glow of a historical place.
We stroll the gorgeous plaza and stare at the miles of ceramic tile and the two towers at either end. I remember having lunch here a very long time ago, and there have been significant renovations since then. Hiding in the shade we make an executive decision to eat … again.
Leaving the plaza we detour into a random celebration of nations that is supposed to go on for the next few weekends. Andrea steers me toward the Colombian food and we dine on empanadas and drink fruity soda. Carefully avoiding the aisles of artisan jewlery and leather bags, we find our next Sevici near the University and head into the city center. Ice cream awaits at Marscapone, and we stare down a horse & carriage that sits outside the cathedral clearly waiting for a bridal party. The skies cloud over and we get back on the bikes and race toward home dodging wedding guests in fancy hats and wild dresses.
Not bad for a rainy day.