Seville, Spain, Thursday November 24, 2016

Today is the day that I leave Seville. I have a bus ticket for a bus leaving at 5:30 pm and arriving there at 9 pm.  I’m going to try to change it for an earlier bus. Let’s see how my negotiating skills work in Spanish. I have my story all prepared.

I had a second roommate yesterday, a middle-aged Spaniard who is a nurse on the night shift in a local hospital and rented a bunk in the hostel to catch a few winks during the day. He slept a few hours in the morning, but he was gone when I returned to the hostel in the afternoon. Then he came back, and we chatted a bit about Spanish and U.S. politics before he went back to bed to catch some more sleep.

In case you think I am living in a dump, below is a photo of a section of the main floor of the place where I’m staying. To my left is the cafeteria, where I had just eaten breakfast when I took the picture. Somehow I suspect that the single room where I’ll be staying tonight really will be a dump. The price seems very low for a room.

I’m also told that the town, Algeciras, is not one of Spain’s more attractive port cities. However, it’s a short bus ride from places that are reputedly attractive including Gilbraltar. I just want to visit Gibraltar once during my life.

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I left the hostel on foot this morning headed north toward downtown when smoke started pouring out of the rear of an approaching bus. In the picture below, it is the bus nearest the curb. When I got close enough to snap the photo, passengers were already being transferred to the bus that pulled up beside it. The broken-down bus is one of those long jobbies that swivels in the middle in order to make turns, and it was jammed full of passengers, who didn’t all fit into the first passing bus that stopped. Behind, another bus is waiting to take more of the passengers aboard.

When I returned south riding another bus hours later, the broken-down bus was still parked in the same spot.

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Below is a snapshot of a section of the older part of Seville. Most of the city is spread out with wide avenues, and even here in the older part, things are not as cramped as in other cities in southern Spain. On the right are the horse-drawn carriages waiting to carry tourists through the traffic-filled streets where they will have the opportunity to breathe lots of motor vehicle exhaust. The carriages use the normal traffic lanes including the left-turn lanes, which means that they must cut across several lanes of traffic when about to make a left turn. I began to ask myself if the horses were smart enough to recognize the left-turn arrows. I suppose not. Otherwise I suspect that they have trotted the same route so many hundreds of times that they have it well memorized.

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The long brown building on the left in the picture below is full of temporary shops that have been set up to sell Christmas items such as decorations. I didn’t seem many people go into them. I think even is Seville, it is a bit early to be doing Christmas shopping. Oh, that reminds me: I suppose that back in the States people are celebrating Thanksgiving today. Here it is just an ordinary day.

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Below is a shot of some of the bell towers on the cathedral. I couldn’t get far enough away to get a shot of the whole building. There was a line of people waiting to buy tickets to enter, and it must have been jammed with people inside, because there were large crowds coming out the exits. Being a cheapskate, I did not go in. If I had arrived early enough, I probably could have missed the crowds and even entered for free to attend mass.

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If I can’t get my ticket changed to the 2 o’ clock bus, I’ll have a lot of time to kill today. I must leave the hostel by 11 am, and after that I’ll be dragging my suitcases around. For some reason, I decided to travel with two suitcases this time instead of with a backpack.

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