I’m going to adapt my saved but unsubmitted Sevilla / arrived in Gibraltar post and add to it with the last days’ info.
At first when I was arriving at the border to Gibraltar, it was a little bit worrying, since I couldn’t book in advance, but I had faith that everything’d work out and it did. I wasn’t sure that I’d know which way to go but you really can’t take a wrong turn with this as your guide:
Walking across the border was a breeze (and not just because we’re on the sea heh heh), despite news about tensions between the UK and Spain, resulting in border blockages. The hostel was a total dump (major understatement) but it is the only one, so whatever. I didn’t die in my sleep, so my minimum requirements were met.
The trip to Seville was nice. There are some great buildings and sights to see there. Like other Spanish cities, I was glad to give it just that part day and move on. Still, it is the second best Spanish city I’ve been on in this trip.
You ought to see the Spanish Plaza with your own eyes. The architecture is amazing and the atmosphere was abuzz with all the locals and tourists alike enjoying their Sunday. You can definitely get a sense of the Arab influence as you walk through the city (Spain was conquered by the Arabs for a while). I checked out the palace, which was alright.
Now I’ll skip forward, past Gibraltar, since I think I already posted a bit on that. Yesterday, I spent the day in Valencia. This city redeemed Spain for me. Although I spent a lot of time on the beach outside of town, just walking through the city felt much better than any other Spanish city I’ve been too. Things were clean and they seemed to work. It looked like more people had a purpose, rather than just bumming around. I don’t think I saw any scammy, annoying people who torment the tourist areas. I would go back to Valencia and would also put it above Barcelona. I didn’t take any pictures; I just relaxed.
Speaking of Barcelona, I had an hour to kill there today. I travelled a long, long way today (all day), to the French city of Avignon (oh, France, je t’aime). I sped out of the train station to get some exercise (and find a post card for Natalia, of course!) and happened upon the museum of art. I don’t know how we missed this part of the city when I went with Andreas and Elon. There were some really great sights.
It seems my panorama didn’t save. Oh well. I think Barcelona is a city I’d visit again too, since I only have good memories of that city.
So tomorrow I will check out Avignon. Walking out of the train station was pretty cool (and not just because I finally escaped the 11 hours of trains). There before me was the gate to the city walls, which encircle the entire old town. So I can sleep well tonight: no invading armies shall breach these walls!
Avignon was the home of the Pope for a short time and is supposedly a very beautiful city. Depending on how long I stay here, I will either check out Monte Carlo afterwards or tomorrow morning. In either case, I will sleep in Nice tomorrow.
I’m playing with the idea of a stop in Pisa. We’ll see how the week develops but I want to see Pompeii and maybe kick around Rome a bit. I’ve got to get back to Germany at some point, of course. It’s funny but I miss speaking German. It was fun to meet a retired Austrian couple in the hostel in Valencia.