Today I took a bus from San Feliu to Barcelona, and am now on the Ave, or the super fast train to Sevilla. It is a wonder to me how anyone who does not speak Spanish manages to travel here. I have met about 3 persons who speak a smattering of English and no others.

I would have been lost indeed if my Castellano was not returning in leaps and bounds.

This train ride is taking me virtually all across Spain and is wonderful. We passed Tarragona and Zaragossa, then we rode through a wilderness of mountains with tiny villages and are now in the plateau beyond. An old hacienda and then a modern installation, fields and hills and all of it sort of reminiscent of India – in terms of topography, but distinctly Spanish too. Am so glad I chose not to fly.

! I am in Sevilla! I found a lady taxista, who gave me a constant run down of all the places we were passing and also told me that the hotel I have chosen is a long walk from anywhere that a car might take me. Thank the stars for the Ryan Air, 10 kg restriction!

However she ended up dropping me closer than I thought. I had to walk down cobbled streets narrower than any in Chandni Chowk with music pouring out of every second door because it is a bar, bodega, restaurant or hotel. Past plazas with quaint fountains, only two actually, full of people sitting at candlelit tables. Then I walk down a tiny, tiny alley, seems like a dead opens into a lovely plaza, lots of shady trees ringed with Casa de doña Elvira, bodega de no se qual and there at one end is another minuscule alley called calle Gloria, and down that is La Casa de Dona Lina, which is where I am staying. There is a courtyard with tables, stairs going up one side with two rooms off each floor all looking down into the courtyard. I have a tiny room with a very sufficient bathroom and air-conditioning that is trying to work. The temperature is about 40 degrees but it is all totally enchanting. Can’t believe how lucky I got finding this tiny corner.

Have had a lovely late dinner sitting in the square. Walked down another little alley to discover myself at the Alcazar. Victorias clip clipping around the square, magically lit up fairy tale buildings. Indescribable!

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