I'm getting lots of work done the last few days, but I'm also getting a bit antsy. I wouldn't mind getting a chance to check out Barcelona, Morocco and Madrid. I've been looking at the 7-day forecasts around Europe and it's not good anywhere. The only place remotely close that is experiencing good weather right now is Egypt, but flights in to Cairo on short notice are in the $2,000 range - so that's a non-starter.I had a bit of a brainwave, which was to change my return flight and come back to NY a week early. I've already considered scratching a return to NY out of my plans after checking out SXSW, and instead hitting up San Francisco and then possibly Maui. If I did that, then I would miss out on a couple of things on my to-do list for a return to NY. Namely:
- having a caesar-making contest with some friends I met on the last night I was in NY.
- a couple of follow ups with some contacts I made there
- getting my luggage & selling my bed
- going to see a couple more bands
- go to a few more events where I can meet advertising and online marketing folks
As I'm somewhat (or completely) impulsive, I suspect that the decision on this could be made as soon as tonight. This will likely mean sacrificing Morocco and/or Madrid - but I think that I'm okay with that. I can save it for another trip & come back with a friend.
As you can see from the above, these are high-priority activities. My biggest consideration is cost. I would be saving on my place in Spain, as I'm sure I'd get some money back on the place - however it will cost me about $260 to change my flight and I will likely need to stay in a hotel in NYC. Accommodations in NYC won't be cheap, but I think that I may want to try finding a place in Brooklyn for a change of pace. It will be way cheaper, plus any time I made it over to Brooklyn it was a great experience.
I couldn't find a place to stay in Cadiz tonight so I'm catching the last bus out of here at 8pm. At least I will catch some of the festivities. There's a great vibe in town today, I'm sorry that I'm going to have to leave early.The weather is a bit nicer today. No rain, so I can carry my pack around town and not be miserable. It was warm enough that some people were surfing on the Atlantic today.
The nice thing about Cadiz being super-depressed is that everything is on sale & was cheap already. If anyone wants any European shit let me know.
So much for Cordoba & a return to Malaga.At the last minute (literally) I decided to go to Cadiz. Cadiz is a small city on the Atlantic side of southern Spain, and apparently the city has fallen on pretty rough times. But there is tons of history in the city (it was founded in 1100 BC and is where Columbus departed on his 2nd & 4th trips to America), and it is also home to the world's 3rd biggest Carnivale (next to Rio de Janerio and Trinidad). Carnivale is on right now and in its last weekend. I was half an hour early for my train to Cordoba, but when I got to the station I saw the train leaving for Cadiz in 5 minutes and made a quick change of plans. My only worry is that my pre-paid phone card will run out while I'm gone and I won't have data. I cannot live without data, and Cadiz will be much less enjoyable if I can't have Wikipedia, Google Maps & Google Translate at my fingertips. I NEED DATA. The weather is shit all across Spain, but I figured there is no real sense in heading home and Cadiz is a more accessible via Seville than from Malaga. It is cold (10 degrees), raining and I have no idea if I can get a hotel tonight but WeatherEye (via access to data) told me is was much colder in Cordoba. Plus it only is 12 euros & 2 hrs to take the train to Cadiz... if it doesn't work out I can either take the train back to Seville or home to Malaga. Speaking of which, I'm more convinced than ever that the YYC-YEG corridor needs a high speed rail system.
What a long, tiring, fulfilling day. I didn't get much sleep last night, and the forecast today was for rain - so when I got up and saw that it was sunny out I fully expected to be coming home for a nice siesta in a few hours. Yesterday was really miserable (photo from the top of the cathedral tower from yesterday below), and most of the sights in Sevilla are outdoors so it's not a lot of fun to sight-see when it's pouring out. Turns out it was really nice all day, and I really loved the city and couldn't bring myself to come back to the hotel.My fist stop was at the Alcazar. The Alcazar is the Spanish word for castle - and although it isn't the largest or most prominent alcazar in Spain, there is a ton of history there. It was built in the 11th century by the Moors, and then claimed and built upon by the Christians during the Reconquista. La Alhambra in Granada (which I saw last week) was actually built the the Muslims to replace Seville's Alcazar after it fell to the Christians. The place was amazing, especially the gardens (photo below). I had a chance to get lost in my first real hedge maze. The thing that was probably the most notable for me was the Alcazar was where Columbus met with Ferdinand II and Isabella I after his second trip to America. I spent a good 3-4 hours walking around the Alcazar and even found a place to take a quick afternoon nap in the garden.After that I took a tour bus ride around the city. I figured that I probably won't stay another day, but Seville is Spain's 3rd largest city, so I needed to get a good, quick overall view of the city. The tour wasn't anything special, but I'm glad I took it. There was a ton of stuff I wouldn't have seen - such as the bullfighting ring and the Expo '92 site, which was unbelievable. I also learned a bunch about some places that were more accessible to where I was, so after the tour I went for a long walk to take some photos and hang out a bit & enjoy the weather. The plan is to take an earlier train out of here tomorrow and I think I'm going to stop for the day in Cordoba, which is on the way back to Malaga. If the weather is crap I may skip it.In any case, I loved Seville. I will definitely make a point of coming back here at some point in my life. I can't wait to get back and get some photos off my camera (the iPhone pics really don't do the place justice).
Ham & Cheese chips & orange pop, being eaten on a bus tour where I'm the only one under 65.
This is where I took a 20 min siesta today.