Ha! Funny story. Some time ago, my sister and I travelled to Great Britain flying standby. All went well with our flights until we tried to get home. Oh, it was explained, we could hardly expect to get a flight to North America because it was a Bank Holiday.
We had never heard of a Bank Holiday, which is some random 3-day weekend thing the Brits do every so often. If we HAD heard of a Bank Holiday it would not have occurred to us that everyone needed to fly to North America for a long weekend.
This amusing tale sprang to my memory last night at midnight, when all the bells in the nearby cathedral started ringing. For Corpus Christi, a major Catholic holiday.
The lesson is: Check out the holidays where you are going because they can really affect you. Like all the shops will be closed tomorrow. And all the roads in the centre of town will be closed for processions. Plus all the streets are blocked with little shrines.
Sure enough, the bells woke me up the next morning at the crack of 7. We packed our suitcases and then skipped out for a quick breakfast and it was time to check out.
I can’t say enough about the Hotel Dona Maria. Originally a private home, it’s been turned into a delightful hotel, antiques everywhere, and SO convenient to everything you want to see. Plus, the fantastic rooftop, where we could partake of a refreshing swim in the afternoons.
And a refreshing beverage in the evening.
and a view of the Cathedral Square as night fell and the lights came on. And the swallows swooped and the sky turned from blue to indigo to black.
The rooms in the hotel are so comfortable and homey! The service is great. This is the exterior, actually on the street Mateos Gago.
If we ever find ourselves back in Seville we will come back here. What a hotel, not just accommodation, it’s an experience!
But we did have to leave today. As DH led me, silently weeping, from the lobby, we turned and found ourselves in the middle of the Corpus Christi celebrations in the square outside the Cathedral we’d visited yesterday. (BTW when we arrived on Saturday we saw some people headed for the Cathedral dressed to the nines — men in tails! women in $500 shoes! Turns out it was a football star getting married and no, we didn’t see the Beckhams although they were there). We saw some of the celebrations of Corpus Christi today, including life-sized statues being returned to the Cathedral from the parade:
And bands swarming in the side streets tuning up their instruments. DH also got a good video of the bells in the tower swinging out over the square (not available here).
But the crowds were so packed we could not force out way through the masses of celebrants. So, luckily, after all our tours in the area, we could head in another direction and still find our way out to the Torre del Oro where we could get the Airport Shuttle. We were HOURS early to the Seville airport, as we had to be out of the hotel by noon and I didn’t trust my abilities to deliver us to the right gate at the right time.
But we made it! And flew back to Paris.
I’m not hip to the machinations of these smaller airlines (Vuehling in this case). When I checked us in yesterday I had to pay for seats, so I paid for the swank seats. On first and off (no sky-bridge on the Paris end, a staircase and a shuttle).
The countryside reminds me of flying over Great Britain, that is, every square centimetre of land is accounted for. So unlike our flyovers in Canada with hundreds of square hectares of wild country. But let’s face it, both France and Spain fit populations larger than Canada’s into spaces smaller than our province.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is huge. Like gigantic. Titanic. Frighteningly large. We have been here before, flying from Frankfurt and finding our way into the city of Paris. But this time we were headed for the Yotel. This is a hostelry set up for the business commuter. Short on charm and long on efficiency. We knew we were going to get a totally different experience from the Dona Maria. But I was a little…….if not disgruntled, certainly far from gruntled.
First, finding the place. We landed in Terminal 3, but we had to make our way to Terminal 2. Hey, no problem, we did this when we landed. So we hopped on the rail shuttle. There we were in Terminal 2E and just had to get to 2L. We sought out a nice person in an orange vest who told us we had to go through security. Which we tried to do. Then we got another person in orange who had to ask another person who told us to go through the police kiosk, then catch another rail shuttle, then walk through another terminal and then get to our hotel. The Yotel.
We Found it! Fantastic. I had booked this room knowing it was rather …. spartan. It’s certainly efficient.
Your faithful blogger trying to check in for the last leg of our trip. There’s a bed. And a TV. (only news channels) And….a drop down desk. And a shower (glass walls! with curtains). No space to hang up your clothes. No furniture but the bed. Transparent panels between the “bed room” and the “shower/toilet”. And there’s a check out time of 7 A. M.!!! But I’m so intimidated by the size and complexity of CDG airport that I’ll be happy to be out of the room and over to the terminal at least 2.5 hours before our boarding time.
Must hit the (comfortable) bed. It’s nice to know that the last night we are spending in Europe is in a place we’ll be happy to leave!