Thank you so much for showing your outpouring support yesterday. You are the best!… AS ALWAYS!
Today, I’d like to tell you more about yet another city in Spain I traveled to in April: Seville. If you have missed my previous posts, here is your chance to catch up:
Seville is definitely one of those cities that just take your breath away. Due to time constraints, my brother and I had only one day to spend there. When we woke up, I was ready to go and explore. Unfortunately, my brother told me that he had to finish some work and had to stay at the hotel all day. I hesitated for about a second, took the map and headed out the door. It was daytime and the hostel we stayed at was not that far from all major attractions. I had nothing to worry about.
It was definitely strange to be all by myself, but it was a beautiful day, so I decided to walk by the river which cut through the city.
I reached the nearest bridge and took some pictures of colorful buildings all around. They were so cute that I got cheered up almost instantaneously and all worries went away.
That feeling didn’t last too long… As I turned around, I noticed a man was looking at me. I didn’t think much of it and continued on walking along the river. Suddenly I got a strange feeling. What caught my attention was bizarre. Somebody was walking behind me, and it seemed like that person was trying to match my pace. I tried to keep my calm. After all, it was a busy street. I blamed myself for being paranoid.
When I turned to check out who it was, I saw the same man following me. I knew it was him because I remembered the red folder he carried. It stood out against his otherwise bland outfit. Once again, I tried to stay calm and simply pretended to stop and take a picture of a random monument and let him pass me.
A few minutes later, I lost a sight of the man and headed to the Plaza De Toros which was nearby. It is the oldest bullring in the world and I was really excited to see it.
Since I wanted to cover as much of Seville as possible, I decided to forgo getting a ticket and simply walked around it to enjoy its beauty. Then I had this wonderful idea. I figured maybe if I went into a souvenir store inside, I could peak through and see more stuff. *Hey! No judgement here! I was a tourist… poor tourist! Haha!*
Sadly, I wasn’t able to see much through the inside, so I looked over cute things they had there. I didn’t find anything special, or at least not something I wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere in the city. As I turned around to leave… I saw him again standing next to the exit, pretending to read a book about Seville… He was facing me…
I am kidding you not, I freaked out all the way! I knew that something was definitely wrong. I was NOT being paranoid. That man was indeed following me. I felt helpless because there was not a single person who spoke English in there. I also knew that the man wasn’t a tourist either because he wasn’t dressed like one. He didn’t have a camera or map on him, and just the very first vibe I got from him rang danger.
I was certain that he wasn’t there to rob me since he had multiple occasions to grab my purse and run before, when there was no people around and yet he didn’t do it. I WAS SCARED for my life. Literally!
My first instinct was to head outside and mix in with people. Mixing in didn’t work because as you can see from the picture above there weren’t THAT many people. I considered approaching police, but I didn’t see any. So instead of wandering off in a smaller street, I decided to stop. Yes, stop! I turned around and saw him approaching. I sat down on a flowerbed next to some people and stared him in the eyes. I wanted him to know I knew he was after me. For a second I even considered confronting him, but then I am NOT that courageous. So I just sat and stared. Thankfully, he walked passed me again.
You can’t imagine the fear that was running through me. For the first time in my life I was scared to death. I was in a different country, I didn’t speak the language and there was literally no one to help me. So I listened to my instincts. I looked around and didn’t see him anywhere *which meant absolutely nothing, because the same thing had already happened before*. What did I do? I sprinted in the opposite direction from where I was headed first. I ran for good 10 minutes on a busy street, my heart was racing, I was about to collapse and cry.
The timing was good because as I was about to fall apart, I came across yet another big street. I made a decision to avoid smaller streets completely and be extra vigilant as to what was happening around me. I also made sure to stick around families. And I am glad I did so. The city won back my love and affection as I continued to explore it.
One of the most beautiful landmarks was the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See. It is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus!
Right next to the cathedral, there is a bell tower called La Giralda. You should definitely look up its history, it’s quite fascinating!
In addition, the cathedral shared the same square with one of the sides of Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. It was incredible to see these two completely different styles somehow working together.
Around that time, I somewhat calmed down my nerves and headed to the Torre del Oro by the river. It was constructed in the thirteenth century. What’s strange about its history is that during the Middle Ages the tower served as a prison. How crazy is that?!
After that I headed back to the main street, I aimlessly walked and enjoyed the atmosphere. I tried to soak in the beauty of nature and fountains…
As well as minor details such as this bike path sign *so different and cute!!!*…
When I looked at the map, I realized that I still had time to visit one of the places I really wanted to see: The Plaza de España. It is a gigantic half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge with numerous bridges stretched over ponds and beautiful fountains.
I fell in love with it and its railings… Aren’t they absolutely beautiful?!
This whole experience totally made up for the stress earlier that day. I was again a happy and relaxed person. To make things even better, I saw this dove. To me, it was a sign of forgiveness. So I decided not to keep a grudge at this beautiful city and instead left a piece of my heart there because that’s where it belongs.
Have you ever been followed by someone? What did you do?