I am picking up from where I left off on our vacation in Spain this summer. This is a continuation from our first stop in Barcelona (link to to the entire series here).
After spending six days in Barcelona, I was flip-flopping about where to head to next. On one hand I think Suanne would love London but I also wanted to go to Morocco. Alternatively, we could go to Seville with the primary objective of dining at the alternative El Bulli.
So I went and try to book a flight to London. But it was so expensive when I booked it just 2 days before. The cheapest was something €300 per person return. So it immediately kiboshed the idea.
As for Morocco, the flights were cheaper. So we asked the people at our hotel and they advised that we should not travel especially when we are not with a group. We did not want to follow a tour group because we don’t like being brought to shops and stuff. Our guide book also said pretty much the same thing — third world country and needing to be careful about being fleeced, etc. Moreover, Suanne is not too keen for that kind of adventure.
So our decision was hinged on getting a table at the El Bulli Hotel in Seville. After three days, we got a confirmed table for a Friday evening. That clinched it. Seville it is.
It was really last minute. We decided to fly from Barcelona to Seville instead of taking the train. So we booked a flight on Ryanair, a no-frills budget carrier at €85 per person. It was not a very good idea!
Firstly, Ryanair flies out of the Girona-Costa Brava Airport which is a good 90km outside of Barcelona. It did not occur to us to check before we booked the flight. Good thing that there is a regularly scheduled bus from Barcelona city center to the airport. The one hour bus ride costs €12 per person.
The airport was like a market! There was thousands of people. The check in process is really confusing that caused to line up twice — once to check in and another time to pay for the extra luggage we had (€20). Budget airlines are not really cheap if you are not careful of the extras that could add up.
We were so afraid of missing the flight because the line was moving so slowly. We managed to get it all done with 30 minutes to spare. So we decided to grab something quick to eat since it will be quite late by the time we get to the hotel and settle down.
The above is €14. If you do the conversion, it is $22 Canadian. On hindsight, we should have bought something before we left for the airport.
This is a series of complains. Sorry for being negative here but the flight was really bad. Here goes …
From fearing being late for the flight, we ended up waiting because the flight was delayed 90 minutes. Frankly, it was a frustrating wait because Ryanair did not even have anyone at the gate for the whole time to let anyone know how long more it was going to take.
There are no aero bridges. So everyone had to embark the flight from the tarmac and having to carry our own baggage up and down the stairs.
There were no seat assignments on budget carriers. You have to pay extra for the right to get on first to secure better seats. For cheapo like us, we ended having to rush. At least the Spaniards are generally courteous.
Everything here are basic and every effort is made to maximize revenue. This is the first time I see ads on every overhead compartments.
There are no pockets in front of the seat to hold magazines and flight safety manual. The flight safety instructions are pasted on the seat.
To top it all, my seat safety belt had used gums on it. I did not know it initially and found out only when I checked why my hands were all sticky. Yucks!
They have better food options on Ryanair. They are extra of course.
We decided to check out one of their offerings. We ordered the €4.50 pizza. I paid with €5 bill. They said they did not have change and will come back with the change later. They never did.
The pizza was edible, not delicious but OK. It was clearly over nuked with on board microwave as the cheese was all sticky and gooey and the pizza was really hot.
The flight was less than 2 hours. When we got to Seville, we then had to get a taxi to the hotel. That taxi ride was €30.
Budget carriers is only worth it if you could get €25 flight tickets. Otherwise it is not worth the hassle and the extra costs and time.
We should have taken the high speed train from Barcelona to Seville and it would have been cheaper, less stressful and even faster. The high speed train travels from city center to city center.
So, let’s do the math for the two of us to travel from Barcelona to Seville:
- Ryanair Flight: €170
- Extra luggage: €20
- Bus from Barcelona to Girona Airport: €24
- Taxi from Seville airport to hotel: €30
That makes it €244 ($380 Canadian) … not to mention the time taken, hassle and the overpriced snacks we had.
This flight aside, the Seville vacation turned out great. Even though this leg was not planned, we exprienced something that we did not expect — blood and death. LOL! El Bulli too!! Stay tuned.