I spent the morning travelling to what will be my new base for the next little while. Ecija, with a population of just over 40,000, is a little over an hour from Sevilla in the province of Andalusia. It’s been referred to as the frying pan of Andalusia as temperatures can soar in summer to being the hottest in Spain!
Ecija has been a Roman and then a Moorish town. It has lots of narrow, winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, 11 towers, a pile of churches (not sure how many yet) and of course a bull ring.
Anne, who hails from Belgium originally and has also been to Darwin, picked me up from the local bus station. She is my new boss and has been here for 3 years. First task of the day was looking at apartments. I am delighted to report I’ve found one already and move in tomorrow.
Everyone seems very friendly but hardly anyone speaks English so my mastery of Spanish is going to have to come along pretty quickly and at least I can already understand a lot of what is said if they speak slowly!
This afternoon (read here 5.30 pm as that is when afternoon seems to start) I went for a walk though town. Shops were full of people at 7.30 and squares filled with families of all ages with kids in prams, on bikes, kicking footballs and roller skating before heading home for dinner. Anne informs me that in these parts we don’t say ‘Buenos notches’ till after 10 pm at night.
I also now have a Spanish mobile number thanks to a lovely Moroccan girl serving me and between a cross of Arabic, French and Spanish the phone is operational! I was also complimented on my Arabic pronunciation which I am amazed and pleased with given it is so very many years since I have used the language.
Tonight I am in a delightful little pension that is located in an 18th century house complete with traditional courtyard and right in the old centre of town. My room is massive and comes with the most enormous bathroom complete with claw foot bathtub that I intent to relax in a little later this evening and fantastic wi-fi connection – talk about a contrast!