It’s the eve before I set off on a 1000km walk to Santiago. I am just about fully prepared as can be, with just a couple of things to buy in the local Decathlon store.
I have added some of the places that I needed to visit in preparation, including where to buy your credencial (pilgrim’s passport that allows you to stay in Albergues and gain you certificate in Santiago).
I have been staying in the very nice Hostal Sierpes in the old district of Seville. The roads around there are incredibly hard to navigate, and I seem to get lost everytime I go back there! The hosts are really friendly and speak excellent English. I would have stayed at the recommend Triana Backpackers across the river had it not been booked out.
Pilgrim passport in Seville
My first task was to locate Hotel Simon (bottom left of map near the Cathedral) because this is a place where you can buy your passport for 3 Euros. I got this information from the very helpful notes of Syates on the Camino Forum.
I then walked along to the Cathedral of Seville and got my passport stamped. I went into the main tourist entrance and waited in line where you buy tickets. I then got my stamp, but didn’t actually go into the cathedral as I’d been in on a previous trip.
Free ATMs in Seville and Spain
I had to get some money out and I’ve discovered there are at least two banks in Spain that do not charge ATM fees on foreign credit and debit cards (your own bank may do of course!).
These are Bankia and Caixa Bank. There are a number of branches in the City Centre.
Mobiles / Cellphones in Spain
There are of course more than one mobile telephone provider in Spain, but I am going to recommend Orange, as I have used them for years and always had great customer service and call reception.
You can buy a prepay or pay as you go simcard from any Orange shop. For 8.95 Euros you can sign up for 1 GB of data per month. I use my phone a lot but I never seem to need more than 1 GB a month. The staff can usually speak a little English (at least one of them!).
As I said, there are more providers than Orange. This wiki prepaid site has an up to date list of them in Spain.
Outdoor gear in Seville
I had most of my gear already but if you need a couple of things then I’d recommend the City branch of Decathlon. There is also a larger one that’s just off the VDLP in the Seville suburbs. El Corte Ingles also has an outdoor section too, but is a little more costly.
Finally, after all that shopping, you should have a glass of wine and some Tapas. I’d recommend popping into the very cozy Bar Alfalfa. They do some awesome tapas and a glass of red starts from 1.60 Eur, which ain’t half bad!
So I am hoping to get an early night tonight for an earish start tomorrow. It really doesn’t feel like I am about to start a Camino. Seville could n’t be more different from St Jean Pied de Port. I don’t really feel like a pilgrim yet.
I am sure that when I climb into my first albergue bunk bed, it will feel real again.