A day in Osuna.

After the madness that was Feria last week, this weekend I decided to chill out a little bit with a nice relaxing day trip to Osuna, a small town in Sevilla province. A few Spaniards had recommended it to me and I’d been wanting to visit it for a while, so on Saturday I decided to make the most of the slightly cooler weather (25/26 degrees instead of more than 30) and make a day of it with my friend who lives here in Alcalá.

The day got off to an early start  because we’d arranged to meet at the main bus stop in town at 7am so we could catch the bus into the city (unfortunately there are no direct buses between Alcalá and Osuna). This meant I’d set my alarm for 5:30am because it takes me forever to get ready to go anywhere as I’m so slow (and this is made about a million times worse when it’s early in the morning and I’m not properly woken up yet). But anyway, I made it to the bus stop just before 7 and, as there was a bus there waiting, I thought I’d hop on and wait for my friend on the bus itself. Mistake. As soon as I’d sat down the bus started moving…without my friend on it. Turns out that because of the Feria (which has only just finished – say what you want about them, but the people here do know how to party) the buses had been running behind, and the bus I ended up catching was the 6:40 bus that left 15-20 minutes late. As it turned out, what could have been an absolute disaster ended up working out alright because my friend caught the 7:10 bus we’d initially planned on getting and arrived at San Bernardo in Sevilla about 10 minutes after I did.

After walking to Prado and buying our bus tickets (€14,40 return), we had some breakfast in the station caff and tried not to fall asleep as we waited for the 9 o’clock bus to Osuna to arrive. The journey itself was nice and smooth with only two other stops before ours,  and surprisingly neither of us felt travel sick once. From what I’ve seen of the roads here in Spain, at least in this part of the country, they’re very good quality. After arriving just before 10:30, we proceeded to walk in the complete wrong direction upon leaving the bus station and ended up having the turn around and consult a map because we almost left the town. Oops. Map consulted, we did eventually manage to find the right way into the town centre and have a walk about.

First stop of the day was the old university of Osuna up at the top of the hill. Be warned  if you’re wanting to visit though: the entrance was a bit tricky to find – we ended up walking round pretty much the entire building before stumbling across it. Luckily our timing was almost perfect as we managed to arrive about 2 minutes before a massive tour group, so after paying the €2 entrance fee we also got a free tour! I mean, the tour was in rapid-fire Spanish so obviously we couldn’t understand the whole thing, but we definitely got the gist of it. The best part for me was the big conference room upstairs that they used to use for exams back when the building was a secondary school. Unfortunately the lighting was pretty bad so I don’t have any photos, but the roof was made of beautiful dark wooden beams which looked amazing beside the white walls and golden lamps hanging from the ceiling.

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Patio inside the old university in Osuna.

Coming out of the university, we decided not to follow the tour group into the nearby monastery and inside made our way down the hill for a wander through into more of the town itself. And as we stopped to take photos of a church tower, a super small, super cute puppy came over to say hi! She was so adorable – even when nibbling my shoelaces! But alas, we had to move on. We climbed down the hill to Plaza Mayor and then made our way through the Arco de la Pastora to the town bull ring which we’d hoped to get a look inside because one of the scenes from Game of Thrones was filmed there a few years back! Sadly, it was only open during shows (which I wouldn’t have paid to go see) or after 5pm which was after the bus we were planning to get left, so we had to give it a miss. With a bit of extra time on our hands having not been able to visit the bull ring, we decided to visit the town museum instead. Again, only a €2 entrance fee so not pricey at all. And, continuing the Game of Thrones theme, they have an entire permanent exhibit dedicated to the show! I found it hilarious (as you can see from this photo of me with their white walker!), but was a little disappointed that it was more replicas and licensed material and less info about what it was like having a production of that scale come and take over your small town in the middle of nowhere for a few weeks but hey ho.

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Making friends with the locals…

All ASOIAF-d out, we were feeling pretty hungry having had nothing to eat since our tostadas con tomate at Prado that morning, so we set out on the hunt for some lunch. My friend had blablacar-d (yes, that’s a verb…shhhhh) with some Spanish people up to Madrid a few months back and one of them had given her a list with some recommendations for places to eat all over Andalucía, and one of them, Casa Curro, just so happened to be in Osuna so naturally we had to go there. The service left a LOT to be desired (and I know Spain isn’t really renowned for that kind of thing, but this was especially poor), but the amazing food more than made up for it! And it was a lot cheaper than we anticipated too – €18 (although maybe the waiter felt bad for taking soooooo damn long to bring our food and our bill that he gave us a discount…who knows?!). We had two drinks each and split six tapas: wild boar with tomato sauce, spinach croquettes (sooooooo goooooooooood), chicken with creamy mushroom sauce, pork with fig sauce and walnuts, flamenquín with asparagus, and fried cheese with artichokes and honey. A few things a little bit different than your normal menu and all done very well!

And then it was time to head back to Sevilla, so we walked back through town to the bus stop. When we made it back to Alcalá by 6pm, we were still hungry (to be fair, this was three hours after finishing lunch) so we got off the bus early and went for ice cream, then walked back to my friend’s apartment and made veggie red curry for tea and watched Rocky in Spanish (which turned out to be surprisingly funny). It was a nice, relaxing day and just what I needed after the Feria the previous weekend.

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