When studying abroad in Granada, Spain my group and I took a weekend trip to Sevilla. The second day of our trip started off with a bike tour that resulted in some of my funniest study abroad tales.
The tour started in Plaza de Espana. We were able to walk around and discover Plaza de Espana before we mounted our bikes. It had been a few years since I had rode a bike so it started out rocky… and it ended rocky too. People are right, it’s like riding a bike-you never forget. But after several years, coordination and balance are not givens. I managed to speed up to make it to the front of the pack while our tour guide biked in a straight line. Suddenly, she turned down an alleyway and I nearly threw myself and others off our bikes.
We quickly passed by the Real Alcazar, which our group later took a tour of (sans bikes).
We winded through the streets and stopped at the Catedral de Sevilla. Like the Real Alcazar, our group took a tour of it later in the afternoon. It was difficult to take pictures with a large digital camera while biking. I often wasn’t coordinated enough to do so. Our bike tour guide would stop at some places, but other places we just had to take a snapshot with our minds’ eyes.
While crossing the street to reach the Guadaíra river, the tail end of our bike tour (including me) was almost hit by cars. Our group was too big to completely stay together. There were too many people in the streets for more than two of us to bike side to side. Those who struggled and lagged behind weren’t able to hear the tour guide’s explanations or hear her directions on where to go next. It is hard to go on a quick tour when everything you see makes you want to stop and take in the beauty. We were able to see Triana, the colorful riverside neighborhood.
Right next to the Triana is the Torre del Oro. The former medieval prison was turned into a watch tower. It is not actually made of gold, just a mixture of different stones that used to give a gold appearance.
Finally bringing us to center of Sevilla, our tour guide ended the tour at Metropol Parasol. This waffle-like structure has a stage on the one side in which local performers are booked to play music. But before we reached our final destination, I did something that makes me feel like the worst human being ever: I ran into someone with my bike. Our tour group was going too fast and they were about to cross another street. I feared being left behind so I sped up. In the process, I hit a man who was walking in the opposite direction with my handlebars. I screamed “lo siento” and had to keep on going. Only I would run into someone while I was on a bike tour.
In conclusion, I ban myself from bike tours and bikes in general because I had another terrible bike accident in Barcelona. I guess the phrase “it’s just like riding a bike” doesn’t apply to uncoordinated people like me.