Events beyond our control forced a change of hotel, and finding one that could accommodate 38 of us at the drop of a hat was no mean feat, but eventually, the travel agents came through, and we moved to a far better hotel. The sight of a human crocodile of staff and students tramping through the city centre streets, dragging our luggage behind us, must have excited the curiosity of the Sevillanos. Fortunately for us, the second hotel had just been renovated - indeed, the builders were still on site – and we were the first guests. Although the transfer took up a good deal of time, we all agreed that it was a change for the better, as our new hotel was clean, safe and had excellent staff. Best of all though, it was located in the Barrio Santa Cruz [the former Jewish Quarter], a picturesque and delightful part of the Old City, with narrow, winding, cobbled streets; whitewashed houses; small squares lined with orange trees, many with beautiful patios; picturesque little parks and plazas; and innumerable tapas bars. The maze of improbably narrow alleys meant that getting lost was an experience shared by most of us!
The relocation meant that our planned programme got off to a late start, and activities planned for the first day were inevitably delayed or cancelled. By the time we had settled into our new hotel, it was late afternoon, and so the students enjoyed some free time. Many took the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the city centre, splitting up into small groups and going off to explore the parks, plazas and museums, before meeting up in the evening for our first group meal in Spain - in an Irish Bar!