A Rural Andalucian Commute
A year or so ago, on one of my beautiful, relaxing bus rides home from school, I scribbled a post about my daily work commute through the countryside of Huelva and Sevilla. Somehow, this post got lost in my blog’s drafts, but rediscovering it has made me yearn for the rural, peaceful ways of Andalucía, so here’s a nostalgic, archived post about last year’s commute between Sevilla and Villarrasa.
Having to spend about 3.5 hours and €9.50 to commute every day to work isn’t exactly the highlight of this gig, but, you know what? I really don’t mind it. My commute in L.A. over the summer was much longer (try Pasadena to Santa Monica and back during rush hour), and, in a bus, I get to sleep, read…whatever I want to do. Though my wallet would be thicker without this commute, when it comes down to it, I kind of love it.
Every morning when I’m struggling to roll out of bed, I remind myself that I’ll be able to fit about another hour of sleep in on the bus. On the way home, if I’ve brought my laptop with me, I’ll watch a downloaded episode of a TV show, or, even better, now that I have a Kindle, I get tons of quality reading time.
But even greater are the sights along the way. Though Spain has some major, bustling cities, usually the minute you leave their borders you suddenly find yourself in the countryside. Sevilla is gorgeous, but I love my four-times weekly escape from urban life. And the Andalucían countryside is beautiful. Gently rolling hills, fields of olive trees, white towns dotting the hillsides in the distance, all highlighted by stunningly golden rays of sun. I don’t know if it’s a result of harvesting crops or rain or a matter of me being more perceptive these days, but suddenly the landscape seems to be shockingly green. And then you find yourself getting the occasional glimpses of truly rural life, far different from anything I’d see back in L.A., like an old man in a shepherd cap guiding dozens of goats through a pasture.
On the drive, we pass through small pueblos, each set apart by acres of fields and each with Andalucían white stucco architecture and unique cast of characters.
There’s the lone toro, a remnant of the Osborne sherry billboards that used to fill the Spanish countryside, the bizarre extraterrestrial-looking solar energy towers, my favorite smartly dressed old man that always walks his friend to the bus stop in Villalba del Alcor, the obnoxious yet somehow charming smalltalk the fellow passengers exchange with the bus driver as I try to sleep, the cows lazily roaming about the olive grove, the first glimpse of Sevilla’s ancient Giralda minaret as we come over that final hill, some new sight to notice every day.
I’ll take this over bumper to bumper traffic on the 405 any day.