Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunny Seville - it doesn't get better than this!

Have I died and gone to heaven? We arrived in Seville at about 4pm on Friday and checked into yet another amazing hotel. Every place we have stayed has been fantastic and very reasonably priced. This hotel doesn't include breakfast so we went to the nearest Supermercado to stock up on fresh strawberries, bananas and yoghurts which is our usual brekkie in Spain. In the late morning we often buy a pastry and I keep on trying coffee in the desperate hope that one day I will find a good one!! It hasn't happened yet unfortunately but at least the milk has been real since leaving Barcelona.

We walked through the busy shops and narrow streets and totally fell in love with Seville. It is pretty, quaint and full of atmosphere. There are even trams here and a band was playing as the musicians walked along the streets all dressed in white. We managed to become quite lost as we wound in and out through a maze of narrow streets, each one confusing us more, especially when the signs back to the hotel pointed straight ahead but the directions stopped when we faced a choice of several more narrow streets going in a number of different directions - all part of the experience and eventually we found our way.

There are cafes everywhere and the shop windows are amazing. We chose a restaurant to eat outside at 10pm. It was still light and people were still arriving to eat. We chose a selection of tapas and had a great meal with a very palatable bottle of white. We seem to have quickly become accustomed to eating lunch at about 2pm and dinner after 9.30pm just like the locals. We go to bed very late at night and sleep well. It is definitely a different lifestyle which we enjoy while on holiday. Oh and I made a discovery after dinner tonight. I ordered my coffee with Baileys and have decided that this must be the only way to enjoy my coffee. It went down very easily indeed!

The temperature in Seville is several degrees warmer than where we have been up to now and we will have to rise early in order to run before it is too hot.

Saturday 11 June
Rising early didn't happen today and after brekkie we headed out to explore the local area and peruse the absoutely gorgeous shops including a limitless supply of shoe shops. We love the fact that the shops all face the streets and we can be outside instead of enclosed in a mall. The sun was hot and we wore as little as was decent. We found the flamenco venue recommended in our guide book and have booked tickets for tomorrow night. We also found the "shoe street" of Seville and just couldn't believe the amazing window displays everywhere. When everything closed for siesta we headed to an outdoor cafe for a light lunch as we soaked in the atmosphere. This is a wonderful part of Spain.

In the early evening we continued to explore the delightful little alleyways, sometimes managing to peep behind grilled gates to the tree-lined courtyards beyond. As we walked past the town hall we found we were in the middle of a demonstration. We assume that it was regarding unemployment which is currently at 22% in Spain and everywhere we have been there have been tents erected and banners requesting improvements of conditions in Spain. This demonstration could have been a celebration of a footy win. There was loud singing and cheering and chanting. There were police everywhere and banners and lots and lots of people of all ages. It was quite exciting but we did stay to the edge so as not to be drawn into the crazy crowd.

We ate at a local restaurant after 10pm and had a fantastic meal. Mine included the most beautiful grilled veges with large flat mushrooms, zucchinis, green asaparagus this time and tomatoes. We chose a bottle of cava (sparkling light white wine) with our meal and it was beautiful. Dave had oxtails which are a speciality here. It was well after midnight when we wandered back to the hotel. It doesn't even become dark until nearly 10pm here.

Sunday 12 June
The goal was to wake early which I sort of did but then fell back to sleep as is easy to do in the darkened room. The only reason I woke before 9am was that the cleaners were rattling around in the corridor. This meant it was after 9am before we headed out for a run in the heat of the sun. In fact it was 28deg at that stage and the temperature has been climbing all day. We ran through the local park and across the road through the next park and over two bridges before heading back. It was hot but it felt so good to run. It took about 4km before the hammie loosened up but as long as I can run, at least a little, I am happy. I'm so lucky that Mr B leads the way as if I ran on my own I would undoubtedly become completely lost!

Total distance: 8km (it may have been a little further as my garmin had a mind of its own today and started off in miles!)

Later we headed off to have a look inside the enormous cathedral. It is the largest cathedral in Europe and work began on building it in 1401 taking just over a century to complete. Being Sunday there were some services taking place inside and we had limited access but we still saw a lot of the inside and it was truly magnificent and HUGE!

Next we decided to visit the Real Alcazar which is the royal residence, started in 1364! These dates boggle my mind! The Spanish royal family still use the upper levels when they are in residence today. We spent more than 3 hours being gobsmacked by this amazing place - the artwork, the gardens, the amazing ceilings and tiling, the ancient baths, the plasterwork, intricate designs on the archways and tiles - impossible to describe but just fabulous!

We ended up at a restaurant eating tapas for lunch at 4.15pm, absolutely starving! It's great having the opportunity to sample Spanish food this way - small portions, lots of variety, not too filling - perfect! We don't expect to be eating dinner until after 10pm again as we have the flamenco dancing to attend at 8pm - how exciting!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy it while it lasts... don't think you'll be having coffee and Baileys after our Saturday runs!

    You're doing a great job of describing what's impossible to describe ;)