Sevilla.

06-05-16

The plan was to celebrate Sharon’s birthday in a major city, therefore due to our location this had to be Sevilla.  All the way around Andalucia everyone was saying that ‘we must go’ to Servilla, ‘it’s fantastic’.  Also we had managed to drive around it’s ring roads twice already (Sanlucar to Huelva, Zafra to Torreguardiaro) and every time we said to each other ‘we must visit there’ as we looked over it’s spires and buildings from the elevated through roads.

To achieve this we started to head east with conviction stopping at Aracenas (Sp) for a free stopover.  Again we had an amazing view from the car park of the castle on the hill behind us.  The surprise though was that the ground was used as a place to practise horse and trap riding by the locals.  Sharon even managed to get a turn on the trap. The photo does not represent the real speed, they were flying!

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Sharon on the horse and trap speeding past the campervan.

Finally, Sevilla bound, we crossed the Sierra de Aracena on the N433, to join the motorway into the city centre.  The paid motorhome stopover was 20 minutes walk from the historic city centre and had the ‘Triana’ barrio on the door step.  There are many tourist guide books about Sevilla so there is not much need to capture those details here.  To summarise, Sevilla is pretty amazing, with it’s parks and grand buildings, different Barrios offering different vibes, modern restaurants alongside bars with adhoc flamenco (more voice and guitar and less dance, which is different to my original perception of what flamenco is), vast river and it’s bridges, and basically lots to do, see, eat and drink.

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Plaza de Espana, an unlikely home of several wild bright green parrots.

Sharon’s actual birthday found us relaxing in the van whilst the heat died down and then completing a small tapas bar tour of the barrios ‘Triana’, ‘El Centro’ and ‘Santa Cruz’.  For our evening meal we completed a double by having a tapas starter (Oxtail for Sharon, fish albondigas for me) in one bar recommended by some locals that we chatted to in Plaza Los Venerables, and then steak and patatas fritas in a tourist restaurant at the foot of the cathedral.   Post meal we tried to find ‘La Carboneria’ which is a popular low key but thriving flamenco club in the lanes of Santa Cruz.  Needless to say, since we had forgot our city map, we could not find it but we did manage to get ourselves invited to mini ‘lock in’ at a neighbouring cool bar with the Venezuelan bar man and his Columbian friend, Sevillian local Ishmael who was originally from Morocco, his Polish girlfriend and her friend.   At one point we were all speaking Spanish and we joked that there was not a Spaniard in the bar.

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Happy Birthday Sharon!!!

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Bull (torro) and aubergine stew, ‘Bezzocal’ restaurant Calle Moratin.

In total we spent four nights in Sevilla and we can confirm it is a great place for a city break as it has pretty much everything for anybody.  On one of the other nights we did get to La Carboneria where we shared a long table with a young couple from Russia.  It is a great simple ‘arty’ venue where the Flamenco is taken very seriously and has a very enticing atmosphere.  But also, we are both tired as we definitely over indulged and completely shot the budget.  Personally I feel like I have been in a Sevillian washing machine, which has sucked me in and spat me out after the spin cycle, penniless, with sore feet and a slow throbbing headache. 🙂

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Bye Sevilla, it was a fun getting to know you.

Post Sevilla we stayed at a place choose completely at random, Palma del Rio, which is approximately 50 km outside of the Andalusian capital in the direction of Cordoba.  Palma was a completely normal Spanish town with a small town wall and impressive large church in the centre.  What struck us though was that the town was out in force, as it was the 1st of May, which seems to be the day of celebrating ‘communion’ for the Spanish nine year olds.  We sat in the town’s square watching 100’s of families dressed up very smartly entering the church.  We both agreed though that it was the ladies that stole the show, seriously, you would have thought those cobbled paths leading the church’s entrance was a cat walk.

It is worth noting for our memories it was in Palma where Sharon ‘scrumped’ her first Sevillian orange, during a countryside walk through the groves that lay in the plains surrounding the town.

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I have succumbed to the man bag purchase, I am not buying a selfie stick……early hours on 28-04-16, Sevilla. 

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