Seville

Sevilla, Part II

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Oh, so much to do and so little time - that was the biggest problem we had while in Seville.  The city is not that large and it is packed with ancient artifacts, which means we walked (a lot) and around every corner we did that gasping “wow”.

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One of my favorite things about these deeply historic European cities is that you may find on a tiny little cobbled street a pair of huge shabby oak doors and then you open them up and you find this dazzling church inside complete with priceless art, beautiful stonework and an indulgent alter.

 

 

 

Life at home can get frenetic and one of the things I love about getting away is it changes your perspective.  It gives you a chance to take a breath about those huge issues that are really small issues that are bothering you.  Heck, you can’t do anything about it from three thousand miles away.  I had not felt this chilled and relaxed in a long time.

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The gelato is so delicious.  I think I ate my weight in it during my trip.  There are gelato stores EVERYWHERE, so it’s just too easy to pick up a scoop several times a day.  I gave myself a challenge to try every flavor, I just may have succeeded. 

 

I managed to pick up a cooking class while in Seville.  It was so well organized and a wonderful experience.  The meeting point was in a local market and the first hour of the class involved searching for the ingredients we would need for the menu.

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Then we went back to the cooking classroom and started cooking.  We made gazpacho, creamed spinach and chick peas, but my favorite was making paella from scratch.  The whole process took about 2 hours (but did not feel that long because they kept us well supplied with sangria).  From making the chicken stock from the carcass, to deboning a chicken the right way, to just the right amount of saffron and how you toast and crush it, to the adding of the rice at the end. 

Little known facts.

  • When you add the rice do not do not stir it.
  • You simmer the paella until there is almost no liquid left and there is a crust on the bottom.
  • If you order paella at a restaurant and it takes less than 30 minutes to come out, it is not paella!!!

I think one of my favorite times in Seville was at night.  The locals all disappeared in the afternoon to miss the heat of the day (sensible people) but at about 8pm everyone appeared, the tapas bars were hopping, children were playing in the plaza, the light began to fade just enough that there is an ethereal glow over everything especially those ancient buildings.

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This is the cathedral, which has a mixture of Roman, Arabian and Catholic influences.  If you climb the tower (which I have) you will not find any steps, just lots of ramps…in case you want to ride your horse to the top…. which I did not!

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We were sad to leave but did so with many happy memories of spending time with Jenny and Elliot and exploring yet another striking and ancient city with a hope that we will return one day.

Visiting Seville (Part I)

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Jenny and Elliot are currently living in Seville and because we live vicariously through our children we planned a trip for late September thinking that the temps would be perfect (we were wrong - still insanely hot), and the city would be bright and beautiful (we were right on that one). With over 300 days of sunshine we knew it would be a trip of a lifetime and we were not disappointed.

Seville is in the Andalusia part of Spain and is famous for its food, hospitality and flamenco dancing (more of that in Part 2).

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So many old old buildings. I mean 5th Century onwards with a prominent gothic style which we love.  Seville also has a large bull fighting arena (which we did not go to) and a great deal of Moorish buildings, which when the Moors abandoned their mosques, the Christians took them over and made them very Catholic and they were very, very beautiful inside and out.

Yes, the place was stunning but the biggest joy was spending time with these two.

Found a random cow that needed a kiss right after we found a Starbucks where I could get a decent cup of Earl Grey tea (deep joy).

Fish markets were everywhere. These were kinda creepy langoustines and all the crab, scallops and shrimp looked amazing but…. sigh…. due to my severe shellfish allergy, I could not touch any of them.  And yes, I go everywhere with my EpiPen and my stash of Benadryl.

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We went to Cadiz which is thought to be the oldest town in Europe.  It has over 150 watch towers and we climbed the tallest one to get this view.  I guess they wanted to see their enemies coming in every direction. 

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The day we were there, there was weird choir festival going on in front of the cathedral.  I would not say they were good but they were very colorful.

When we visit our kids it’s such a special time to get to know them better as young adults and these two are as much joined at the hip as they were when Elliot was younger. It is such a special thing to see a child and parent not only respect but like each other.

We made it to the beach and explored some of the outstanding architecture in Seville.  More to come in Part II. 

Until next time, 

Angie