Our journey began at 7:00am on Saturday morning. It was yet another 3 day weekend in Spain and we were off the the south of Spain, Seville in our handy dandy fiatt 500. The drive was beautiful,the sun was shining, the radio was booming and Trey and I were having one of our many deep conversations of life, love, and travel. We passed several Spanish farms raising olive and orange trees. It was a pleasant site to see solar pannels for miles. Spain has very expensive electric so this is something they have taken seriously in Spain to produce efficient and cost effective power.
With 4 and a half hours behind us we finally arrived in Seville. The weather was gorgous and reminded us of a spring day in Charleston. We rolled down the windows as we rode through the city streets of Seville. We rode through the old town ewwing and aweing over the old architecture and beauty of this city. The streets were swarming with people and the parking was impossible. After we dropped off our luggage at the Airbnb we had to find parking. Apparently this is a very difficult task to do in Seville and we were unaware that this would be an issue. After driving around for nearly an hour with me every so often saying "oh there...nope garage entrance", we finally gave up and searched for public parking. We noticed a blue parking sign with an arrow and the word Saba on it. Without further hesitation Trey jumped in the line. We both were thinking okay maybe the garage is backed up no worries we are on vacation we can wait. Another hour
and a half later and only 4 miles to the entrance of the garage we had finally made it. Trey and I were exhausted and became hangry. We didn't know if the public garage was overnight parking or not, so we both dreaded the thought that we might have to move the car.
The hanger took over me and I had to use the restroom. We hurried through the Corte Ingles in search of a restroom. Salvation was ahead just past the flamanco dresses to the left. What a relief but now to conquer the hanger.The idea was to arrive in Seville and find a great lunch place, but at this point at 4:30pm we would have eaten anything. We realized we needed cash and we're in search of a bank as well. Trey's lack of energy from the "hanger" and my irrational running around from the "hanger" landed us around the corner and finally were able to take a load off and recharge.
We order a lovely appitizer of salted cod and fresh avacado with a drizzle of balsamic it was just what we needed. Next we ordered our entrees Trey ordered cod stuffed ravaoli and I ordered salmon and veggies. We almost didn't come up for air. The "hanger" had subsided and we both had returned to ourselves again! Team Trelsea was ready on the go. We found out we could leave our car in the garage for the weekend if we purchased a weekend card. So that is just what we did and we're happy we didn't have to move the car again. We walked back to our Airbnb to take a siesta and get ready for the evening.
After a nice nap we were ready to go out on the town. Trey called and made reservations at a flamanco show. We wanted to see flamanco in the South where the art had originated. We had seen flamanco before in Madrid, but we had a feeling it would be different. We were off to the show and as we walked to the autotorium we admired the beautiful cobblestone streets of Seville. I most of all enjoyed window shopping and looking at the clothing botiques on every corner. I know Trey was happy we were strolling later on the evening so he wouldn't have to go into all of these stores, and his wallet was happy as well. We wound around to the old autotorium and collected our tickets at will call. We were lucky we arrived early because it was first come first serve seating. We sat front row to the far right of the stage it was perfect. The show began and Trey and I were entranced in the beautiful story. We enjoyed that the male and female dances the most. They did 3 dances together. At the show in Madrid, it was each dancer by themselves, so this was nice to see the bond and chemistry you must have to flamanco together. The music was a little different the guitarist was fantastic! The dancers really felt the music and told a beautiful stories through the art of flanamco. We throughly enjoyed the show. After the show we thought we would walk around for a bit and get a feel for the night life in Seville. It reminded us in certain areas of King St. on a SAT. night. The only difference everyone was speaking Spanish! We weren't feeling much in the bar mood so we stumbled upon a quite street just off of the busy plaza, and went into a very swanky Asian restaurant called Wasabi (no not your American chain friends hehe). It was very busy and everyone that went in had reservations. They told us they did not have a table for us but we were welcome to sit at the bar table. We had no problem with that. We ordered some white wine and ejoyed the relaxing ambiance. The sushi was incredible. It was hands down the best we have had in Europe. We watched the skill of the kitchen and wait staff as they ran there busy Sat. night like a well oiled machine. Trey and I mumbled in between every bite about the flavorful sushi we were craving for almost 6 months. After the house graupa and amazing violet and green tea infused ice cream we decided it was time to turn in for the night.
It was Sunday morning and we stopped into a little cafe just down the street, for a glass of fresh squeezed oj, a cafe con leche y Baileys and tostado con tomate y jamon. It was a perfect way to start our morning. It's funny how when we get older how we spend our days. We used to love to stay up late and enjoyed being night owls and sleeping in, but now we both rather go to bed early and wake up early to enjoy the full day and are the most active in the morning. My Aunt June used to say, "mornings are the best time of the day." Then I thought she was crazy, now I very much agree.
We followed the cobble stone roads to the main tourist area where the Alcazar and Cathedral were. It was a gorgous day! As the horse drawn tours went by we felt right at home. We didn't reserve tickets in advance for the Alcazar so we waited in line for about 2 hours to enter. Despite the fact, Trey hates crowds and lines we both didn't mind waiting and watching the beautiful plaza outside of the Cathedral and Alcazar come to life. We had live music while we waited and the sun was shining keeping us nice and toasty. We shared a frozen lemonade and much to your surprise...took lots of pictures.
We finally made our way into the Alcazar and were very impressed the this amazing piece of Morrish influenced arctitecture. The details the this building were mind blowing. We often asked ourselves, How long do you think it took to create that small corner? Do you think they carved it into the building or carved it and mounted it up? The architecture and art we have seen on this trip amazes us. It truly is remarkable to see the time and details they put into there life long work.
Our favorite part of the Alcazar,and all of Seville for that matter,was the Alcazar Gardens. It was like a magical kingdom of natural beauty, with amazing water features, and lookouts where you could see the entire garden, and stare off into the distance for hours. We both sat on a bench by the peacocks for almost 30 minutes and said nothing. We just breathed it all in...It's moments like that I will cherish forever. Where we just soaked in all of our surrounding beauty, and enjoyed eachothers presence. After spending nearly 4 hours there it was time for us to head on to our next destination Plaza de España.
We walked from our place at one side of Seville to the center to the other side of Seville. It was perfect because we were able to cover the entire city in just 2 short days. We passed a park and a Terrance that was shaded by beautiful trees getting ready to blossum for spring. We said we would go back there for a snack and drink once we finished at Plaza De España. We reach our destination and we're in awe of it's beauty. It was like what you seen in the movies. Many people in a plaza surrounded by a beautiful piece of arcitrchure with a fountain in the middle and a park on the other. We enjoyed people watching here! As our stomachs began to growl and our months got dry we decided it was time for us to head to the terrace near the park for a snack and refreshment.
We ordered a bottle of cava and shared the oxtail tapas. It was just enough food to hold us over to our 10:00pm Spanish dinner time. We then walked down the riverfront viewing all the happy hour places coming to life on a hot late afternoon. We toured the Seville Bull Fighting Stadium and head back to our place for a siesta and shower before dinner.
We were ready for another night out and went to a restaurant our Airbnb owners recommended Arte y Sabor. It was a tapas bar and exactly what we were looking for. It had a variety of fusion tapas, so we went the tabuli, kufta, jamon asparagus, grilled goat cheese and pita route. Random but so good! It was delishious. We love tapas infusion because you can try many dishes share and still be full! We thought about venturing out for a night cap but decided against it because we had a big day planned for Monday and still had to travel back to Madrid.
It was Monday morning and Trey and I were heading to Córdoba for the afternoon to meet our friends Kiara and Rachael. They had stayed in Córdoba for the weekend and it was on the way home so we had to check it out. We left our Airbnb around nine thirty and took our luggage with us to the center where we parked our car. We sat at a little cafe outside and enjoyed a nice breakfast before our journey to Córdoba. We talked and wrote post cards and lost track of the time. We finally asked for the bill and realized we had been there for almost two hours. We got in the car and were Córdoba bound.
2 hours later we had arrived. Trey noticed a sign that said in Spanish permitted vehicles only, we ignored it and after about 30 sec. I wish I hadn't said, "oh we aren't parking we will be fine." Driving down cobblestone roads as narrow as our vehicle, I literally had to pull in the mirrors so they would not hit the wall so the buildings, and people walking all up and down these streets made for a very anxious Chelsea. Trey however kept his cool and drove on. He amazed me with his driving skills. While being here in Europe he has driven down many many old narrow roads, up impossible hills, down forbidden roads like a champion. I say this now and may regret saying this in the future, but my husband is a fantastic driver, and I will no longer be his passenger seat driver...just his trusty navigator. Much to your surprise while traveling we rarely ever argue about driving or directions while in a car. Maybe because this is the least used method of transportstion here in Europe, but it has made us stronger and a pretty good team!
Finally, we made it through the maze as we drove past the famous Masquita of Córdoba and parked our car in a public parking spot. We stopped at a little corner spot and shared some patas bravas, croquettes, and had a drink. The sun was beating down and again we couldn't have asked for better weather. We wondered to and fro down the streets of Córdoba and noticed the beautiful potted plants hanging all down the sides of the buildings. In May the city has a competition of who has the nicest patio, things were just starting to blossum, but I can imagine this to be absolutely gorgous time of year for the sweet little city of Córdoba.
We met up the Kiara and Rachael and walked around the Jewish quarter for a bit and went into a really neat ariboc tea shop. We all bought some tea and were ready for some more food. I know I know we eat alot don't we! Just keep in mind Spain is all about tapas so little tastes here and there. They girls took us to a place they were eyeing since they arrived. It was the cutest little restaurant with a gorgous open terrace in the middle of the restaurant. We enjoyed a veggie cous cous dish and amazing conversation. Kiara has such a wonderful way about her to make us all laugh. We were discussing the Plaza De Espana and told her we noticed on the wall of all the cities in Spain there was a city called Palencia. Kiara had to comment "Valencia and Palencia," she said in her Australian accent, " How odd to name cities in the same country so similar, it would be like naming a city Boo York after naming one New York." We laughed at her commentary and we will truly miss her humor when we return to the States.
After our meal we headed to where the girls had stayed for the weekend to collect there things. We headed to the car to load there things in our little fiatt 500, that Kiara was ever so excited about, and headed for one last look of Córdoba from the famous bridge. We walked along the bridge stopping to admire some Spanish guitar. As much as we all wanted to stay we had a long car ride back to Madrid ahead of us. We loaded up and headed back. We played an exciting a humorous game of 20 questions to keep us preoccupied as we waited in traffic for nearly an hour. We were all thinking outside of the box with our topic expect for Trey. With his first attempt of the game we all guessed his topic in less than 2 min. flat, his first truck, the Ford Ranger. I asked him to go again and to make it difficult. After 30 minutes of guessing he began to give us hints. When he said it was a Spanish word Kiara, part Spanish, was determined to figure it out. The hints were it was a feeling, it can be sexual, its a form of inspiration, and you cannot touch it. Just as we were about to give up he began to spell the first two letters I yelled out "Duerme?" Trey filled with excitement yelled out, "Yes!!" We all laughed hysterically saying really, Trey you are tired is sexual? He laughed and said," No, I thought you guessed it, it was Duende." He gave us the definition of duende which he had read in one of his books about Spain. Duende is a gypsy term used as the mysterious magical force, fairy like, that Spanish creative sprits obtain, which inspires the best of flamanco, His choice of 20 questions topic the second time around summed up our Seville trip rather nicely.
All in all we felt Seville to be a very charming city. The people, the culture, the architecture, the food, the weather were all components that made Seville one of our top 5 favorites thus far.