03.14.2010 - 03.16.2010 0 °F
Mar. 14th - We took the train from Madrid to Seville and again, the views were beautiful. The beginning of the trip we were passing groves of olive trees surrounded by fences made of stone and craggy mountains on the horizon. As the hours passed the scenery gave way to rolling hills, orange groves and whitewashed houses. We arrived in Sevilla in the afternoon and we were greeted with wonderful sunshine and warm weather (in the 60's).
Our apartment/hotel is in the old Jewish section of the city called Barrio Santa Cruz. The area is closed to cars so we had to get dropped by our taxi outside of the area and walk to the hotel. We were a sight with all of our luggage walking down the narrow, cobblestoned streets. After we got settled we headed out for some food and decided to take a horse carriage ride to get familiar with the layout of the city. It was Sunday evening and there were people walking everywhere and the parks were crowded with famiies enjoying the weather and each other.
Seville is on a river and was the departure point in the 16th Century to the "New World". Ships left the port here headed for America and returned full of gold and silver. There are statues and monuments to Columbus and other Spanish explorers everywhere.
Mar. 15th - After breakfast at our hotel we opted to walk to Maria Luisa Park which is not far from our hotel. We went through it on the horse carriage the night before and the girls wanted to play on some of the structures that we'd seen. We rented a surrey (bike) and rode throughout the park. It was the first time on our journey that we actually got hot and had to take a break and get a cold drink. After a siesta back at our apartment we went to the Museo del Baile Falmenco to tour the museum and see a flamenco show. Lucy and I really enjoyed the dancing and the costumes but Gracie could have passed on the whole thing. The walked back to our neighborhood in the dark and got to see the Cathedral lit up and it was an amazing sight. We finally had paella for dinner and I had some wonderful sangria. We ate late and finally, I felt like a Spainard.
Mar. 16th - Today we opted to have breakfast at Starbucks (yes, they are absolutely everywhere). We took a long, long walk (aka I misread the map and we went the wrong direction) to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza (Seville's bullfighting arena). We went on a guided tour and got to see the arena and visit a museum dedicated to bullfighting. The bullfighting season starts next month and they were spiffing up the site while we were there. We learned a lot about bullfighting and all agreed that we don't think we want to ever see the event live (although Gracie thought she might be interested when she is older). The bullfights are held on Sunday afternoons and three matadors each "fight" two bulls. A specialty on the menus in Seville is bull tail, however, I'm not sure we will partake.
The girls made a fort in the apartment to take their siesta in and afterwards we decided to make burgers for dinner. I guess we are all a little tired of the bread with tomato and manchego cheese. The weather is supposed to stay nice all week and we're looking forward to wearing our short sleeves and putting on our sunglasses. Adios for now.