Thursday, January 19

España part uno

What am I gonna say? That is wasn't amazing, and fun and we didn't stay out late drinking lip-smacking red wine and meeting cool people? We did those things, and then I proceeded to get sick, as in every single system in my body gave me the finger, all at the same time. We had grand plans of driving around southern Spain, and seeing the Sierra Nevadas, and the list goes on, and on. Sadly we spent a lot of time recovering, as O got sick just as I was slightly recovered. I only feel truly better now, like this week. 

Olive bar in the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid

Our first "tapita de jamon y queso", with "vino tinto!"

Typical, pretty street.

Archivio de las Indias, or where all of the paperwork for pillaging the new word were kept. 

The Quadalquivir river (means big river in Arabic) from Calle Betis, a very well known and historic street across the river from the Cathedral. This part of the city lays claim to Flamenco, and tile making.
 In any case, we flew into Madrid, poked around a bit and then scrumped it down to Sevilla for a week. You may or may not know that I lived there for a year in College, and I know the city well. It has, of course changed a lot since then. It was so much fun to introduce O to all the captivating aspects of Spain, and the truly singular Sevilla. I won't give you a history lesson, but this city has major Christopher Columbus chops, as well as the Plague, the inquisition, been invaded by the Visigoths, Romans, and Moores and a few others, invented Flamenco, Bull Fighting, and has the most amazing Holy Week in the entire world, truly. Not to mention cobbled stoned streets lined with fragrant orange trees, a flowering courtyard peeking behind every door, and roman ruins around every corner.

Calle Betis
The most special thing about Sevilla though is it's people. I tried to always translate for O b/c I wanted him to hear what was happening around him, as it is an endles source of humor and interest. They value time with family and don't work so hard that they can't take inexplicable amounts of time off to be generally merry. (I can tell you this sucks pork balls when you are sick, and no pharmacies are open!! and everyone you ask shrugs and says "its a holiday, what do you want form me? Now go away, you'r blocking the ham.")

The street we stayed on, in an apartment. The couple who owned the place were very nice, and their son is a professor of graphic design. She googled me, wich is kinda creepy, but I guess I might to the same?

This is my dream Sevilla home though. Can you even deal?

View of the plaza that houses the Cathedra, Giralda, and plenty of government buildings, like every other one.
There are countless plazas where people mingle, have a snack any time of day and watch their kids play with each other on the steps of a 500 year old church. Shopping is a major past time, and dressing well for "la calle" or the street is pretty major. I didn't see a lot of originality in terms of fashion, but I suspect the hippies were out of town or something.

Giralda view form the narrow, ramblings streets of the old quarter
Compare a doorway in the Giralda to the entry of the Cathedral!

Freaking amazing right?

The weather was so fine we could hop from restaurant to bar to hole in the wall to eat all my very favorite dishes, and O has as fine an appreciation for them now as I do. My favorites dishes are: Boquerones Fritos, or mounds of tiny fried fish, you eat head and tail and all, Montadito de jamon y mantequilla, or a small toasted sandwich of cured jamon serano, and butter...drool. There were tortillas, paella, olives with pedigrees older than the royal family, char grilled squid called Chipirones, croquetas of ham, shinny red peppers called piquillo peppers stuffed with crab, and there was haaaammmmmm. Ham legs everywhere, and ham in my belly at every possibility. I must have had five cafes con leche a day, so delish.

I still haven't told you about New Year's Eve. We had a lovely dinner, made new friends and danced like dorks until 5am. Proooobably why I got sick if you wanna know the truth.

A is for Armas. B is for Blogger can suck it! This is taking forever!!

Other things about Sevilla, the accent is difficult for a beginner to pick up on, but O's theory is that Spanish is mostly about emotion and lisping, so he made himself understood. The weather is brilliant in the winter, highs in the 60's and 70's. It is a small city, and you can walk anywhere, there is so much to see in every different neighborhood. We stayed in the old jewish quarter, the oldest part of the city that has streets too narrow for cars (although if you know Spanish people, then you know that does not stop them one bit.)

Damn, them are some teeth.

Ok, next time I will show you some more, but I just had to share this one. Can you see the server's outfits? Why are they dressed up in period garb? It was soo silly, I couldn't resist having our photo taken with them. Also, O has recently had a hair cut, and looks less country music star.


  1. Damn, I'm so jealous. My husband luuuuuuuhves Spain, perhaps more than he loves me. He's been to that olive bar before on a recent trip to Madrid and loved it! Gorgeous pictures!

  2. Magic, magic, magic! I loved Barcelona, but Seville is pure magic. The minute you said it, I got a whiff of orange-scented air.

    I'm sorry you were sick! But I'm glad you still got your fill of ham. :0)

  3. first of all... love your new hairdo. sorry to hear you were sick! i always seem to get sick on trips too (or sprain my big toe, so I can't walk in the sand). but you got some amazing pics and that's all that matters anyway. sooooo charming. thanks for sharing!

  4. Ok, first, your hair looks uhmazing. And Osh totally looks like a country rocker!! So funny. The pics are great, though. The olives are drool-worthy. Being sick on vacation blows. This means that on your next vacation you will NOT be sick. i think karma works that way. kisses!

  5. ham is my favorite.

    you look pretty.

  6. Not sure why, but I'm really hungry after reading this post. Great picture of you, by the way. And I hate that you didn't tell us earlier that you were married to a country music star. ;)

  7. My goodness. I can't imagine what your color-and-painting brain is going through after this. I can't wait to see what paintings happen after this. I'm curious: do you bring sketchbooks on journeys like this or do you simply take it all in and let it seep out your fingers later?

    Also: that floor. Is off the hook.

  8. Maggie, I never use sketchbooks, I just take photos of colors, textures or patterns I like. Mostly it is the change of pace, totally visual new environment and the feeling of adventure that stokes my fires.

  9. No doubt you love Spain ;)
    Beautiful places.


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