It's always sunny in Seville

Old Mar 30th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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It's always sunny in Seville

Just wanted to start another topic about my Spain trip. Am in rainy Seville after having perfect weather throughout my trip.After checking into the hotel, I made my way to the cathedral with only an hour left till closing. Of course, I couldn't buy an audio guide so I had to look at the cathedral without knowing what I was seeing. Saw some beautiful artwork-thought the choir and alter looked liked they were drapped -perhaps in preparation for Sunday. Saw Columbus' tomb and climbed up the funky bell tower-so much easier as a ramp than with steps. It's such a beautiful building that I wish I had more time to see it but with my walking tour and the Alcazar tomorrow and Palm Sunday, I doubt I'll have any more time. Went to some touristy restaurants for tapas that Rick Steves recommends. I think I'll have to go out of the Santa Cruz district as it feels very "touristy" to me. One place was called Bodega something and the other Camela. Both were okay but I had better in Granada. Seville is the only place that I really miss having someone along with me-perhaps because I'm directionally challenged and have gotten lost twice. Perhaps the fact it's the holidays and everyone has family with them makes it worse but I feel a bit out of place-even more so than Madrid or Granada.

Will be seeing my first flamenco tomorrow night at Casa de las Memorias. Let's hope it is good.

Until tomorow
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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I think it rains a lot at this time of year in that area. I was in Seville several years ago during this exact same week and it rained more than half the time.
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Maribel Ramos "La Zambra" is dancing tomorrow. She has danced around the world for years and obtained many prestigious flamenco awards in Spain. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 11:29 PM
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The weather had been beautiful all week in Sevilla and according to my local friend it hasn't rained in a long time. You are experiencing the curse of Semana Santa - it often rains during this week .

I believe I mentioned on your Granada post how certain sections of Sevilla can seem very touristy. But if you venture out hysterical 10 minutes from Santa Cruz and the cathedral/alcazar area you can be in very local areas. In general I avoid the Rick Steve's recommendations. Once a place makes his book it's pretty mainstream tourist.

Enjoy Sevilla - tied in first place (with Cadiz) as my favorite city in Spain!
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 12:46 AM
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The weather is topsy turvy at the moment. Galicia has had some of the warmest weather in all of Europe. When the rains do eventually come we will be dancing in the streets.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 02:04 AM
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Three tapas bars in other and much more charming parts of the city (all are less than 15 mins walk from the touristy Santa Cruz district):

Enrique Becerra in Arenal: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletap...rique-becerra/

Eslava in San Lorenzo: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/category/eslava/

La Primera del Puente in Triana (in wonderful and riverfront Calle Betis): http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletap...ra-del-puente/

Calle Betis: http://www.sevilla5.com/activities/goingout/betis.html
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 01:41 PM
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Thanks alot for all the suggestions. My feet are hurting so after the flamenco show, I grabbed some helado and am now in la cama. The flamenco show was excellent and if anyone gets a chance to see Maribel Ramos at La Casa de las Memorias, do go. Only an hour long, but great quality flamenco in an intimate setting. I sat in the front row and was close enough to touch. Touristy but the talent of all involved shown through and made it look very easy. Also no bad food to eat or drink-the talent speaks for itself.

I did the walking tour of Seville today along with the Alcazar tour. I'm glad I did the tour as it gave a perspective about the city that I couldn't have gotten walking by myself. We went into several churches-one high baroque and walked through the jewish quarter. Then after an hour lunch we took a tour of the Alcazar where Alfonso pointed out the highlights of the building. Incredibly gorgeous artwork that reminded me of the Alhambra but with color added. The gardens were incredible and despite the rain, I saw the water organ play. Too cool. Of course it rained throughout the day only letting up in the evening.

The one thing I don't like about Seville is that I get lost too easily. Walked across the river to walk along the banks and of course got lost because I didn't cross the same bridge. Must admit I was worried I'd be lost in Seville forever. However, the cool thing was that I saw people going into all these churches so of course I followed them. It turns out that the churches have the religious floats and icons displayed that will be paraded through the streets during Holy Week. So I was able to see two or three churches "floats". Score one for getting lost. I did find my way to Plaza Mayor and the Honeycomb building and I was going to go up to the deck but the line was enormous. I think next time I will come during the quiet time as everywhere one goes in this city now there are wall to wall people. Too many people for me and I think I'd like Seville a lot better without all the crowds.

Other than that I hit a few tapas bars, got lost for an hour and will take kimhe's advice for tapas. I was walking through the plaza tonight and it's amazing that at 10:15pm, young kids are eating dinner. I'm still amazed. I think I've been trying to pack too much into Seville. I had a whole itinerary tomorrow but I may just bag most of it since I'm feeling a bit run down. Hope it does rain tomorrow so I can see a bit of Palm Sunday. And I must look like a rube since the women by the cathedral keep trying to give me rosemary. One woman was so persistent, I almost had to shove her away. Then when I came back she tried again! No, no.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 02:10 PM
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That should read I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Could you please let us know the details of the Sevilled walking tour and Alcazar tour that you took?
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 07:44 AM
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I am following your travels with great interest as I am planning a similar trip in September. I wanted to let you know how much I admire your attitude. You have not allowed the problems you have encountered ruin you time. Thanks for your enjoyable and detailed report.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 08:38 AM
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I'm here to update my travels on a damp squib of a Palm Sunday here in Seville. Its apt that today is April first as all most processional through the city have been cancelled by the rain. Sadly another missed opportunity- I'm sensing a pattern. But to my day so far.

Sorry had to leave the Starbucks as I had several crowds eyeing my table - its a madhouse. Anyway am back at my hotel. The day started with me sleeping late- this bed is so comfy and I'm in the back courtyard so no noise. Anyway, woke up to the sound of St Cruz bells chiming for Palm Sunday. How cool is that. They peeled for about 15 mins! For breakfast I walked down to the cathedral where the only place open was Cafe Gilradi. Ate a delicious breakfast of Cafe con leche & a tostada of olive oil, tomato and jamon. Very delicious. Then peeked inside the cathedral where they were having mass. You could get a palm branch and take photos but you were kept at a distance from the service. Afters decided to visit the bullring even though my sympathy lies with the bull. I'm glad I saw the beautiful ring but the tour was better in Spanish as our guide acted like she couldn't be bothered with the English speakers. While I was walking to the ring, I saw a small procession from one of the churches with the acolytes and the silver candlesticks then the priest coming with his palm the the congregation. The proceeded out one door and into the other but it showed how the regular churches celebrate it.

I then had the crazy idea that I could do a little shopping, so decided to cross the river for some ceramics. Of course most stores are closed today so no souvenirs for me in Triana. I do find San jacinto church open and decide to wait in the line to see the Palio. Got a peek at it but none of my pictures turned out I then decided to sit in Plaza nueva to people watch. The outfit for men today seems to be suit and ties. For women its jackets, a short tight skirt and stiletto heels that the can even walk on cobblestones with. Someone needs to tell me how they keep the balance. After taking some pictures of kids in their costumes- sorry but it looks like the KKK- I was hungry and decided to go to one of kimhe's recs- Enrique Barreras(?). This is a popular place and a holiday is probably not the best time to go but I squeezed myself into the bar & got told off by an abuela for knocking into her! Well, there's no room! But the food was to die for. At 3euros/tapa it wasn't cheap but they were the best tapas I've had in Seville. The salmon wrapped around soft cheese and the shrimp in some kind of salsa wewe fantastic. And the beer hit the spot. I love seeing little old ladies ordering cervesa. Highly recommend this local place but it can get crowded- I have claustrophobia and had to leave when the crowds came.

It hen just walked the city finding out that La Paz the first brotherhood cancelled their procession. It seems like most were like me wandering around going to bars wondering what to do with no professions- get drunk it seems ! I love seeing the little children in their Easter best and the whole family walking.

I doubt there will be more processions do its an early night for me. Tomorrow morning I check out and take the AVE back to Madrid and the end of my travels. It feels weird to be at the end. In a way I'm glad to go but in another I will miss it. I think Seville was a bit hard for me as in every city I met at least one single traveler. However in Seville, everyone I met was in a group. There's still do much left in Seville as I never got to climb the Honeycomb or see the expo buildings. Next time I'll take someone along. I did like Seville and am fortunate to have seen the palios. However dirty little Granada remains my favorite place in Spain. tonight will be packing and washing clothes in the sink- fun times.

Anyone know where I can by a fan in Madrid for my niece?
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 09:52 AM
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www.sevillawalkingtours.com is the link to my walking tour of Seville. Probably best to email ahead of time.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Well, I'm back from seeing part of the Semana Santa procession from Seville Cathedral. Could not see much but the black hoods-I have no idea what brotherhood it was but it was pretty neat. Was next to some German tourists, a Spanish family with their two young bored sons and another Spanish woman who lit up a cigarette and proceeded to blow smoke in my direction the whole time. I did see the band, floats of Jesus bearing the cross and one of the Madonna with candles all around her. Those floats look heavy, on my tour, the guide said that it's about a 10 -20 year waiting list to be a palio bearer- so better get on the waiting list earlier. It was a bit like a Madris Gras crowd but when the Jesus palio appeared you could hear a pin drop and everyone applauded, I think for the palio bearer.It's funny that TV and radio actually give the locations of the different brotherhoods and the processions. Came home about 10:35 and there are young teenage boys walking the streets together with no parent in sight. Can't imagine people in the US letting their kids do that. All in all, it was worth the horribly inflated hotel price to see Palm Sunday in Seville. Touristy but fun.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 02:31 PM
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If you're up to it tonight go back and see a processional as it returns to it's own neighborhood. The Cathedral is probably not the best place to see the processional and the passion of the people who are close to the brotherhood. Actually it's strange to hear you thought Semana Santa was touristy - most of the people visiting Sevilla during Semana Santa are from other parts of Spain who have an affiliation with a brotherhood or are really into Semana Santa. If you ever have a chance to visit Spain again during this time you may consider a smaller city for easier access to the processionals. I was in Cordoba today and every processional (there were 6) went out. It looked very ominous this a.m. But I heading out for the first at 10 a.m. hoping the weather would clear and by 10:30 (when the processional lef tthe church) the sun was shining bright! The processionals here are not as elaborate and there isn't as much of a Semana Santa tradition but they are quite nice and you're easily able to get a front row view. The hotel prices are slightly higher but nothing like Sevilla either - another plus.

Enrique Becerra is a great choice during Semana Santa as it gets a very traditional group of clients - well dressed and often affiliated with a brotherhood. I was there every day earlier this week - one of the waiters called me the "customer of the week"! I return to Sevilla almost every year during Semana Santa so the staff kind of know me. Another waiter gave me a book on Semana Santa this year as a gift. It can be harder to meet locals during Semana Santa as it tends to be family and friend time where they go out in larger groups. It's also very busy which makes it more difficult.

Definately return to Sevilla - I discover new places and things to do every year. It's a special place!
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