Tuesday 12 April 2016
Flamenco and Old Sausage in Andalucia
Not the Netherlands, but the fabulous city that is Seville.
Well all those candles on Puerto del Sol have gone out now but other than that the old place remains pretty much the same.
After a night in a hotel a few notches up the ladder from the one we stayed in a few years ago, it was on to the train and the two hour trip at many hundreds of miles an hour to Seville.
Atocha station, the principle station in Madrid where the atrocity occurred, is a rival for the Eden project with tropical plants, ponds and penguins,
Not penguins, terrapins.
Our seats were booked several months ago with a guarantee that if we arrived five minutes late our fare would be refunded. Passing through land that spawned a plethora of Spaghetti westerns we reflected over fizzy wine and a sandwich that if we were ten minutes late we would not stake our claim, the return fare was less than £50 for two, and the whole train experience was a Jacuzzi shy of a spa break, so thank you Renfe AVE, and the EU for funding the whole high speed rail shebang.
Into Seville and twenty minutes of dragging suitcases through small cobble streets brought us to our billet for the week, a one bedroom apartment overlooking the cathedral that even my feeble arm could have hit with an orange should such a thing be at hand (which they invariably are in this tremendous city)
The following day my attempt to link up with a chap who chucked fluff at barbel on the mighty Guadalquivir failed miserably, due in part to the forces of Google translate that obviously turned "Meet me by the Isabella bride at 2pm" to "my head is made from ice cream and my feet from fudge, best avoid"
Chucked up by the Moors who held sway in these parts for several hundred years, the interior and gardens are stunning.
After our daily dose of flamenco it was out for some superb tapas, the highlight of which was some braised oxtail. They're quite big on beef in Seville.
Up and out early for a market in La Macarena which was surprisingly well attended given that not much moves in this city before 10 am, then up some giant wooden mushrooms for a view of the city. Chucked up in the 1990's on the site of the old market for some Expo business they have drawn mixed reviews from the locals.
Lunch and forty winks on the roof before a stroll along the river and a perambulation of one of the most famous bullrings in Spain. Not really our bag, but an impressive building all the same.
And it was really good.
Bar the excellent guitarist, it appeared to be a family affair, with Mother belting out her rasping base baritone while son and daughter stomped about the stage clapping, with not a castanet in sight.
In a dance induced reverie, I departed the building with my guard down and was caught out by some old sausage in our evening tapas that laid me low for the next twenty four hours. I've had it before with Spanish sausage, and the effect can be quite unexpected and spectacular. Fortunately Madam is an old hand at my aversion and she nursed me through while continuing to punish the Ham and Cava as I starved for twenty fours.
a welcome return to food, before catching the train back to Madrid and a flight back to Blighty that passed without real incident bar an hour long chat on Seville and how we plan to return one day to this tremendous city,
who knows I may eventually meet up with that fisherman who offered to hook up by the Isabella bridge to bother barbel with a fly or perhaps I have been found out for one with feet made from fudge.