Hola amigos! Here I am again, albeit a few days later. Kaylene and I have been triapsing through the winding, picturesque streets of Sevilla, the polluted disgusting, streets of Algeciras (pronounced algathera), the vertical streets of Gibralter and finally the lovely white sand beaches of Tarifa.
Where do I begin? Ahhh, Sevilla, definitely a place for romance...We arrived after 2.5 hour bus-ride from Madrid. I slept half the ride, which is unheard of for one is usually has motion sickness on local transport. I digress...we walked across a beautiful terrace, entered the Barrio de la Sant Cruz, a very old Jewish community village, where we would stay for the next 2 nights at the Hotel Murillo.
Before retiring on this evening, the group took a nice walk as Monica (our guide) pointed out various sites for us the explore the next day. We walked along the river, viewed el Torro de Oro, el Alcazar and la catedral. On our walk we stopped twice for vinto tinto con queso y pan. The sun began to set as we made our way to the restaurant for dinner. This time I enjoyed gazpacho and a salad similar to a nicoise salad. Of course, tinto vino accompanied the meal.
The next day, Kaylene and I hit the ground running. We visited the Alcazar and the cathedral. Both were simply amazing...with ornate decor. The Alcazar was the home of several moorish rulers as well as many spanish kings and queens. Queen Isabella and King ferdinand were married in one of the rooms we visited. Wow, what a wedding it must have been. To walk where kings and queens of Spain spent their daily live is a truly surreal experience. The current King has living quarters in the top floor today. The architecture is primarily contains Islam construction, however, as different religious power changed hands, more and more christian...gothic architeture was incorporated to the grounds. The gardens are aromatic, cool and peaceful. I wouldn´t mind being a queen for a day!
After our tour through the Alcazar, we took a tapas break, where I tasted orange wine....very much like sherry. It was nice, but more like a dessert.
La Catedral is an extraordinary site to see. It is a cathedral with the largest interior in the world. Apparently, it is in the Guinness world book of records! The altar is a brilliant with gold. My explanation could not come close to the true view. While cathedral was consecrated as catholic in the 15th century, it was originally built as a mosque in the 12th century.
Did you know that Christopher Columbus was buried on a tomb in this cathedal? Well, his body was moved back and forth from various locations, with the most recent move from Cuba. The tomb exhibits 4 huge figures representing the 4 kindoms of Spain at the time of Columbus`s adventures to discover the Americas.
Kaylene and I were becoming a bit weary from our serious touring, so we headed back to the hotel. On our way, we made a reservation for dinner at a lovely restaurant located in an old Arab bathhouse. The food was Italian and a nice change of pace from the tapas we´ve been eating every day. We were set for the night....
The rain started again, so we took advantage of the opportunity to take a nap before our night out. We awakened to some thunder, but knew we must not miss the show, so we ventured out into the night through the winding and very wet streets.
When we arrived at the small flamenco showhouse, I was amazed at the number of people who also knew about the place to see authentic flamenco and it was authentic!!The show took place in a courtyard area with a large bowl of floating flowers in the front of the stage. Soon after being seated, the singer and guitarist entered, sat down and began. Wow, is all I can say. What a voice! What playing! Then a male dancer came to the stage....the passion in his dance spread through the audience as people yelled Ole! The profound emotion shown in his dance was brilliant!Could the dance get any better? Well, yes...the female dancer joined him. The back and forth speaking without words was exhilarating. Everyone must see a flamenco show!
The show left everyone in awe. There could be no better time for dinner and vino! Kaylene and I made our way to San Marco´s. As soon as we arrived, the waiter was instantly enamoured with Kaylene and spent much time wooing her throughout the evening. His name was Acha. He begged Kaylene to stay in Sevilla and also said he would stay with her forever. She was flattered but chose not to accept his proposal. Instead she settled for flirting, free wine and free limoncello. Being the great friend I am, I shared the freebies from her new honey!
OK, friends.....I am now in Tarifa and the beach is lovely....I´ll tell you more about it tomorrow...Hasta luego! Love, LeeAnn