Eating, Shopping and Flamenco’ing in Sevilla

Oh, I am so stuffed. That’s the problem when you’re only doing tapas for one…

My day started pretty slow, probably due to my body needing to recover from the tons of walking done yesterday. By the time I left my hostel, it was almost ready for lunch. I knew there was no way that I could leave Sevilla without doing tapas. However, in Spain, lunch starts late, at 1pm instead of the 11:30-12 timeframe of the states. So I was left with a half hour to kill. Thankfully, I happened upon a string trio in the streets, playing the songs of the Beatles. They were actually really good. I must say, the street performers in Sevilla seem to be of a higher caliber than in SF. The other day I walked by a Chinese guy playing that one string Chinese stringed instrument, and he was so much better than the squawky instrument playing by that guy on Grant Street. It actually sounded like music.

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String Trio playing Hey Jude

After that, it was time for tapas! I went to a really cool place only a half block from my hostel. I tried a thinly sliced shrimp carpaccio, a melt-in-your-mouth codfish (yes I’m addicted to bacalau in all its forms now), and a couscous salad. Accompanied by a nice crisp Rioja white wine. Delicious!

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Not pictured: My desert of a trifle of almond cake at the bottom, turron (nougat) gelato and chantilly creme on top!

After that, I desperately needed to work all that food off. And what better way to work off food than by shopping? 🙂 Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), the main shopping streets were just a block away. I exercised moderate self-control. The store that was most interesting to me was El Corte Inglese, a huge Macy’s like department store, but with a supermarket in the basement, a pharmacy on the first floor, and actually pretty reasonable prices in some departments. Talk about one stop shopping!

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Plaza de San Francisco, near my hostel and also near the main shopping district

I took a little break from shopping to visit the Metropol Parasol. Recently built in 4/2011 by a German architect, this is a love-it or hate-it structure – extremely controversial among the locals. This wood structure stands out in stark contrast to the old architecture of the buildings around it. It IS pretty ugly, to be honest, but I have to admit it was fun to walk around on and get some pretty good views of the city.

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Looking up at the Metropol Parasol. It’s also known as Las Setas de la Encarnacion (Encarnacion’s mushrooms)

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This open area usually houses a marketplace, but since it’s a holiday weekend, it only houses skateboarders

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Looking over Seville with the Giralda Tower of the Catedral in the background

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Puente del Alamillo in the background, built for the 1992 Expo

Tonight, I had to do one of the things that Seville is best known for – Flamenco Dancing. Okay, so I didn’t actually DO flamenco dancing, but I was able to catch a flamenco dancing show. On the way to the show, I had to cross a demonstration going up Seville’s main street (Constitution Avenue) and then, a block away from the show, there was a parade which I think was to honor Jesus (I gathered that from the statue of Jesus on a float-type thingie). Catholic parades are not my thing, but I must say that there was a LOT of pomp and circumstance (much more that would ever be seen in the US), complete with a marching band…

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But now onto the Flamenco Show. I must say the noise from the “Jesus” parade did carry over into the show, making it a bit distracting. But the performers did a great job of concentrating. The guitar player played beautifully and the dancing moves of the male flamenco dance performer were amazing! He pirouetted multiple times and his feet moved so fast in ways I never though possible. What a great experience!

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By the way, after the show, I ran into that “Jesus” parade 2 more times: once near the Catedral while walking back from the show to my hostel and 2nd in the Plaza Nueva while leaving my hostel for dinner! Crazy!

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I wonder if Sevilla is normally this crazy or if it’s just because it’s a holiday weekend…

Anyway, tomorrow: Ronda! Buenos Noches!

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