Playing the googly…

For my American (or indeed non sporting) readers the ‘googly’ is a term from cricket, similar to a ‘curve’ ball in baseball. This hard to play delivery was thrown, or bowled, or pitched to us when we returned to Seville from Cordoba on our last day.

The coach journey back to Seville was uneventful, even pleasant. The coach had wifi broadband and I luxuriated in being able to follow our progress on Google maps. We passed some previously unseen graffiti of a senora plus brolly before pulling into to bus station. We found a left luggage locker and stored our suitcase and, as we had quite a bit of time before we needed to be at the airport, we intended to have lunch..what else?

Jessica, who ran the paella cooking course had said we should try La Brunilda, a fairly short walk from the bus station. Sadly they were full and closing their kitchens in thirty minutes, but the helpful waitress suggested we try their sister restaurant Bartolomea, a couple of streets away. Luckily we managed to find a table at the rear and order a few tapas. Wow!! What a revelation. Beautifully cooked and presented food and friendly service in a great atmosphere. We’d been sat next to a Spanish couple when the lady asked Susie if we were American. We corrected her and struck up a lively conversation with them both as their level of English was pretty good. Soon we were chatting like old friends and even being shown family photos. We were totally bowled over when told us that they took their family holidays in Dorset!! It was a charming way to end our stay in Spain.

We caught a taxi to the airport and endured an uncomfortable and crowded wait to board our plane. Though luckily Susie’s stick got us first down the ramp on in our seats. Our flight landed at the entirely unreasonable time of 22:50 and after claiming our luggage, catching the shuttle to the Orly Hilton, checking in and getting to our room (no wait, we got a free upgrade to a suite) it was well after midnight.

The next morning was grey and overcast with a huge temperature drop from Seville. We suffered the expensive and largely inedible breakfast buffet and were pleased to get on the road. Three hours or so later we were home…

Would we go back to Seville and Cordoba? Yes, like a flash…Why?…well, I’ll cover that in the next blog..

Berenjenas with everything..

You may be able to detect from todays featured image, that this morning dawned grey, overcast and rainy. It gets light here at a very sensible time, about 8:15am. The temperature had dropped quite significantly and I actually had to put a light jumper on. Because the weather was so uncertain, we only ventured ten minutes walk away, to the Museum of Fine Arts, a gallery showing works by Julio Romero de Torres and Posado Del Potro, which houses a flamenco exhibit. The Fine Arts museum was frankly overburdened with heavy religious paintings, though we used the elevator, which was made by Schindler, hence ‘Schindlers Lift’…well it made me laugh, which is more than the exhibits did.

Julio Romero de Torres is a different thing altogether. True, there are religious influences in some of his works but in the main they are female studies with flamenco connections. Some of the canvases are stunningly beautiful.

Sadly I wasn’t able to take any photos in the exhibitions but could in the Flamenco museum. This has an interactive part, where you can practice your tap tempo and lots of small LCD screens, some with earpieces to listen to the Flamenco vocals. In the courtyard they were constructing an art piece representing a flamenco dancer. They were expecting quite a crowd judging by the number of water bottles on the table.

It was after 1pm when we left, so we stopped off for a quick beer and a non alcoholic mojito, then we trundled off towards Cordoba. We wandered into the Jewish quarter, searching for a statue of Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, doctor, teacher and rabbi from the 12th century. Susie wanted her photo taken with him.

We found our way into a market, though it was similar to the one we discovered the other day, in that there was a central seating area, with food outlets on the outside. You chose one, placed your order, sat down and they brought it to your table. I have to confess crisply fried strips of aubergine, drizzled with honey and balsamic vinegar are becoming our fast food of choice. Today was no exception.

By this time a lot of the heavy cloud had lifted and the temperature was climbing rapidly. Time for our siesta, so we wandered back to the apartment. Tonight we are returning to Garum 2.1 (unless their software has had a revision). Tomorrow we leave Cordoba by bus for Seville, will have lunch there and catch a flight to Orly which doesn’t get in till almost 11pm. I doubt I’ll have the energy to write until Friday, when we get back home, so you’ll have to wait for our thoughts on Seville and Cordoba till then…adios..


When life gives you oranges…you eat a whole squid in Seville…

Here we are in Seville….it was 34C when we got off the plane this evening and now, well after 10pm, it’s not a lot cooler. The apartment is wonderful. The stairs to it maybe less so but the original features, modern additions and view from the shared roof terrace more than make up for it.

Our car journey to Orly was mostly uneventful, though the satnav is still confusing and we ended up at some sort of barrier to get into Rungis. Anyway, I turned round and drove against the traffic for a few metres and we picked up the route. Our passage through the airport was smooth as was the flight which arrived 30 minutes early. A further twenty minute taxi ride and we were here, in the maze of streets which typifies this area.

After a quick tour of the apartment we set off to find a supermarket and somewhere to eat. Not necessarily in that order though. Literally less than two minutes away, we’d located both. We didn’t go into the supermarket but we did eat at La Bodega It’s a tapas bar that also does larger individual dishes…whole squid with salad for example..

The food was very good, the ambiance great and service jolly but snail like. Honestly, we were both really hungry and very tired, much too tired to make gastronomic judgements. Who knows what we’ll discover and what will find it’s way into our stomachs during the coming days……

We’re off again…..

I’m sitting here at the computer, a mug of Nespresso ‘Barista’ coffee to hand (strength 11, so I’m now wide awake), whilst outside the first tendrils of Autumn are creeping round the house. The sky is overcast and a fine drizzle is falling. So, a perfect time to leave for warmer climes….

Seville and Cordoba are our destinations. Accommodation in both cities by Air B&B as usual. We are flying with Transavia out of Orly, so the big blue suitcase is being called into service again. We have booked a hotel room at Orly but with the reverse arrangement we had in May, leaving the car in the hotel car park and staying overnight when we return. Transavia have been so helpful, changing our flights twice and arranging for our return flight to land at 11pm…we should be thankful that it’s not Ryanair….

I’m filled with anticipation, excitement and nerves. These are two places neither of us have visited before and we’ll enjoy becoming explorers again. No doubt our gastronomic needs will be filled too, though we haven’t prebooked many restaurants. I’ve been checking the weather and wonder if we can cope with highs in the low 30’s and night time glacial lows of 20 degrees centigrade. I’m slightly nervous of driving to Orly, though we have done it before.

I guess the next blog will be from Seville….it’s a hard life…

First, find your suitcase..

Well, that should be easier than it sounds but my search involved a trip behind the wardrobe. Sadly I wasn’t looking for Narnia, rather a heavy sports bag with a handle and wheels. After a strenuous couple of minutes I unearthed Susie’s suggested luggage and immediately dismissed her choice….

I am however digressing (something I have a tendency to do). After visiting Barcelona and Granada in October of 2016, we were determined to return to Spain. We felt there was unfinished business in Barcelona and that we could fit in a trip to Girona too. We found apartments, booked flights, and an overnight hotel at Orly (which included not only breakfast but parking for 15 days too), plus some house and petsitters from Auckland, NZ. We plumped for late Spring as an optimum time to visit. Though it must be said, we had other plans for the rest of the year.

So, back to the suitcase (see, I told you I digressed). We are flying with Transavia and upgraded our tickets (we didn’t want to be seated with crates of live chickens) to have the advantage of a larger checked in piece of luggage plus two small ‘tuck under your seat’ bags. I was determined that the check in luggage should be of the ‘hard shell’ type and this morning an order was placed for a 70 litre case with a telescopic handle and spinner wheels. Sadly it isn’t self propelled but you can’t have everything. Anyway it should arrive on our doorstep tomorrow, probably in a cardboard box the size of a medium hen house.

Ah yes, you may be wondering about the chocolate reference in the blog title…I think you’ll have to wait for the next blog entry…