Seville and Cordoba, how to get lost…

It’s the best way, honestly. As long as you have a map, so you can find your way back. We found it delightful to look down a street, follow it and then be rewarded at the end by a magnificent building or open square, ringed with tapas bars.

There are many things we have yet to see in both cities. Probably more so in Seville, being the larger city. We didn’t have time to see the cathedral or the Alcazar there, though the endless lines of tourists probably dissuaded us from trying..at least this time round. We know there are many other places to try tapas. Even our stomachs couldn’t expand to sampling all of them..

Cordoba is smaller and we saw the Mezquita and the Alcazar but there are other hidden gems we feel the need to discover.  In both cases the popular areas are easily walkable, even for an someone with a stick and her companion, carrying the burden of his lunch time beer. We have many highlights from our trip, but for me the paella cooking course stands out. It’s an experience we’d readily repeat…..and more than likely will.

Sunday strolls and tasting tapas..

We had a relaxing sort of day, through the portico opposite our apartment, past the church there. If there’s one thing about Cordoba, you won’t be stuck for somewhere to confess. On we went to Plaza de la Correda, large and open with bars and cafes around the outside. On again, pausing at the Temple Romano and baking in the October sunshine. Next stop was Plaza Tendillas, lined with boutique shops and a large fountain in the middle. Our main goal was Mercado Victoria, which turned out not to be full of stalls selling fruit and veg but a large selection of fast food stands. It was pretty busy so we laid claim to a table and fortified ourselves with two cups of different salmarejo, tortilla and two glasses of sangria. Not our usual Sunday lunch…

We strolled on to La Juderia (the Jewish Quarter), looked at the old synagogue, took in some more patios and stopped for a cold drink. While we were sipping, five men on horseback went past. I’m not sure if they were locals, out for a quick afternoon hack or tourists on 1HP Segways…

Back at the apartment, we got ready for dinner at Garum 2.1 which advertises itself as a ‘bistronomic tapas bar’. There was minor confusion about it’s opening time, however we took their tapas tasting menu and on the whole, were not disappointed.  Some of their inventive and unusual tapas are award winning and whilst we couldn’t face one that had a tripe like consistency the pre dessert of sheeps yougurt, flavoured with vanilla and sprinkled with cinnamon was heavenly. Service was rather slow but we weren’t in too much of a hurry, especially as it’s just five minutes walk from where we are staying…

It was well past 11pm when we finished eating, so apologies for the delayed publishing of what’s gone in our stomachs…

Tapas in a back alley….

Apologies for a blog which begins on another hot day…it must be particularly galling to those who are feeling the chill of Autumn…sorry but there’s no real way to convey my blowing a raspberry in print…

We had two ‘sights’ in mind for today. Amazingly we managed them both with only a minor ‘map orientation issue’. First stop was the former Tobacco Factory, which now houses the University of Seville. Academia seems to have varnished over most of the factories past, it was rather bland and without atmosphere. Perhaps expecting dusky maidens to be seated rolling cigars on their thighs was a tad too much….

Next we stopped for a drink break…proper drinks you understand, a Cervezas for me and a rather potent Mojito for Susie. Wobbling ever so slightly we made our way to Plaza de Espanya, a very elaborate crescent of buildings, with a large plaza in front, a fountain and a small canal, on which you could hire and row a boat. Before you ask, no we didn’t.

The plaza is spectacularly well done, especially the tiled benches on the lower levels, as shown by Susie in her best ‘Sale Of The Century’ pose. The keen eyed reader will notice we picked Barcelona as the featured segment. There’s more than a hint of ‘Disney’ about the place, stunning though it is.

We wandered back to the apartment, stopping for orange juice (a very reasonable €1 per glass) all the while wilting in the heat. After a siesta we went out to find Estrella, a recommended tapas bar. I omitted taking the map, so after asking the way we arrived at a set of tables which were placed along one side of a pedestrian alley. The tapas bar was some way off and the two waiters were kept busy taking orders, bringing food and drinks whilst covering the distance of a half marathon each evening.

We had a party of Americans arrive and wanting to be seated together managed to disrupt the pedestrian flow for about 10 minutes while tables and chairs were moved to accommodate them. Our meal came in between, which was excellently cooked and presented. Then a family group of four adults, three toddlers and a baby turned up. More moving of tables and seats and another pedestrian blockage. The Mum with the baby was getting more harassed as she was trying to control the toddlers too, whilst her husband was more intent on sitting down, having his drink and staring into space. Luckily we had finished our meal, so we asked for the bill, paid and left. I love children, I really do…just not after a long day exploring….

How we got lost in Seville and fell in love with it….

We didn’t have a plan today….well actually Susie didn’t have a plan which is so unusual that it could have begun snowing….

We began this morning with a visit to Pan Y Piu for breakfast, a photo of which is featured above. I think this place may be frequented daily whilst we are here. We then set off in the general direction of the Tourist Office. Without the benefit of a map we soon got lost. Though here and on holiday, our lack of bearings wasn’t too much of a concern. Wandering around we discovered wonderful buildings, enchanting parks and gardens, intriguing streets and narrow alleyways.

 

We stopped for refreshments then found an information kiosk where we splashed out €1 for a map. For some reason our homing beacon must have been working as in a matter of minutes we were back at the apartment.

A small siesta later and we were ready to try Bar Europa, which is barely five minutes walk away. Wonderful tapas in a 1925 bar. I even indulged in my second beer of the day. Not at all busy but this place has a great, warm ambiance.

 

On the way back we popped into Pan Y Pui for a couple of slices of cake….Yes, it doesn’t close till 10pm, just perfect for those with an after dusk sweet tooth….or indeed at any time of the day….