That’s right, I lost my shoes. I left them in the hotel because it was like a fire drill to get to the Granada Renfe station for 8am. UGH. The good news is that:
1) I’m in Spain.
2) I’ve seen a lot of shoes I like.
3) I just so have some room in my suitcase for a couple of purchases.
We left Granada bright and early this morning and took Renfe to Sevilla. It was nice to gaze out the window and see endless fields of sunflowers (one of my favorite types of flowers). Sleep was not something that happened, unfortunately (see blog posts below). We arrived right before siesta, so naturally, the adrenaline overpowered the potential for an afternoon nap. So exploring Sevilla was in the cards for us.
Sevilla is another charming Andalucian city. If I thought that the streets were narrow in Granada, Sevilla has given the word “narrow” an entirely new meaning. Aside from some of the main streets and avenues, most of the streets are a maximum of about four feet wide. And that street map? Completely useless! Everything is just a winding maze of little alley ways and secret passages and little surprises around each corner.
What does one do without a map? Use lots of roaming data on the smart phone, no doubt! (This month’s AT&T statement will probably be in the high three figure range…yikes!)
Althought it was kind of fun getting lost. We found lots of cute shops, little old ladies peddling their handmade jewelry, a bakery with the scent of fresh bread wafting from the entrance, and restaurants and bars worth taking an extra look.
Anyway, our hotel is worth mentioning. We’re staying at the hotel which was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of Sevilla in 1929. It’s a great combination of Moroccan and Roccoco stylistic elements. I feel a bit like Louis XIV in Versailles.
While on our adventure, Jen and I realized how hungry we were since we haven’t had a proper meal all day. We stopped at a nearby restaurant and cooled off with delicious, refreshing mojitos and savored a great Andalucian dish – albondigas de bacalao (meatballs, except made with salted cod) along with jamon con melon. The melon was like nectar and it also helped us cool off.
After a quick siesta, we decided to amble around Sevilla. Our siesta wasn’t as short as we would have liked, as a lot of the exhibitions were closed. But we did map out our day for tomorrow and it’s going to be a busy one.
We snapped a few nice photos by the Torre de Oro, a watchtower built by the Berbers in the 1200s. The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria was also closing up, but we managed a quick walk of the grounds before it was time to leave. This is where all of the Feria de Abril festivities take place; I can only imagine how crazy it gets.
Before you know it, it was time for dinner. Jen and I wanted to scope out a tapas bar that is EXTREMELY popular with locals – it’s a tiny place, standing room only. People were crowding out onto the streets when we got there around 10:30 so we had to think quickly of a Plan B. Because we were within walking distance of the Alcazar, everything was a tourist trap. Our “patas bravas” were French fries. Mejillones were from a can. ARE. YOU. SERIOUS. So we were like “screw this noise” and made our way back to our little local bar.
Guess how much a glass of wine, a Cruzcampo, and a pintxo set us back? 4.80. I understand Spain is in a deep recession, but New York needs to take a cue from Spain with this whole 1 euro beer concept. Especially since Nouriel Roubini just announced that the probability of a double-dip recession in the US has just risen to 40%…
Bar economics aside, I loved this place. The bartender, who you know has been there since the place opened and/or the beginning of time, calculates your tab with chalk (the bar is made of a slate-like material). When it’s time for the bartender’s break, he goes outside and chats and has a cigarette, with a group of patron-friends. The irony of this all is that a group of cougars roll up into this bar and EVERYONE turns around…I think a few guys must have gotten whiplash. Naturally, I have the honor of standing next to them and it’s pretty obvious from their accent that they were either from New Jersey or Staten Island. It was like the Real Housewives wanted to go incognito and venture to a part of the world where no one would recognize them.
I’m hoping I run into Snooki and the Situation tomorrow.