Seville, Traditional and Modern

We arrived in Seville after a smooth 2.5 hour train ride from Madrid to find a charming rabbit warren of narrow streets, teeming with people (most tourists like us I’m sure). Every hotel will give you a local map, and they will earnestly circle local points of interest, and ours did as well. After that, you are kind of on your own. Now for this trip Pat had done good planning, making a dinner reservation and booking a flamenco show. We figured we were in good shape, but thought that at the least we should do a dry run to make sure we could find both later. Good thing, because our first foray at finding both wasn’t even close to correct and I’m usually pretty good at map reading. After multiple wrong turns we did what every self respecting traveler does now: let Google maps lead us by the nose. Saved by technology.

We had somewhat of an unusual day, unusual for us at least. Normally on these trips it is non-stop movement until we collapse from exhaustion, but yesterday we took time to enjoy the rooftop deck and pool at our accommodations, the Hotel 1800. It’s a short walk to the cathedral of Seville, but that is true of many hotels. This one features a central courtyard, and our room has 20-foot high wood-beamed ceilings.

The highlight of the day was the flamenco show, which happily we had scouted before. There are many venues but we chose La Casa de Memoria. It was said to be very traditional, with a guitarist, a male singer/chanter, two female dancers and one male. Some shows evidently will only have a single dancer and guitarist. We of course could not understand a word the singer sang, but Pat and I each thought it sounded a lot like the Muslim call to prayer. There is a big Moorish influence in this part of Spain, so some cross cultural influences likely resulted. And all of the dancers were outstanding.

We wrapped with another late dinner and a nightcap at a rooftop bar across from the cathedral, which offered an excellent view of the structure. Quite beautiful. We will learn more today.

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