A Travellerspoint blog

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

GLUTTONY

Happy International Day of Gluttony!

This is the first year we'll actually be spending it internationally. Zac turns 30 today, and as is tradition for every birthday we must be gluttons. It's the rule, nothing I can do about it!

We had several options for what to do on Zac's birthday, but none of them began with getting up early. We slept in and tried to get as well rested as we could to prepare for the full day ahead of us. Yes, I used the word "full" purposefully. That also had "full" in it. See where I'm going with this?

First thing is first--coffee. I think we've invested enough time and money into drinking coffee here that we could have just opened our own coffee shop in Spain.

After coffee came showers. The water had been turned off for some strange reason, and when we left the house the only promise of a cleanse was from the clouds above Sabine's house.

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Showers of the non-rain kind felt really good, especially after all the wine we'd had the night before. I drank too much and had woken up with a slight red wine hangover that left me feeling really gritty and grimey. Savor that image.

Zac ultimately decided he wanted to spend the day in Puerto de Santa Maria looking around and seeing the city. We talked about going elsewhere, but realized we'd seen little of this adorable town itself. We'd also thrown out the idea of a day trip to Morocco, but were told Tangiers is a bit of a shit hole and tourist trap. When given the options Puerto seemed like the much better decision.

Puerto de Santa Maria is such a cute little town. Walking around was fun, and we had a yummy lunch along the waterfront.

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Tapas after tapas came out as we began the day of gluttony off with a good start. Our waiter was impressed with the amount of food ordered, and eventually he said we couldn't have any more. The food was pretty good too, despite some apprehension upon delivery. One of my favorite tapas was also one that I almost refused to try (insert life lesson here). Smoked salmon wrapped around some sort of soft cheese and pineapple, topped with chocolate sauce. I know, it sounds gross, but it was great.

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Puerto is a small and very walkable city. Here is some of how we spent our day:

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After walking around with full bellies we stopped for pastries. It was only appropriate. Then Sabine and Zac each took a siesta. I decided I wanted to see more of Puerto and went back to the beachfront path that I'd jogged along the day before. The clouds had begun to part and the sun was slowly creeping out. The weather had warmed and the breeze was warm enough to feel comfortable without a long sleeved shirt, but cool enough to feel refreshing. It really was a beautiful walk.

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Workout gear along the boardwalk--Spanish parks have outdoor workout equipment all over the place

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Along the way I spotted a hoard of cats that live on the rock wall. I met a man who was fishing down by the water when he embarrassingly caught me taking his picture.

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He told me that the cats are wild, but he feeds them and they really have taken a liking to him. He fishes in the waterway, but doesn't keep the fish because the water is dirty. Instead he feeds whatever he catches to the cats and has thus earned their trust. The cats seemed pretty sweet to me and they didn't seem to mind when I stood nearby, but I refrained from petting them nonetheless.

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My walk was really nice. It was slow and leisurely, with an undecided end point. I just walked and watched. Watched the sunshine reflect off the water as waves rolled into shore. Watched as boats cruised through the port, shuttling fisherman to and fro. Watched as children played on the gym equipment strewn about the boardwalk. Watched as old couples strolled arm and arm, enjoying the afternoon. That was my favorite part.

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After my walk I returned back to Sabine's just in time to eat cake. She was really thoughtful and bought Zac a delicious chocolate cheesecake and some birthday presents to celebrate. We ate most of the cake and watched as Zac got himself a fantastic new Spanish cookbook and a few other goodies. What a great birthday!

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Not so excited about turning 30

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Very excited about cake

Having cake before dinner is the way to go, at least on International Gluttony Day, and definitely after a big lunch followed by pastries.
Soon it was dinner time, and we got all snazzy and sassy for a night on the town. Sabine made a reservation at a lovely Italian restaurant where we all shared wine and inappropriate dinner conversation that was embarrassingly overheard by the table next to us (and the couple stared gaped mouthed at us the entire time). It was wonderful.

A bottle of wine and a belly full of pasta wasn't going to be good enough for International Gluttony Day. We needed more. Bar hopping was next on our list, but not before a stop for gelato. Yes, I got Bueno gelato again. I don't know what I'll do without it back home :(

We went to a few bars, I think. I can't remember. Here's what I do recall: one bar played a lot of older American music that the Spanish went crazy for. To watch a room full of Spaniards singing along to the Rolling Stones and then Nirvana was great, particularly since there was a DJ spinning the songs. If I were a DJ I can't say that Nirvana would be on my dance playlist, but what do I know? Some people might find the tune to "Rape Me" kind of catchy (and yes, that was the song they played). Still, it was really wonderful to see that Livin' On A Prayer is an international and timeless sensation for all. Who would have thought that Bon Jovi would be the thread that connects the world?

One of the amusing anecdotes of the evening was an old man that essentially grabbed Sabine's beer straight from her hands and drank it himself, holding out his arms afterward as a point of pride that his lips did not touch the bottle. This made it okay, he said. We then watched as he walked from table to table, picking up unattended beer bottles and glasses and drinking whatever was left in them. If that's not a reason to keep an eye on your beverage at a bar, I don't know what is.

Eventually we moved on to another bar, the life of the party bar, if you know what I mean. You don't, that's okay. It was a coke bar. We didn't know it until we were waiting in line for the bathroom and a man who looked like Doc from Back to the Future rushed into a single stall toilet with a couple of other people. A kindly young man waiting in line behind us informed us of what was going on. We couldn't stop laughing. Or I couldn't. Of all the bars we picked!

We mingled for a while, talking to locals and transplants before deciding to leave. It began to pour again and we were shuffled back inside the bar from the terrace outside. Huddled in a doorway with everyone we stood and watched as Doc and his friends openly snorted coke. It was time to go, we confirmed.

Go figure we ended up at this shady bar. Still, we had a fun time out in Puerto. If anything it made me feel really old. I clearly am not a young party animal. I'm an old married stuffy woman who likes to drink wine and scoffs at people using club drugs.

I still laugh a lot though, and I laughed a lot on International Gluttony Day. I even danced a little.

The night ended at 4:30 a.m. in Sabine's kitchen, soaking wet from walking home in the rain, huddled around her kitchen table eating the last of the cheesecake and a pack of crackers that we'd taken from the restaurant earlier in the day.

I'd say that was a success.

Posted by JorieW 08:43 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Cadiz

This trip has really tested my values.

Yesterday I ate shark, and today I used an umbrella. What is this Seattleite coming to?

Don't tell anyone, okay? I didn't tough it out with a hood or pretend that getting wet doesn't bother me. Instead I carried a bright green, unmistakeable umbrella.

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The weather has taken a turn for home here in Spain. Rain has decided to come in full force after months of very dry weather, and apparently the sky has been holding it in for far too long. The morning came with pounding, fat, heavy rain that woke us up, followed closely by thunder and lightning. It was nuts, and it didn't stop. All. Day. Long.

It rained so hard that Sabine's house suddenly found itself with a swimming pool, and her plants runnith fullith.

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This of course was a day that Zac and I planned to spend outdoors, hence the umbrella carrying. We took a leisurely morning, getting up late and then heading to the ferry to catch a ride to Cadiz. Cadiz is a short twenty five minute ferry ride from Puerto de Santa Maria, and we happily crossed the grey rolling sea to the Iberian Peninsula's oldest continuously-inhabited city.

We were excited to see Cadiz, as we'd been told it's a beautiful city. And it is, or so I still assume. It was hard to judge under dark skies of threatening clouds and intermittent downpours.

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We spent our time walking around the Old Town, admiring the antiquity of the buildings and typical European narrow streets. We walked through a few plazas, past the cathedral, and to the central mercado. I had really wanted to see the fish stalls in the market, which Sabine told me had whole sharks hanging around. Of course the reason I wanted to check this out was to see if I could identify what local sharks are ending up on Spainard's dinner plates, or more specifically what kind of shark ended up on my dinner plate in cooking class. The only shark I came across was a dog fish, so I felt okay about that. No great white shark heads resting on ice at the central mercado.

I wish I could tell you about all the cool things we did and saw in Cadiz, but the rain really limited our activities and we spent most of our time bouncing from coffee shop to restaurant just for shelter from the storming weather. I know, we're pretty lousy Seattleites, huh? Letting rain stop us--bananas! Maybe we've been in Spain too long. Truly though, the rain was a deluge of water just pounding down any time we stepped out of a restaurant. Once we stepped inside, however, the rain stopped. As soon as the words "la cuenta" came out of either my or Zac's mouth the sky opened up again and let loose.

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We discussed our options for the day, but ultimately decided that we'd prefer not spending the day soaking wet. We headed back to Puerto in the early afternoon.

Cadiz really does seem like a beautiful city, and I'm sure on a sunny day the stretch of stone wall along the ocean provides a stunning view. The houses and apartments are well kept, and the streets are clean. There are beautiful palm trees scattered about the many plazas, and small shops tucked away in quiet alleys. I'd love to go back someday.

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Once back in Puerto de Santa Maria we took things pretty easy. The weather seemed to drain our energy, and even this chocolate goody couldn't pick us up:

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(It looks like someone pooped in a hot dog bun, but boy was it tasty)

We lounged around for a while before deciding that some Irish coffees were needed to replenish the low levels of excitement. Sabine took us to an Irish pub that she has dubbed "Little America," and the name was absolutely appropriate. Everything in the bar was in English, American classic rock blasted throughout, and pub decor trumped any traditional Spanish architecture or tilework in the building. It served its purpose though, and Zac and Sabine enjoyed their Irish coffees. I sipped a diet coke. I was still feeling the effects of laziness from an overcast day.

After the pub we went back to Sabine's and cooked dinner while sharing a couple bottles of wine. She made us a delicious meal, and we found ourselves stuffed and happy. Sabine is an awesome, awesome, awesome host and insists on feeding us good food and taking care of our needs. Whether it's providing umbrellas for protection from the rain, driving us around to see the sights, letting us wash our clothes (and just in time since I was almost out of knickers), and even letting me borrow a pair of stylish boots to wear out into the rainy weather because my sandals were cleary a bad choice--she has provided it all. I don't know how we can possibly repay her, and every time we make even a small attempt to do so she refuses. I'm going to have to get more creative.

I'd had more wine than I probably should have and stumbled up to bed. Once again I felt a glutton, and it wasn't even International Gluttony Day yet! It's been International Gluttony two weeks for us Rumells, but tomorrow we really do it in style.

Posted by JorieW 18:18 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Did I do that?!

I'm stuffed.

With a food baby.

Seriously. And I'm terrified about what's going to happen when I give birth.

If I've moaned about over indulging before on this trip (and I have...) then I was an ignorant fool. Never did I anticipate the fullness that I feel right now, a fullness that has lasted an uncomfortable three hours and counting.

Please don't mistake my moans as complaint, or at least a negative complaint (can complaints be positive?). This is a good thing. A very bad good thing.

Today Sabine kindly drove us to Vejer de la Frontera, a small and adorable city about 45 minutes south of Puerto d SM. Appropriately it was raining. I say appropriately because Sabine mentioned something to me about being excited for a "slice of home" when Zac and I came to visit, and I can't imagine what is more homely about Washington than rain. So, you're welcome.

Still, arriving in Vejer in the rain was pleasant. I got some strange looks being in a dress and sandals in the rain, but Sabine advised me to wear fat clothes for our day of utter gluttony, and I gladly put on my fat dress that I thought would hide my anticipated food baby. I wanted to shake my fist at one man who clearly was unapproving of my garb and shout at him that I'm from Seattle, and rain is in my blood, and more importantly that umbrellas are for sissy pants. Instead I just stood quietly.

We arrived with enough time to get some coffee before meeting Annie, our host for the day. Annie is from Scotland, lived twenty years in England, ran a successful catering company, and moved to Vejer several years ago where she opened a cooking school in her beautiful home. She is friendly, kind, and the biggest fan of sherry I've ever met. She generously welcomed us and took us to a small market to buy fresh supplies for the day.

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It was just Zac, Sabine, and myself for the class today, and Annie respectfully planned to do a seafood day to accommodate Zac's dietary restrictions. Admittedly I was somewhat sad to miss an opportunity to better learn how to cook meat, but since I prepare food for Zac and myself at home it is certainly more useful to better learn how to cook seafood. Annie gave us a few options for meal choices and we settled on a fish stew and a black rice with cuttlefish and prawns. This last dish did not tickle my fancy, particularly since the black rice would be colored black by the cuttlefish ink, but I thought I'd be adventurous nonetheless. When in Rome, right? Or Vejer, rather.

Annie chose to buy boquerones

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cuttlefish

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and lobito.

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Lobito? What's that?

"It's shark," Annie said.

I studied the filet. It could certainly be shark, how do I know? It could also be tuna for all I knew. I can't tell one pink fish filet from another. I wished I hadn't asked.

Everyone knows I'm crazy about my sharks. More than crazy, actually. Bat shit insane.

I stood for a moment staring at the meat, wondering if I was okay with eating it. I've probably eaten shark without realizing it, I rationalized. That happens often in restaurants, particularly in other countries. I have no problem with eating shark, just like any other fish, so long as it is a sustainable species and caught in an environmentally sound manner. This was not shark fin soup, this was the meat of a dead shark, and I'm fine with people eating the meat of sharks. "So, eat the damn shark," I told myself.

There was still part of me that felt guilty. I made Zac hug it out.

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We finished shopping at the small but colorful market and then headed back to Annie's house.

Annie lives in a beautiful house in the middle of Vejer, just a short walk uphill through white washed homes with a stunning view of the valley below. Her home is wonderfully built, with a swimming pool in the open courtyard that rests in the middle of the entire house. As we entered her home we were greeted by her cat. Her dead cat. That has been stuffed. I couldn't tell if this made me like her more.

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We got down to cooking pretty quick, learning how to prep the meals we'd be consuming. First step? Clean everything. And I mean everything. The lady at the market had removed the cuttlefish's ink pouches (or whatever the hell they're called), but we still had to remove the beaks. Yum.

The grossest part of that process was when I cut into an ink pouch accidentally and it squirted everywhere. Really, you want me to eat this? Anyway, after that we cleaned the boquerones. These guys are like little sardines and we just ripped their heads off, sliced through their guts with our thumbs, and pulled out their spines. By the time we were done it looked like the Spanish inquisition part II.

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Despite that grossness we still had an appetite for some pomegranates, which we learned how to peel and seed without making a mess.

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Normally when I eat a pomegranate it involves putting on an old stained shirt that I no longer care about, sitting down with a towel under my plate, and going at it with a spoon and hoping for the best. Now I know that all I need to do is cut the top off, make a few small slits on the edges of the top, fill a large bowl with water, crack the pomegranate open in the water, and gently pluck the seeds out. The seeds fall to the bottom while the rhine floats to the top. Then drain it slowly until the rhine is gone and place the rest in a strainer until you're ready to eat.
Our food simmered for a while, and Annie shared sherry after sherry after sherry with us. We munched on some pickled boquerones and crackers, which were delicious and easy to make. Then came the pan fried boquerones. Then the garlic aioli and bread. Then the gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic oil).

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Then the main courses, which involved crying while preparing.

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The shark stew was first. It was good, and I ate it down. The salty taste of my tears complimented the dish well.

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After the shark stew came the ink squirt paella. I enjoyed this as well, though I picked most of my cuttlefish out and gave it to Zac. I couldn't get past the mental block of the squirting ink pouch all of the counter top or the floating eyes in the discard bowl staring blankly at me. This dish was particularly fun to eat because it left teeth and lips black from the ink. We all giggled about this for sometime, though I suspect most of the giggling was the result of all the sherry and wine we'd been poured.

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After our huge meal we enjoyed the cookies we'd made earlier. Galletas de almendras y limon. The cookies are like macaroons, but we used ground almonds instead of coconut and added lemon zest. They were delicious, and while I told myself to try and have some self-control after such a big meal I still wolfed down 1/3 of the batch of cookies. Zac and Sabine helped me with the rest. We all groaned uncomfortably as we dipped our cookies in sherry and coffee, claiming we could eat no more and then finishing the entire plate of them. No regrets.

After we finished coffee and sobered up a bit we said goodbye to Annie and Vejer. Sabine offered to take a picture of Zac and I with a lovely view of the city before leaving, but Zac and I couldn't stop laughing as we tried to hide one another's food baby belly and this was as close as we got to a decent picture:

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The remainder of our early evening has been spent in a food-induced coma. I've done nothing since, and every time I try to stand my stomach reminds me that there's way too much in there to move.

I think it's a low key night for us this evening, and likely no bar hopping or tapas stops, or anything added to our tummies. There's simply no room. A cooking class was a fantastic way to spend the day, and I am looking forward to eating the left overs tomorrow. In moderation.

Posted by JorieW 02:07 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

Bueno, Bueno, Bueno. Buenoooooooooooooo!

Adio Seville, hola Puerto de Santa Maria!

Yes, I'm aware I spelled adios without the s above. That's because Spaniards don't pronounce it. I'm used to Latin American accents, so this confuses me often. Fun fact of the day for you.

I'm currently sitting in a spacious and tastefully decorated kitchen in a large house (so large I didn't even realize there was a bathroom in the room that Zac and I were sleeping in), sipping a cup of tea before going upstairs to take a shower in a real, full size tub. This last part is a really big treat after spending the past week and a half in hotels with standing-only showers that are so cramped that when I bend over to pick up dropped soap I either knock the shower knob to excrutiatingly hot or I turn it off altogether.

It feels really nice to be in a home.

We chose to come to Puerto de Santa Maria because our friend Sabine and her husband Rodric live here. She offered to host us (clearly she's kind of crazy), and while we hate putting other people out, we couldn't refuse. How many times have we traveled and run into friends? Once. That's how many. Five years ago we happened to be in South Africa at the same time as one of Zac's best friends and spent five days in Cape Town hanging out. Which was awesome.

With that, we said goodbye to Seville.

We arrived in Puerto d SM yesterday afternoon, just in time to have lunch with Sabine and her in-laws. Sabine's husband was called out for work and will not be here while we are, which is unfortunate because I suspect that he and Zac would get along very well based on Sabine's stories of him (all good stories, promise). We enjoyed meeting his parents and sharing lunch down by the waterfront on what proved to be a comparable windy day to Whidbey Island. I think I ate more of my hair than the salad in front of me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Puerto d SM is a lovely town on the west coast of Spain, tucked neatly inland and directly across the water from Cadiz. There is a 30 minute ferry that we can catch to go to Cadiz, which I believe is on the itinerary for the few days we're here. Puerto itself is charming. It's certainly a change of pace from the Spanish cities we've been in, and it feels like a more accurate representation of modern life in Spain. It's easy to wander the old Spanish city centers surrounded by buildings with hundreds of years worth of history and forget that suburbs exist. Not everyone can live next to (nor wants to live next to) a tourist corridor. Though it was pretty amusing to drive through the streets of Puerto d SM on the way to Sabine's house and hear the phrase: "Oh that? Yeah, that's our city castle."

After lunch we all decided to unwind. Zac and I unloaded our gear, and Sabine kindly gave us her room for the evening until we could switch to the guest room when her in-laws left the next day. As I mentioned before, I HATE putting people out, so I felt really bad for taking her room. I made Zac swear he wouldn't fart in the bed--it just felt wrong. Of course in the end we all know it wasn't Zac that we really had to worry about.

The weather had cooled down quite a bit, and I decided to go for a run along the beach front and check out the port a little more. This time Zac was able to use one of Sabine's bikes and rode along next to me as I ran. It was a great set up, and the perfect time of day for a run. The weather was ideal--slightly over cast and temperate with just enough sun to cast a lazy glow to the surrounding trees as it began to set for the night. People were out walking dogs, walking with spouses, and jogging themselves. I loved it, and the view along the way was spectacular. Unfortunately Zac only snapped one picture while out (he's not as photo crazy as me), but it's a beautiful one of painted murrals along the port.

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Since we'd had such a big lunch we decided to have tapas for dinner that evening, and after my run I showered and got ready to hit Puerto in style. By style I mean with wet hair and a tee shirt with stains only hidden by my scarf.

Sabine took us to a great restaurant with yummy food--and it was packed! All down the streets and walkways were restaurants with ample patio seating except the restaurant we attended. We waited for a table to open up, and the reward for our patience (other than enjoying a drink across the alley in another bar) was delicious food. We had some sort of fried fish that was really, really, really, really good. I liked it a lot. A lot.

Dinner hit the spot, but afterward we went to get some gelato where I dangerously discovered that they have Bueno gelato! Oh me, oh my! Zac pointed it out to me and suddenly I had tunnel vision. The world around me ceased to exist and everyone in the shop faded into a blur. It was me and my lover, Bueno gelato. We only had eyes for each other, and we totally made out that night.

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It was with full belly that I laid my head down to sleep last night, and pleasant dreams of chocolate and hazelnut stayed with me until morning when I woke up and realized I can do it all over again today.

Posted by JorieW 10:00 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Wehrell-ed Travel, Spain

And Onward

Our last day in Seville.

It's bittersweet. Bitter because I've really enjoyed this city. Sweet because we're moving on to Puerto de Santa Maria to stay with a friend who has graciously and generously agreed to put up with us for several nights.

There wasn't much on the to-do list for the day. Sleep in? Check. Get coffee? Check. What else?

I mentioned yesterday that we had gone to the Plaza Encarnacion to see the Metropol Parasol (this big guy)

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Underneath the structure is a food market, and since I have a tremendous fondness for food it seemed like a good place to visit. It was closed yesterday, so this morning we stopped by after coffee. The market had fish stands, cheese shops, fruit vendors, and a few restaurants scattered about. We lingered a while, watching old woman buy goods and debating whether we should get something as well. I spent a lot of time just watching (or lurking, I suppose) how these stands work. Do I bag the fruit myself? Does someone weigh it for me? What if I just want a single peach, can I do that?

I didn't bother getting anything, so my questions weren't really answered. All I seemed to take away was that the group of women I was spying on all wanted to buy their fruit from one stand, even if that meant waiting behind the others to get what they needed. It seemed to matter little that there were three other stands thirty feet away. All my watching didn't give me the answer to the question as to why these women wanted fruit from this specific stand either. I guess what I'm saying is that I just stood around like a creep and got nothing out of it. Time well spent.

After the market we headed back to the Alameda de Hercules for some lunch. We stopped and had coffee in a cafe, hoping to get food but finding that they didn't really serve much. This happens to us often, or so it seems. We'll sit down, ravenous and cranky from hunger (that last one is really me), only to discover that the only menu items are bocadillos (small sandwiches). Now, don't get me wrong, bocadillos have their place (my belly), but when it's lunch time I mean business, and that business is a full meal.

Onward we pushed, finding a restaurant just a block down from the cafe. The restaurant had yummy salads, which we both enjoyed, and we split a tortilla Espanola. I have yet to go a day without eating one.

After lunch we wandered the streets north of the city center again, stopping to get fruit from the store where I knew how to buy it individually without worrying that I was doing it wrong. We then stopped at a pasteleria. *Sigh* I think pastelerias make me simultaneously happy and sad. I'm happy for obvious reasons--I'm going to get some really tasty treats, but I also get sad because I know that I'm only allowed to stop at a pasteleria daily when I'm on vacation. I simply can't afford to do it at home. By that I mean I don't want diabetes.

We picked up two goodies and went back to the hotel to enjoy them on the terrace with wine and books. The afternoon was warm with a cooling breeze, and it took a lot of effort to keep my eyes open as they threateningly grew heavier and heavier. Siestas make perfect sense to me.

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It was that kind of day.

Later, when evening was on its way but the sun still up we strolled over to the Triana neighborhood across the river. The western shore of the Guadalquivir River unites the old and new part of Seville. Triana has traditionally been a working class area, and we were told it is the place to go for good and authentic flamenco. We were also told that Calle Betis is the place to go for Agua de Seville, a potent concoction of many different alcohols, pineapple juice, and cream.

We strolled along the river for a while, taking in the view of the city from opposite side of the river. The sun was setting and a beautiful orange and yellow glow seemed to engulf the city.

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We stopped at a small bar for drinks and tapas before dinner, choosing to get off the main drag of Triana. Triana itself is a beautiful neighborhood, though admittedly we explored only a small fraction of it this evening. One thing we took note of was the atrocious traffic that seemed to bottleneck near the bridge. We watched as cars backed up several blocks due to one person's attempt to parallel park--while another car was still in the spot they were attempting to get into, leaving no room for the car attempting to leave to get out, but trying to get in nonetheless. Zac, who is not a road rager like me, looked on with dismay and muttered "If I were in that car behind him I'd get out and murder him." Combined with the frequent double parking in the neighborhoods I'd say that Triana is best explore on foot.

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After drinks and tapas we moved on to get dinner, opting to skip the waterfront for fear of outrageous prices and mediocre food and instead ate in the plaza. Instead of outrageous prices and mediocre food we got decent prices and mediocre food, though if you ask Zac he'll tell you we got awful food. I had a mixed salad with tuna and ordered a steak to go with it. Zac ordered a salad with "yogurt dressing" that appeared to be mayo and a seafood "pie" that was various forms of seafood between layers of white bread smeared with cocktail sauce. He did not choose wisely this meal.

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It didn't help matters that his stomach was hurting. We finished our meal off with a street flamenco show before saying goodbye to Triana and walking along the river front back to Santa Cruz. Zac was a trooper, indulging me in an evening walk despite not feeling well.

We strolled along the waterfront for a while, talking about the things we've enjoyed in Seville and our trip to Spain in general. Zac then suggested we walk to the Cathedral to see it lit up at night. It was a great idea, and Seville seemed more beautiful and charming in the basking of street lamps and shop signs.

On our walk back to the hotel we found ourselves at the Ayuntamiento, connecting the Plaza San Francisco and the Plaza Nueva. At the junction between the two plazas is an arch, which local legend says that if you pass under the arch with that "special someone" you will marry them. We're already married, but Zac and I walked through it anyway. It couldn't hurt, right? I mean, with divorce rates hovering around 50% why not add a little insurance policy, if you know what I mean.

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In the event that one changes his or her mind, all that is needed to be done is for one person to take a broom and sweep the other person's feet. Easy as pie. Mmmm. Pie. Anyway, clearly Zac and I need to keep brooms away from one another's feet if we want to make this marriage work.

Because Zac's stomach was aching we went back to the hotel without having an Agua de Seville. It wasn't high on our list of priorities, and neither of us are all too sad about it, but tonight we go to bed sober and early.

Posted by JorieW 15:31 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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