Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Anniversary 2017 – Spain (Day 2) – Shutters, Sausages and Seville

Today, it’s more of the same – taking in the local sights and sounds of Seville.

The View beyond the Shutters

Last night, having the discovered the benefits of the electric window shutters in our room (they cut out all the light and sound), this morning we discovered the DISADVANTAGES. As we woke in complete darkness, a casual glance at my watch revealed that it was 9.45! Those that know me, know that I’ve normally done a day’s work by that time, so it was all a bit of a shock. Luckily, with the breakfast curfew kicking-in at a very continental 11am, we were still in with a chance of morning nourishment. I’m still not sure how managed to sleep through the hourly (and half-hourly) bongs of the Town Square’s clock either, but whatever those shutters are made of, they did their job! As a result our extended lie-in, we both felt initially a bit did-orientated.

In record time we staggered down to brekky, where the last remnants of the cooked breakfast offering were starting to look very lonely. I’m not sure about the sausages though - they resembled something long, round and meaty (easy tiger!) – but perhaps they were tiger! Certainly taste-wise, they’re not the type of bangers I’m used to. Still, as they say: “When in Rome… check your ticket, you should be in Seville!” Boy, they were chewy! At least the scrambled egg and baked beans were tasty!

The bean-to-cup coffee machine compensated nicely and we were soon starting to feel more human – well, as close as you are going to get with me!

With breakfast successfully accomplished, we got ourselves ready for the shortish walk to the famous Real Alcázar (Royal Palace), taking in the sights along the way. To give the Palace a bit of historical context (yes, I too, can read the Eye Witness travel books!) the oldest parts date back to 913AD built by the Emir of Córdoba. Over the years, Caliphs added their bits and then the Christian Kings had a go – in particular, Pedro I – who, according to his fan club (quite large) was either the best King ever, or, El Cruel (originally quite a large following but diminishing) according to others. He killed his brother in an effort to secure his position and bag a mistress at the same time! Think Game of Thrones crossed with EastEnders. Whatever your opinion of him, he had an eye for a classy place. As a result, most of what we saw here today, is down to him.

History lesson over and back to 2017: Weather-wise, it’s a slightly warmer day than yesterday, but still with the occasional nip in the air. No matter though, it’s certainly a lot better than back home currently!

A lovely walk in the warm but crisp air… (this isn’t Kettering currently!)

…taking in some great views along the way…

…a great day to be out ‘taking the air’…

…and enjoying the colourful architecture…

..and there was plenty of it…

Finally, we arrived at the famous Real Alcázar (Royal Palace)… And nothing could have prepared us for this jaw-dropping building, inside and out…

I’m not sure which was more stunning…

…the ceilings..?

…the paintings..?

…the decorative tiling..?

…the wall coverings..?

…the outside views..?

…the decorative arches?

…or just all of it! Wow! What a rush, such a gorgeous looking building from whichever angle you looked at it from – inside or out. Certainly one the most lavish buildings we’ve seen in many years.

After the serious business of architectural study, we turned our attention to the serious business of finding some lunch! There’s certainly a lot of choice out here, but we follow a simple rule: look for the place where it’s full of locals. We soon spotted somewhere suitable – La Azotea

We could have simply opted for some simple Tapas, but given the place was already very full and there was an interesting menu, we decided to make it our main meal for today.

The food punched well above its weight in terms of presentation and taste. It was all simply delicious. The Oxtail Meatballs (above) that I chose, were simply ‘melt-in-the-mouth’…

…and it would have been rude not to have dessert – so we did! Ann opted for the Chocolate Fondant Pudding with Orange Ice Cream whilst predictably, I hunted down the one containing gin - and enjoyed the Gin & Mint Ice Cream with a super-creamy custard. In-between the food, we managed to help it all on its journey with a local beer, a Rioja and two rather yummy dessert wines! It was a wobbly walk back to the Hotel!

It’s been a shorter day than normal for us, but a great one! A refreshing walk, one stunning location, a delicious lunch and finally, a woozy walk back to base. Tonight is one of choices: it’s either off to a Club to party until 5am or a binge-watch on Netflix…

Decisions, decisions… Hhhhmm, I’ll get the Tablet then shall I?

Tomorrow (shutters permitting) it’s Cadiz by train.