Gourmet Architecture

Trip Start Sep 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 27, 2011

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When I leave Fez in the early morning, I feel dressed a little too provocative with my v-neck shirt. When I arrive in Seville, I feel dowdy. There are not only women on the streets again, but they are wearing whatever they feel like. This change of atmosphere feels like a fresh breath of air after Morocco. Not to say that I didnīt enjoy or appreciate Morocco, I do want to return one day. But it is relieving to be in a Western society again I must admit.

Being in Sevilla is like eating a gourmet dish. You knew you would like it when you saw it on the menu of the exquisite restaurant you chose. When it arrives at your table, the presentation is flawless ad gorgeous. And it smells even more delicious than you imagined based on the menu description. Then, with every bite, you discover another layer of complex, mouth-watering and delicious flavours. Thatīs how I feel about Sevilla. I knew I would like it. Arriving here, I thought itīs a pretty city indeed. Then walking around (aimlessly mostly - my new favourite way of exploring), I got that silly smile on my face, just content and happy to have the privilege of being here. And finally, with every corner I turn, I am stunned at how it could possibly be more beautiful than the last.
A few highlights:
- An Aussie girl contacts me on CouchSurfing and we spend a day and evening together. She has been in Spain for about 3 months already and fell in love with guy from San Sebastian. So sheīll be back I am sure :)
- Tapas bars everywhere. While I am making these notes I am eating at one that is a disappointing tourist trap. But I also enjoyed great food at others before.
- My Hostel Samay organizes all kinds of activities, so itīs super easy to meet people and get to know the city. A walking tour led by Italian Pancho is one of the best tours I have ever been on. Pancho is from Milan and has lived in Sevilla for many years. As that he has very interesting pespectives on history and has learned that Italy is not at the source of everything. For example, did you know that Rome is not the oldest city? It is Cadiz in Southern Spain! I also learn that Marco Polo is buried in about 5 places. Or at least, so they all claim.
- Then later that night, a tapas and night live tour with Brian from NY. I am worried for the tour organizer (Pancho owns the business) that theyīll be sooner or later sued by some North Americans. For €20 we get food at three tapas bars plus a drink at each, followed by one beer and four shots at different bars. The last shot is a mouthful ot of a bottle of honey rum Brian carries. One girl from Boston falls stepping into a pot hole an rips her pants. At the amount of booze we all had, she could have easily ended up with worse than a scraped knee. Brian is of Irish decent and accordingly holds up well on this one of many night tours he leads every week. I donīt care at all for the last place, a night club with alternative rock music, so I have one of the guides walk me back to my hotel. Earlier than every one else in this tour, I am in bed by 4am. Today, my cold has fully arrived, I am feeling sicker than before and canīt muster the energy to get on with my trip planning. I extend my hostel booking to Sunday. 
- The famous Giralda is the highest building in town and there is a law that none can be taller. Which means that there wonīt be any skyscrapers appearing any time soon. You can walk up to the top of he tower for a great view. This is accomplished via 35 or so slopes, not stair cases. In the Arab days, they had the Muezzin (guy in charge of prayer calls = Adhan) ride his horse up there, so he wonīt be too out of breath for the Adhan by the time he gets up there. If youīve ever heard those you know that it does indeed take a lot of breath (or like in Morocco nowadays, a tape).
- The Alcazar s worth seeing. It is beautiful, but because I have just been to Morocco it does not blow me away like it  otherwise would have.
- Sadly, I am unsuccessful in my attempts to meet with Hubertīs girlfried Marta, who lives in Seville.
- On Saturday, I walk around the city taking in sights in a more targeted manner than before: Plaza Espana, Triana barrio across the river, Alcazar and climbing Giralda. Then a Flamenco show at night, followed by a stop at only the first of many bars from the pub crawl. In bed by 1.30am and ready for the bus ride to Granada the next day.
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