"An army marches on its stomach"

Trip Start Mar 17, 2017
Trip End Apr 08, 2017

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Monday, March 20, 2017

Julie intones this quote, attributed to Napoleon, fairly regularly. The kids don't understand what it means, but they are hungry again.

Food drives much of the exploration on the trip -- and much of the grumpiness if it takes too long to find the chow. So we leave the partially unexplored Plaza de Espana and head in search of our first meal in Seville.

We follow one of the anachronistically futuristic trams down the side of the old university towards streetside cafes and restaurants. When there's no agreement on what to eat (another theme), we keep going. Some horse-drawn carriages lead us up a winding cobbled street to a small plaza where we buy some buns and take refuge in the partial shade.

The little horses continue clicking past us on the cobble stones. We're clearly on part of their regular route. The drivers keep them at a brisk trot as they wind past the plaza and disappear around the bend. Some of the horses are frothing at the mouth. Animals don't always do well in the tourism industry.

The kids remain enamoured enough that once we've fueled up and drunk deeply from the pump in the plaza, we chase after the next carriage and follow it into the labyrinth of Seville's old city.

In the next few minutes we'll orient to the three main landmarks that will guide our wanderings in Seville: the aged, golden walls of the Alcazar, the mass of Seville's cathedral and the city's tangled old Jewish quarter, the Barrio de Santa Cruz.

We stumble on each of them unawares, which is one of Seville's key charms. It invites unplanned exploration. The tight street suddenly opens up into an small or expansive plaza. The stone wall on your left becomes the entrance to a castle.

That said, a little planning helps. Despite the beautiful decorative tiles that mark many street corners, we're lost many times before we find our way back to the hotel, which is right at the end of the Barrio. The apparently dead-end alley we first saw past the hotel is now revealed as the very start of the Jewish quarter.
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