So, after our lovely week at the villa, we packed up all our stuff, including Brad's bike, and drove back to Malaga where we would drop off the cars (and bike) and catch the train to Sevilla. We had the route back to the train station/car drop off point all mapped out, and we were doing very well, until we missed a crucial turn-off in Malaga, which thew all of our well-laid plans into disaray. We pulled both cars over and had a consult. Maps were check, there was some humming and hawing, and in the end, we decided it would probably be best to ask someone familiar with the city. A short time before, we had spotted a gas station/convenience store, so we made our way back there where the attendant, thankfully, knew how to get to the train station and she spoke some English. Bonus!! Following her directions, we carefully made our way to our destination. We parked the cars in the underground parking lot, dropped of the keys, and Brad took his bike back. This time in the Malaga train station, we felt like pros. We knew where the washrooms were, where to get a quick bite to eat, and where to go to catch our train to Sevilla. Soon enough, we were on our train bound for the capital of Andalucia! It was about a 3-hour trip, then there we were at the Santa Justa train station in Sevilla. Brad turned on his internal GPS and, following his lead, we and our suitcases clackitty clacked through the wending streets and alleys to our 3 bedroom, 3 bath apartment in the heart of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, which is the city's old Jewish quarter. The pleasant agent met us at the door, led us through the place, gave us our keys, and bid us adieu. The apartment was nice, but not as nice as it had looked in the pictures on the Internet. We were on the second floor and the main rooms consisted of a small kitchen, a large living area/dining room, a powder room, and one bedroom, which also had its own bathroom. It was decided that Shaun and Mary would take that bedroom. Don and Marlene and Brad and I had bedrooms off a corridor overlooking the inner courtyard. One floor up, there were also two large roof-top terraces, which were apparently shared with other apartments in the building, though we saw no one else there during our 4-day stay. The terraces were really quite nice and we spent a lot of time up there, dining al fresco several nights.
After settling in a little, we went to a tapas restaurant just down the street for some lunch. We sat outside under an umbrella to shade us from the sun. I forget what everyone else had, but I had a whisky tortilla of some sort. You couldn't taste much whisky, but boy was there a LOT of garlic in it! Tons of it! Gooy, sticky, roasted garlic! My favourite! Brad looked mortified... He knew he'd have to sleep in the same room as me that night! The others caught on fairly quickly as well, and generally kept their distance from me for the rest of the day! (Just kidding, though the following day, Mary told me that I still stinked of garlic!)
Sevilla was a great spot and we enjoyed our time there. We ate out several times and cooked at the apartment as well. Mary even had pig cheeks!! The first meat she had eaten in like 17 years! She liked 'em too! One afternoon, we did a walking tour with an English ex-pat living in the city. He was nice, it was informative, and we got to know our way around a bit more. It was he who told us about the tapas restaurant where we had the pig cheeks. Underneath the mushroom-like structure you see in the pics below was a market. We picked up vittels for dinner there, including a shark steak, which looked very good, but none of us knew what it was until I looked in my menu decoder back at the apartment. Was the first time I had had shark, and it was very tasty, though I wouldn't make a habit of eating it because sharks are very intelligent and basically at the top of their food chain. The kind of icky-looking things in one of the pics from the market are snails, which the Spanish are mad for. Didn't try thiose, I'm afraid.
As a day trip, we all (except for Brad) hopped on a train to Jerez. Our main goal was to do some Serry tasting, and that we at at the Sandeman Bogeda.It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a lot of fun. I didn't take the camera, so no pics unfortunately. But it is definitely a city I would return to for a couple of days.
Back in Sevilla, I bought a colourful ceramic sugar dish to replace a small square tupperware dish that we've used to sugar for the past 20-odd years, and a nice ceramic jug as well, which, unfortunately, I've since discovered, doesn't pour very well. Oh well. It looks pretty!
After 4 nights, we again packed up our belongings and headed back to Madrid for one final night. I'll have a wrap-up of that in my next post. Stay tuned and enjoy the pics below. :)