Day 8, 9 & 10 – Sevilla, Spain 2012 – May 21, 22 & 23 Monday-Wednesday

I’ve gotten a bit behind on my blogging, so it’s just the facts, only the facts. No time (or memory ) for the details. Sorry :(.

On Monday, May 21st we took a train to Cordoba…a town where there is a big cathedral that fell under the rule of both Muslim’s and Christians over the ages. The Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba, in ecclesiastical terms the “Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción” (English: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption), and known by the inhabitants of Córdoba as the Mezquita-Catedral, is today a World Heritage site and the cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba. It is located in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain. It took us just over an hour to get there by train from Sevilla. The interior really reflects both religions, going from the traditional Christian paintings and statues, then transitioning to the more typical Muslim architecture of domes and archways as each conqueror added on to the building…”making it their own”, ha. Saying it was HUGE is an understatement. It’s pretty hard to describe so you’ll just have to look at the pictures. After touring around the cathedral and walking the grounds (and working up a hunger), we stopped for lunch at a pretty little place with an inside courtyard as their restaurant. We ordered a variety of tapas…some shrimp, olives, chorizo, BULL meat, and a salad. We then continued on and walked, and walked, and walked all over this town. We finally took the train back home where we were exhausted! TOO exhausted to go out on the town for dinner so we opted instead to stop at a little market to pick up some snacks and then came back home to our room and had dinner in bed :).

On Tuesday, May 22nd we explored some more of Sevilla, walking through the large park on our way back down to Plaza de Espana to get a closer look at all the tile work. Each providence is represented in tiles so it was fun taking pictures of all the places we’ve been visiting and will be visiting here in Spain….especially the Valencia tiles! Being so pooped from the previous day, it wasn’t long before we needed a stop for some refreshments…Sangria time! We found one little place that had tables under a HUGE tree (lots of HUGE trees here in Sevilla), and kicked back for about an hour resting our feeties….and calves, and shins, and knees. Afterwards, we took a ride in a horse drawn carriage around town, asking him to specifically deliver us back near our hotel so we didn’t have that long walk back. This really helped because I was then finally feeling refreshed enough to go out and have a nice dinner! Our horse was such a trooper too on this hot sunny day! We later ventured out for dinner and decided on a little place that had a Spanish guitar player playing inside. It wasn’t exactly a tapas restaurant, but rather a very nice Italian place! It looked like a little hole in the wall until we walked inside the cave like opening and found that it had a whole other section upstairs. We thought the change in pace in food might be good, and after all, (according to the pictures in their entry), if it was good enough for Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz to eat at, then it was certainly good enough for our lowly selves. We shared a salad of warmed goat cheese with a honey vinaigrette dressing. Oh my, it was heavenly. MUST make this at home! Joey ordered the ravioli in a bolognaise sauce and I had the roasted pork with sherry sauce. Both were excellent. Adding a bottle of wine to share made this a very special dinner.

On Wednesday, May 23rd, we walked back over to the train station for a day trip to Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz…(Jerez pronounced “haired-ee” and Cadiz pronounced “kah’-dee”….of course in your best Spanish accent!). It took about an hour or so to get to Jerez where we walked and walked into the downtown area. This town was pretty neat, it had a fantastic fish and meat market in the middle of the old town area. They had some of the strangest fish we have ever seen sold at a fish market! Lots of eyeballs, teeth and snouts! Also, outside in the streets, people were selling bags of these tiny little snails like we might see clams being sold…in plastic netted bags, ready to be taken home and thrown in the pot of seasoned boiling water. They also had the larger snails as well. AND, some tiny little slivers of silvery crustaceans about an inch long that if you watched them closely, they jump! I tried to get it on video so hopefully you can see it. No clue WHAT they do with those! We stopped for lunch at an outdoor café (pretty much they’re all outdoors…), we shared another salad and Joey had paella and I had the meatballs. Nice little lunch spot, came with a bottle of wine and dessert! I had the flan and Joey had rice pudding. Off we go again and after finally finding our way over to some bodega’s where they make the famous Spanish Cream Sherry’s, we inquired about doing a tasting and it turns out you are required to take their tour in order to taste. Well…with my now aching feet (they tire earlier and earlier each day), we decided to skip the tour and tasting because I didn’t think I could handle another step. We finally caught a cab back to the train station where we hopped on again to continue on to Cadiz, a pretty little coastal town on the west coast of Spain. Again, we took a cab to the beach area and immediately slipped off our shoes, rolled up my skirt, and walked along the edge of the water, refreshing our feet and ankles in the cool ocean water. This is a pretty small beach (compared to our California beaches), so the walk was short, but the beaches were pretty packed with locals sunning themselves. After rinsing the salty water off, we tiptoed over to a park bench and laid in the sun to let them dry. Okay, well Joey sat while I laid my head in his lap, feet elevated. After almost falling asleep, we finally felt a little refreshed, certain we could go on for another 15 minutes or so and slowly strolled over to a beach side café and sat and had a drink, just watching the people and looking out at the many boats in the bay.