And so it was we ended up crossing the border into Spain and on to Seville.
It was surprisingly easy to find accommodation here, but hot doesn’t even begin to describe the temperatures!
Right from the start Seville provided us with eye candy. From modern graffiti art right through the spectrum to the ancient and astounding.
The temperatures soared whilst we were here. In fact, the heatwave was so brutal it was nicknamed Lucifer. It was that hot!
Sightseeing, or any outdoor activity for that matter, was out of the question during the day. The only solution was morning or nighttime excursions, but even hours after dark the city was oven-like. We’re not really nighttime people, well, to be honest, we’re not really morning people either these days, so that left us with a couple of slim segments of the day in which to enjoy the city. But enjoy it we did. And when the going got tough we did all we could to survive – we ate ice cream! When in Rome! Or Porto! Or Cascais! Or Seville!
You cannot escape the temptation of ice cream, or should I say gelato. There are sellers on every corner and every straight bit too. We had our favourite, of course. Why did we favour one over all the others you may ask? Shear quality, variety of flavours, and value and she gave out the biggest samples! 🙂
Seville is alive with colour, creativity and the hustle and bustle of daily life. To us, daily life here looked and sounded extraordinary.
In the past both Oli and I have been avid travellers, carrying with us our backpacks full of wanderlust. We’ve searched out thrills, culture and pretty much anything new to our senses. However, we’ve come to realise that those days are past. For now, we still love the open road but we prefer to let the new wash over us. We prefer to settle into a life of daily routine and normality…just as long as it’s somewhere new from time to time.
These days we rarely search out anything and even more rarely queue up behind a line of tourists to see it. Yep – we’re lazy bums!! That is, except when it comes to walking! Walking new cities and absorbing the life is an easy and wonderful way to visit a yet undiscovered place.
On one of our walks, we stumbled across this magnificent structure: The Metropol Parasol. Not only is it totally amazing to stand and look at from the sidewalk, but you can also buy a cheap ticket (which includes a drink voucher) to walk around on the top. It’s well worth a visit if you’re OK with heights and wobbly floors, and you don’t mind feeling like a sausage on the grill!
The other amazing thing to stumble across in Seville is the music and dance. It’s very easy to find as it’s everywhere and it’s fantastic. For a handful of change, you can sit a while to listen, or watch or a combination of the two, and be captivated.
Mind you, some performers are better than others!
I know I said we rarely search out anything, but in Seville we did. The reviews of one of the listed tourist attractions rated so highly that we did indeed decide to check it out, and we didn’t even need to queue.
The Reales Alcázares is well worth a visit and the entrance fee. It’s a royal palace originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings, and it’s oh-so-beautiful. We spent a morning wandering the buildings and gardens. We were not alone by any means but the morning is most definitely the time to go – fewer people and relatively cooler.
There’s a wondrous secret up the sleeve of the Alcázares. In the summer months, for six nights a week, it hosts one-hour concerts. Each ticket is a mere 6 Euros. For that, you not only get to listen to some breathtaking live music but also get early entrance to the gardens. For an hour or so before the show starts, you can experience an enchanting moonlit evening stroll. If you’re lucky you may even fulfil a childhood dream of finding a peacock feather! 🙂
Tickets can be booked online a week in advance or you can take a chance and queue at the gate on the evening of your chosen performance. Even if it’s sold out you may get first dibs on last-minute unused tickets. We attended 5 nights of concerts, and although not all the music was my thing I thoroughly enjoyed each and every night. There’s no photography during performances which accounts for my limited photos.
And finally, as seems to be a tradition with my travels, there was the food. The Spanish know how to eat and they do it with a passion. Whilst we didn’t fully embrace the late-night feasts enjoyed in Seville we did our best to indulge.
Before we knew it, our time in Seville was over and the UK beckoned. Not that it greeted us that warmly!!!
Just a few days in beautiful Buckinghamshire to catch up with friends before popping next door into Oxfordshire.
WING and AYLESBURY
What a curious fortune in my cookie!
BARFORD SAINT MICHAEL
In Oxfordshire, we had the most wonderful opportunity to house sit (and cat sit) in a quaint rural village called Barford Saint Michael. What a joy it was!! We absolutely loved the country life and all that the onset of harvest brings!
The scenery was spectacular and the smell of the fresh country air breathtaking (if you know what I mean – pee-eew)!
We were flanked on all sides by the local critters!
But made it through to live another day and take a trip into Banbury for the food fair and horticultural show.
These photos do have a tendency to make it look like Ol likes his food but then that would be entirely accurate!!
You’ve got to admire the gutsy entry from the ‘Best Courgette’ runner-up – bless!!
It all became too much for Ol – too many pies, me thinks!!!
Talking of pies…here are the token foodie photos, including a Ruby Murray (curry) for Mum’s birthday.
And a couple more photos with Mum for good measure 🙂
Our two weeks in Oxfordshire flew by, and it only seemed like a blink before it was time to head back to boring Bucks – only kidding we love it there too! It’s like being between a pillow and a soft place!