Day 88: October 18th
Today we had planned to explore Seville. We had a bit of a sleep in as we were tired from the long day yesterday.
We made our way to the Cathedral which is one of the largest in all of Spain and frankly one of the largest I’ve seen on this entire trip. All of the South of Spain was ruled by Muslim rulers at one point of time..so naturally there are a lot of mosques and other Islamic structures here. Most of the cathedrals that were built in this region were built after the Muslim rule fell to Ferdinand and Isabelle in the 15th century. Most of them were built on top of existing mosques so the architecture is very interesting. The bell towers in all of the churches we’ve seen in this region were invariably part of the minarets of the mosques that were previously there.
We also visited the Alcazar which is a beautiful Moorish Fortress that was built in the 15th century and the upper levels of the palace is still used by the royal family today. It also has some stunning gardens with all these amazing water features which were also constructed in the 15th century. Really remarkable!
Post lunch and a nap, we decided to walk around the old town for a bit and finally try and see some Flamenco tonight. Seville is widely considered to be the home of Flamenco and where else would be more perfect! We had read that the best way to see Flamenco is not through a show that one books in advance but to walk into some Flamenco bars and see more impromptu performances (even if the quality is poorer as they aren’t professionals).
We wandered across the river to Triana, the neighborhood known for its flamenco bars. We were a tad early at 9pm and were told that most places only open at 11:30pm. What!!?? So it was time for more wine and tapas. We found at lovely tapas place and had a drink but we still had an hour left. We headed to another place and finally at 11:30 showed up to the bar where we were told we could watch flamenco but alas, the shutters were still down. I was exhausted and so we decided to walk back to another pub we saw closer to the river that had also advertised for flamenco.. Had we read the sign closely enough the first time, we would have seen it was only Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But we were told there was another place just down the road. We show up to a completely empty bar. We are told by the waitress that there will be some dancing soon….so we decide to wait. At midnight, the place slowly starts filling in. Bill and I are still hoping that we get to see some performances tonight but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. The only dancing we saw that night was a drunk lady in the middle of the street on our way home…and I hardly would call that Flamenco!:)
We met a couple on our way back who had just seen one of these impromptu performances at a place they were having drinks. I guess it just wasn’t our night!
Our quest for Flamenco continues in Granada tomorrow.