Huelva, the back streets

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Sevillian Train Passes. . .

To our great dismay, Lindi and I arrived at the last week of the glorious fun in the sun to be had in the city of oranges. In our last attempt to grasp and sample the city’s majesty and ambience, we drew up a to-do list of the things that still needed to be done:
1. Visit the hippy city of Cadiz on the Costa del Sol
2. Try on as many of the flamboyant and extravagantly expensive Flamenco dresses (or trajes) – the Fiesta de Primavera (Spring festival) is soon to grace the streets of Sevilla and to dress up, watch Flamenco shows and drink in tents will be the order of the day
3. Visit the Alameda de Hercules (historical site in Seville) in the Macarena suburb
4. Go for paddle on rio of the city, cocktail in hand
5. Laze around in the breath taking gardens, El Parque de Maria Luisa, of Seville

So, one Saturday morning, rising early from our beds we attempt to catch the morning bus to head on to the sunny side. Karin, our German freundin, also tags along to help us make a start to the list. The day sweeps past in a blur of great food (lunch being an enormous plate of fish, adobo style, and grilled peppers topped with coarse sea salt) good company, sea air, an educating walk-about the city and ending, lazily, on the beach with an ice-cream cone of fig, rose water and naartjie in hand. It really is like a big Kalkbay exploded on the coast of Spain. Everyone just seems to concentrate on breathing in the good air as they glide past in floaty pants and dreadlock coifs.
As we procrastinate leaving the side of these fearless hobo’s, we at least sweeten the deal on arrival in Sevilla, by buying candy floss sticks the size of our heads!

The next day, Tessa (one of our Dutch friends), Karin and we swing by some ridiculously over-priced stores, to see just how Spanish we could be in the traditional Spring trajes. One would never say it, but these things are incredibly small and tight.
Lindi and I then take a stroll down to the Alameda to go and look at this famed and spectacular ruin of Sevilla. It ends up being a pile of old rocks stacked on each other, with some mythological God posed on top, at both ends of what looked like an old running trek. However, the true magic of this square in the Macarena suburb, comes from the interesting and different people prancing around, as well as from the vibey, divergent, alternative caf├ęs that seem to have blossomed all over the place and hug the arena. And just to prove to ourselves that we actually don’t care that we don’t fit into these preposterous dresses, we treat ourselves to a decadent lunch at Casa Paco, of stuffed baby marrows, blanketed in melted cheese, a marinated salmon tapa and home baked brown bread brushed with a touch of cinnamon, topped with ham and drizzled with cumin olive oil.
We manage to waffle through the other activities and all too soon, the last night arrives.

In true South African style – or rather, in true Afrikanie style – we ceremoniously greet Sevilla with a braai (we scavenged stokkies and leaves from a river bank near our flat and trekked it into the Centre City in backpacks; we even stopped at the Chinese shop to buy a 3 euro roster). Little did we know, however, that the braai we were busy setting up, was an illegal one, as two Spanish oaks kindly informed us – seeing that it was on public property, next to the Guadalquivir rio and directly opposite a small police station.
Nevertheless, we carried on with our barbacoa, roasting chicken strips and bits of bread on the open flames, beneath the not-so-starry Sevillian sky.
With a last Salud! with glass of Tempranillo, all our international maaitjies and teary smiles, we say cheers to the wistful surroundings and our beloved casa. . .

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