Monday 30 March 2015

Parents Visit me in Seville

So last week my parents made the exciting trip to come and visit me in Seville! I was filled with trepidation, with their visit to me in Austria somehow still fresh in my mind two years after the event... but Seville is a wonderful city for anybody to visit so I was confident they'd have a good time.

I emailed them the week before to warn them that temperatures had been reaching 26 degrees and they should bring sun hats and a summery attitude. Predictably, the day they arrived it began to rain. They first went to Granada and think they trudged around a soggy Alhambra. I think it brought back bad memories of when they came to Cuba and it rained almost constantly for a fortnight: locals kept remarking how unusually rainy it was!

Once they were in Seville, Mother kindly requested "the next time you go and live somewhere else could you please pick a more temperate time of year? Maybe May, or June?" I sharply reminded her that she had chosen to visit Cuba in "RAINY SEASON" so it wasn't technically my fault to which she responded with a guilt-inducing "Yes you did mention that before." Somehow the temperature got EVEN COLDER.

Well, nevertheless we are spritely folk so the weather never gets us down! Seville is a very cultural and exciting city so there is a lot to do, even if you come for a whole week. I planned some relaxation time for them and booked them in to Agua de Sevilla, the arabic baths, which they absolutely loved. It's probably good that I scheduled in some specific relaxation time as they filled up the rest of the week with a LOT of activities. When they left it was difficult for me to think of a single thing in the whole of Seville and its surrounding areas that they hadn't done, but I'm sure if they'd stayed a few more days they would have unearthed something!

Ceiling Inside Seville Cathedral
Mother declared on her arrival that she had fallen in love with the Andalucian tiles. This was a great excuse for me to finally visit the Triana Ceramics Museum, which I had seen featured on Azahar's Instagram account. They also went to the Alcazar and we visited the Casa de Pilato, and the Roman ruins (and tiles) in Italica, the old ceramic factory-turned-Modern Art Museum, plus several ceramic shops throughout the city. Towards the end of the week Mother remarked she'd seen quite a lot of tiles now and the tone of her voice hinted she'd like to never see another one again. I think she may have just been suffering from an overdose of tiles. Now she's gone cold turkey I'm sure she's missing them.

Ruined Amphitheatre at the Italica Roman Site 
Inside the Amphitheatre....where the gladiators walked!! OMG

Italica was a wonderful day trip to get out of the city. Easily reached by bus from Plaza de Armas, it is a very tranquil Roman ruin site that is massive and green. We pottered about and pretended to be Caecilius et al. I say "day trip". It is a "day trip" for most people. Once we'd got back from the "day trip" and I was ready for dinner and bed, Father cheerily realised we still had enough hours left in the day to visit the art museum. They had to leave our cat at home (he can't travel) so maybe they were trying to fill up the hours so they didn't miss him so much? I can't think of any other reason for so many activities! That night I nearly fell asleep standing up at a bar.

The Modern Art Museum, Seville
After I'd spent all Christmas (and every waking hour) raving about my new love for everything Flamenco, they had asked in advance to sort out a flamenco show to go and see. "Stop bothering me," I said, "relaxxxxx, there's flamenco shows ALL THE TIME, we don't need to book it in advance, it'll be fine!" and I promptly forgot about it. Then when they where here it turned out that the couple of places I knew that did good flamenco shows were shut because of Holy Week! I didn't reveal the potentially dire situation to my parents because I'm a professional. Instead I kept researching and we ended up at a 'tablaeu' at the Flamencaria in Triana. This is a Flamenco school, and the show some students from there who I'd described as semi-professional. One of the things I love about the flamenco experience is watching it with people who love flamenco and shout and clap along - it's certainly an exciting experience - so I was disappointed that there wasn't a large audience. However, everyone there seemed to be friends with the performers, meaning they were super enthusiastic. It was also so amazing to see people getting such joy out of performing. At the end some people in the audience got up and did some dancing too, which was very good. Finally the guitar player, who had a face as cute as a button, got up in response to enthusiastic cheers from the audience. "Good lord," I thought to myself," this guitarist can DANCE as WELL!? HOW TALENTED!!" He then proceeded to do a flamenco dance that was so comically bad, my usually stoic Father wept with laughter.

At the end of the week it was Palm Sunday so we dived into Semana Santa celebrations. Things had hotted up, and we stood, sweltering, under the baking sun as we watched the processions. This was a great experience (read about it here), except when we realised we had like an hour and a half to get back to their apartment, collect the luggage and get to the bus station for their bus to Malaga. DO NOT TRY TO TRAVERSE Seville during Semana Santa! We ended up at Las Setas (a massive plaza) just as a procession was passing. Everybody I tried to wiggle past got all pissy thinking I was trying to push to the front to watch the procession from the best spot. AS IF. It was so stressful.

Seville Sunset over the Guadalquivir River 
Jokes aside I had a fantastic week and I really hoped they enjoyed seeing (ALL of) Seville! I only have one short week left in this wonderful city, and hope to fill it with as many activities as my parents would expect!

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