We have been in Sevilla for several days. In fact, we have wagged our suitcases around a lot, moving from place to place,searching – against all odds – for available housing. A national holiday seems to have made this the most popular weekend in Sevilla other than Semana Santa. But we have perservered.
Having time with Grace has been a high point, but, But now she’s gone to Ireland for the long weekend and we are here.
I wanted to stay long enough to somehow feel a part of it even if I am not a part of it. I wanted to be an observer of the real Spanish people instead of an observer of backpacking Portland, Oregon, men on their way to Córdoba and couples from Denmark, Germany, and Iowa. I wanted to not be myself for just a little while.
And I win!
Since we moved from the apartment across from the Catedrál, we are in an area that feels real. We are running into strollers and and groups of friends and families. We are observing Bachelorette parties and wedding groups. We are in Sevilla.
It’s hard to go the “Mushrooms” (Parasols) without running into a mixed group. But pass the cafés and tapas bars and one block away you are not hearing English, Chinese, German, or even Portuguese. You are rubbing elbows with Spanish women of certain age meeting for an aperitif and a smackerel. You are seeing the beautifully dressed Spanish women squired by their equally beautiful men.
Step back a street to Arfe and you see the young people crowded around outside tables…20 to a table for 4…drinking and laughing and waving to the people inside.
Saturday in Sevilla on a holiday weekend is like the Italian Passegiata on steroids. Beginning at noon when we emerged from our digs, (one wouldn’t begin too early in Spain) the streets were packed with strollers of all ages. Bands were playing along he Avenida de la Constitución. In fact, I joined a woman who was dancing alone – for several bars we jitterbugged, did some salsa moves, and just moved ourselves to the beat of the local group. A few shekels thrown by a couple of old women into the guitar case that feeds the band can get the party started.
We found ourselves drinking coffee from a glass in a strange bar/café filled with chubby men. We hid from the rain with the other Sevillans in a torrential downpour that was over as soon as it had begun.
When we moved to the old Jewish Quarter (our 4th and last lodging in Sevilla) we could stand on our first floor (European – second floor to us) balcony and look down down on tourists with maps in the daytime but shopkeepers chatting and businessmen passing during the off hours.
On Sunday, we melded into the crowd and sitting on the steps of the church in the square of San Salvador. Sharing our bag of fresh potato chips in a paper wrapper with scores of other Sevillans…we watched the world interact and pass by before us.
Our last days there we easy and stress-free. Kellee bought art and gifts for her children. We wandered. Kellee cooked. We ate out (and mastered the gluten-free menus that we hadn’t known existed). Grace came back and we shared our favorite Spanish Tortilla – a deconstructed plate of papas fritas topped with Iberian ham and soft-fried eggs.
We just lived in Sevilla.