Monday, October 11, 2010

Adios Barcelona; Hola Sevilla

Today we leave beautiful Barcelona and head for Seville.  We all got up about 8:30 and then had breakfast at the hotel.  Lori elected to stay in the room with all of our luggage, while Kristina, Danielle and I walked down a block from the Hotel to attend Mass at 11:30. 
We exited the hotel to find a light rain falling.  The weather has been hot and sunny (high 70’s low 80’s) for most of the week.  We scurried along w/o raincoats, hugging the buildings to stay dry in the overhang.  The church was very old and very beautiful.   There were not very many people attending the service.  Danielle and Kristina were surprised that the priest came out a few minutes before the service to hear confessions.
Of course, the entire service was in Spanish, so I was clueless.  I mostly stood or sat when the others did.  I did manage to figure out when they were praying, so I wasn’t gawking at the ceiling or looking around then.  We hurried back to the hotel after the service as our transportation to the airport was due at 1 PM.   Lori was waiting in the lobby.  I decided to find a rest room before the drive to the airport, and when I came out Kristina said that our driver was already here.
He loaded our bags and we said good-bye to Jordi (correct spelling) the doorman. Of we went to the airport.  Oh, I should say that we were all wearing our Barcelona/Seville 10.10.10 tee shirts that Kristina made for us. 
We checked in at Spanair, went through security (did not have to remove shoes or liquids, did have to remove watches) and found a seat in a waiting area near the monitor with flights.  The young lady checking us in said that our gate would be listed about 45 minutes before departure.
When the monitor finally listed our gate, we were astounded that it was the FIRST gate in the concourse.  When have you EVER had the first gate in the concourse?  I usually get the last gate!!
The passengers started lining up quite a while before they announced anything.  Apparently it is a free for all with regards to boarding.  Although, they may have announced for people needing special assistance, we never heard that.  We think they did part of the announcements in English, but they talked so fast and with such an accent that none of us understood them.
I sat with Kristina about row 11 and Danielle and Lori sat in the last row, about 24.  It was less than two hours for the flight.  They served drinks, but you paid for them, so we didn’t bother.  I kept falling asleep, so it was a fairly short flight.
We exited the plane, found baggage claim, snagged our luggage and headed out the exit.  Our driver was waiting for us, as promised.  He told us that it had been sunny until about an hour ago, but right now it was pouring down rain.  We were able to walk on covered walkways all the way to the van.
Our driver pointed out the train station, where we will need to go to pick up our rental car.  He talked to us about the rest of our trip and assured Danielle that she would do fine driving. 
We checked in and it never occurred to us to request rooms on the same floor.  At the hotel in Barcelona they had us across the hall from each other.  Here they gave Lori and I 808 and Kristina and Danielle 909.  L  We unloaded and settled in.
After a bit we met and went down to the desk to see about some place to eat.  They had maps and the young lady circled the location of the hotel and also the closest Metro stop.  There was a pamphlet about Flamenco shows and we asked her about them.  She recommended one and we had her book it for us for tomorrow night.  She then circled on the map where we needed to go for that.  She suggested a couple of streets for us to look for restaurants.
Danielle brought along her GPS, because she could not get a signal in the hotel and wanted to see if the Spain chip was working.  She tried to open the window in the hotel room, in an attempt to get a signal and the window fell out.  Totally fell out in her hands.  :-o  Kristina had to help her get it back.
We walked around a bit and saw a restaurant that Danielle had see listed on the GPS (Oh, she did get a signal and the Spain chip works.) We went there and when the waiter talked to us in Spanish, Kristina said, “no habla espanol.”  He replied, “Why not?”  It turned out that he spent some time in Chicago so he spoke American well.  He was very helpful and suggested a lot of things for us to try.
He started by asking us if we wanted something to drink.  Kristina said, “Mojito?” and he said, in an incredulous voice, “You want a mojito now?  You want it NOW?”  So Kristina said, “We should have it after dinner?” and he said, “Yes, later.”
We started with spiced carrots.  Then a seafood cheese pastry that this restaurant had won an award for several years ago.  Then I had cod with a carrot/vegetable sauce; Lori had beef marsala; Kristina had pork marsala and Danielle had beef tenderloin with a cheese sauce. 
For dessert, he brought us a platter with four different desserts: flan; chocolate mousse; a cheesecake like dessert and a cheesecake/custard something with cherry sauce and they were all delicious.  THEN he asked if we wanted the mojitos now.  I said no, but the rest all said yes.  Well, he wanted me to have something, so he kept making suggestions.  Finally I agreed to amaretto and Kristina added, “with ice”. 
Well, he brought the mojitos and then he came back with a brandy snifter half filled with ice cubes about the size of a shot glass.  He had the bottle of amaretto with him and poured about 1/3 of a cup into the glass.  We kept laughing because it was hard to drink with all of those ice cubes.  Finally someone gave me their straw from the mojito and I managed to finish my drink.
We walked back to the hotel and pretty much fell into bed, which is why I didn’t post this last night.

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