Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spain Tidbits

One of my friends is going on a Mediterranean cruise (so jealous!) and they're making a stop in Sevilla, Spain. I wrote up some quick facts about places to see and eat so I thought I'd add it to my blog.

Places to See:
1. Catedral y Giralda--located in the center of the city and right across the street from Real Alcazar de Sevilla. I loved the orange trees! This took about 2 hours to see everything.

2. Real Alcazar de Sevilla--Gorgeous old palaces with Moorish influences. We spent a few hours here. The gardens are amazing.

3. Museo Taurino y Plaza Maestranza--This is the bullfighting museum and it?s located right along the river; right down the street from El Torre de Oro. It was really interesting and you might even be able to see a bull fight if you want. The tour was about 30 minutes.

4. La Plaza de Espana--This was really cool, but watch out for the ladies with the herbs! It?s an open air plaza that used to be used for carnivals and as a market.
5. Museo de Bellas Artes?We breezed through here, but got to see some nice paintings.

6. I wanted to go on a cruise of the river, but Mr. B gets sea-sick so we had to pass that up.

Places to Leave:
7. Roman Aqueducts--We found these by accident and they really weren?t in the best area of the city. Not a must see.
8. Alameda de Hercules--This is in a shady part of town. There are a lot of gypsies in this area.
9. Torre de Oro--Nothing special. I think it?s a museum now.


o We were able to walk everywhere in the city with no problem, so you don?t have to take a bus tour if you don't want to.
o We didn't have any problems with pick-pocketing, but I would still watch your purse/wallet/cameras.
o Nothing really opens until about 9am and then places close down around 1pm or 2pm for lunch and a siesta. Stores open up around4pm or 5pm and stay open until 7 or 8pm.
o Dinner is really late here and people usually eat around 9pm or 10pm. Most restaurants don't even open until 8pm or 8:30pm.

Where to Eat:
1. Coloniales--This was our favorite place by far! We went here for dinner our first night in Sevilla. The guy at the front desk in our hotel recommended it. It's on the corner of Jimios Castillejo and G de Vinuesa. I forget the name of the main street that the trolley runs down, but it's right off of that street. There's a camera store on the corner and it's right down a little alley way from there. We got there around 8pm, when it was just opening, and by 9pm it was packed!

2. Estrella--This was another recommendation from the guy at our hotel. It's right around the corner from el Catedral on a street called Estrella and it intersects with Argote de Molina. The food was really good here and I had the red sangria (Sangria tinto) which was delicious!

3. Vineria San Telmo--We ate here with some friends the last night we stayed in Sevilla. It's a small place with a huge wine selection. The tapas were really really good. I had the black spaghetti with scallops...mmm! This place was a little harder to find, but it's worth it! It's on the corner of Menedez Pelayo and Catalina de Rivera and Santa Maria la Blanca. There's a big park out in front and it's in a strip of restaurants and shops.

What to Eat/Drink:
o Breakfast--Breakfast is kind of small in Spain. They usually do coffee and some kind of pastry. Our hotel offered breakfast every morning for about 7Euro and it included: juice, coffee, soda, fresh fruit, cold cereal, rolls, bread, lunchmeat(usually 2 kinds of sliced chorizo and maybe ham) and a couple types of cheese.
o After breakfast--They usually have another smaller meal in here. We usually just grabbed a snack somewhere
o Lunch--We went to tapas bars for lunch. Cruz Campo is the big beer over there and they usually bring it in a huge mug :) Most places have a menu in English if you ask (Una carta de Ingles). We loved the Patatas Bravas (potatoes with a spicy sauce) so good! We like seafood so we usually got the Gambas Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) and the Chiparones (baby squid). The croquets were good and so was the chorizo.
o Dinner--It's usually really late and the good places get crowded quickly. If the restaurant is crowded, people usually just get a drink inside and then stand outside and wait for a table to open up. Paella here is really good, but it does take awhile for it to come out. They usually serve some pan y picos with dinner (bread and pieces) which I loved and I wish I had brought some home! The weird thing is that they charge you for bread, but it's usually less than a Euro
o Drinks--The rioja is a red wine that's pretty much only made in Spain and it's amazing. You guys should also try some Sherry. It's only made in certain areas and Spain is one of them. I wasn't a real fan of it, but it's worth the try! Tio Pepe is a big sherry over there.

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