Random musings on our long Spanish weekend:
1) The centre of this compact city seems to consist solely of shoe shops and banks. Which leads me to conclude that all the locals do is walk to the bank.
2) I'd expected molasses-thick heat but nothing can quite prepare you for 43 degrees (on Sunday), nor the fact at that 10.30pm at night the temperature gauge outside our hotel was still showing 37 degrees. Cue swollen feet and a wedding ring that wouldn't come off. Having said that, it was the kind of heat that makes you feel glossy rather than dessicated. Wish I could have bottled some for the coming months.
3) We spent the equivalent of New Zealand's GDP on aqua, sangria and Manzanilla sherry – anything to rehydrate. And when we weren't drinking, we were eating our body weight in seafood paella, olives and calamari so fresh it could have walked out of the sea minutes before.
4) Seville is a city that doesn't like to be told when to go to bed. Thanks to the aforementioned heat and the officially sanctioned Nana nap (it might go by the sexier term of siesta, but you can't get away from the fact that it's really an excuse for a moi in the middle of the day), the locals consider it totally uncool to be seen out before 10.00pm.
5) Flamenco is so sexy it hurts. Herded into a back-street bar where the collection of several hundred bodies raised the temperature even further, we watched slack-jawed as a 40-something, black-clad woman stomped and twirled her way across the stage, telling a story of angst, love and pain with the most exquisite facial and body expressions.
6) As luck would have it, our visit coincided with the city-wide rebajas (sales). One day I promise to stop banging on about buying shoes – but today isn't that day. I found a pair of sexy green shoes for the incredible price of 5 Euro (less than NZ$10), and you can't go to the spiritual home of Zara and not buy something – my bargain was a pair of very cool brown suede wedges for 15 euro. Saddest moment of the weekend: on the way to the airport I spied a billboard for an outlet mall featuring both Zara and Mango stores! Damn those missed opportunities....
7) I can now dismember enough Spanish phrases to get by. Hablo un poco de espanol.