Seville/ flamenco dancing 

Less than 3 hours away from Merida is Seville, Spain, famous for its flamenco dancers and bull fighting. It’s filled with old buildings that ooze history and charm. It has beautiful cathedrals and museums. The Seville University is close to the train tracks and bus stops which give it easy access for students. As David, Rebecca and I searched for parking we quickly found out the “P” signs everywhere did not mean parking! Instead they are a rating for hostels, “P” meaning cheaper ones, where an “H” meant more expensive. Both are clean and governed by the government, so either is fine to stay in. Now, this was nice to know, but back to  finding parking. As we drove around and around David finally stopped right in the middle of one of the courtyards where a wedding was about to take place, got out, and talked with a policeman. Because David can speak and understand Spanish, he easily followed the directions. Turning right here and left there, our streets were getting more and more narrow with people  and bicycles still coming toward us. We felt like Chevy Chase in his famous “European Vacation” movie. Honestly, we were all getting so nervous at this point because as the cobblestone streets became more and more narrow we were worried we might have to back out!! Eventually we found a road to take us out and it didn’t matter how far away we had to walk, we weren’t going down that path again. Time for lunch and sangria!

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We didn’t go to the flamenco dancing show this time, but several years ago we did. It was fun to see them tell their stories in their bright colored attire, all with the loud sounds of their shoes hitting the wooden floors. I will come back again later this trip and enjoy an evening here with family. Seville is a marvelous city with many choices of restaurants and things to do. 💃

There’s even Starbucks on most corners. Of course we stopped in. Their iced coffee is very appropriate for the extreme heat here, too.

Over the river and through…

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With the time difference of 6 hours you have to be careful you don’t miss breakfast/lunch before they close their doors for siesta.  They won’t open again until 7 or 9 when dinner starts.  So today we crossed the cobblestone bridge which is a half mile long over the river into Merida. It has a large town square full of history. Some partial buildings are still standing from before Christ was born. So hard to believe! We went up tiny streets and down tiny streets watching to make sure we didn’t get hit by the cars that drive these streets as well. The charm was everywhere from the ancient buildings to the brightly colored canvas covering the tables that are lined up outside their cafes. We even found a courtyard to sneak into for a refreshing break of wine with lemon and the plate of olives they always serve with it.

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Sharing Merida, Spain

How did the Romans know how to build bridges to last so long?  From my understanding this is the oldest operational Roman Bridge in the world. As I stand here looking to the other side I see the town square where the Roman theater is and restaurants and shopping markets. Just a 10 minute walk. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as I stand here looking beyond. It’s lasted this long, it’s not going to crumble now! So here I go.

Oh, wait. There’s a Hostel right next to this bridge and it’s time here for sangria and tapas. I can already smell the potato omelettes cooking with hints of onion and peppers. I must try this now!

 

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And I have no idea what kind of tree this is or if it’s against the law to pick from it, but I will be finding out!

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Tie a yellow ribbon round the old “suitcase” 🎶

IMG_9043.JPGMy mother taught me to always tie a bright ribbon on the handle of your suitcase so when all the other suitcases come circling around the baggage area, you can spot yours right away. So I left for Spain twelve hours ago with a checkered yellow and white ribbon on my bright red suitcase. My granddaughter, Callie insisted I take her backpack with lavender colored straps too. She said I needed it because it would be easier to use as my carry on going through the airports. Since I’ve never used a backpack before she gave me a lesson on how to carry it on my back and lock the ties pulling it just tight enough to be safe and still comfortable. I also found a black purse with lots of room to hold way more things than I’d ever want to carry through Europe and it came with black fringes. Can’t beat all that for $5.00 at my local Goodwill store. 

I wasn’t looking forward to the nine hour flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Madrid, Spain but the attendants were very nice and they served dinner as soon as we were cleared.  With eating, two movies and a few short naps we were landing in Spain. I was nervous but the signs easily directed me to baggage, and right outside the airport door stood my driver and his girlfriend holding up my name in big print. They couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Spanish so we were a fine duo. But with the English to Spanish app my husband put on my phone we communicated just fine. The girls who are exchanging houses with me set these kind people up and I will ever be so greatful! The couple were friendly and happy and loved dogs!  They have four and stopped to pet all the other dogs they met everywhere we stopped.

The drive was three hours with a stop for coffee once. I tried to stay awake and see the scenery as we rode but I fell asleep often and missed most of it. I did see olive trees growing everywhere and a lot of the land looked like desert. The desert has its own beauty though and people adjust to it. I think that’s why they eat so late. After dark is when you see the people, and restaurants don’t even open until eight or nine. I guess I’ll learn to take siestas so I don’t miss dinner!

When I arrived at their house they had lunch already prepared, paella, a rice dish with spices and tomatoes and others things in it. And for supper, after having sangria with tapas during our late afternoon walk, my new friend’s mother fixed a Spanish omelet. Its a lot like our quiches but fixed in a skillet without cheese.

So for now I think the only thing I need to concern myself with is when is it too early to have my sangria and can I stay awake late enough so I don’t miss dinner!

Cabin life/Poor Boy Dinner

img_5734Nothing better than sipping on a cup of hot coffee while you’re swinging on the cabin porch and it’s raining. All you hear is the rain hitting the leaves as it falls to the ground. A perfect time to think about life instead of being so busy living it. I’ve found a good book that someone has left here.  I encourage my friends and family to take a book and leave a book when they visit here.

So while my supper bakes, I’ll read. I’m fixing what Mimi would call “poor man’s dinner” but don’t know why she called it that. On a large piece of foil you put a ground beef patty topped with potatoes slices,  carrots, onions and sprinkled with seasoned salt. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and it’s done, ready to serve on a plate.

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