May 21, we have been on the road one month today, and I believe it took us at least that long to really get a rhythm going. We now feel we could go for a long time.
We have our packing unpacking routine down to a science, I now really feel comfortable piloting ST among European traffic, and we are going from beautiful landscape to amazing cities. A trip of a lifetime. For all who hesitate, don't wait. Find the time, save a bit of money, do a bit of planing and go, make your dream happen and take that trip that you've always dreamed and talked about. Regardless of your age, it is never to late or to early, just do it. It's the perfect thing to heal your soul.
Not much to report from the road, it was a nice easy comfortable ride to Seville, the landscape is mostly flat, with long curves, ST is really a great bike, and a pleasure to ride.
There is absolutely no traffic until we hit the cities
Of course Torro was there again
A closer look
Since we are on the bull topic
I have always known corridas not to be for the faint of heart, but faith of the bull set aside, what a grandiose spectacle to be witness in the birthplace of the sport. We were well advised by the security guard who was both gracious, and friendly enough, to tell us that since it was not a grand corrida, but a novillada because the matadors were still fairly young, it would not be worth it to buy the tickets from the scalpers to get a better seat. Instead he told us: get the ones at this gate, and that row, and at this time of the year don’t even be concern about sun exposure... So we ended up with great seats for €11.00. We parted with our adviser, corrida tickets in our pocket, ST parked across the street from the Plaza de Torro.
Plaza de Torro
Getting it ready before it starts
The area inside of the circle belongs to the Torro, the horseback Picadores may not enter to stab the bull, they must coax the animal out of the circle so that they may stab it in order to weaken it.
The actors are introduced
The star of the show 9 bulls were put to death during the evening, as the night progressed the bull became darker. The last one was the largest, a huge black beast.
Yup count yourself lucky to be behind that thing
The Picadores on horseback, these do the most damage to the bull, weakening it for the Matador.
The Picadores on foot, there are two each sting the bull with 3 picks
Indeed not for the faint of hearts.
The next day we went on to discover the largest city of Andalucia. More than 2000 years old, Sevilla is a cross road of Roman, Arabic, and Christian cultures. Fourth largest city of Spain in terms of density, we felt a lot more comfortable then in stuffy dirty Madrid. We were blessed by the Andaluncian sun as we went about admiring the purple threes, and other exotic palms that ornately decorate the avenues.
Here's a few pics
There was a rowing race on the Guadalquivir
It was for me the southern most European city I have had the pleasure to visit, what a feast for the eyes.
The older buildings, and other architectural treasure were extraordinary.
The cathedral in the center of the city is impressive just by its sheer size. The total area covers 11,520 square meters and new calculations, based on cubic measurements, have now pushed it in front of Saint Paul's in London and Saint Peter's in Rome, as the largest church in the world.
But for us that now have seen a few Spanish cathedrals we still have to give the lead to Santiago de Compostela.
We were flabbergasted by Plaza de España, with its intricate mosaic designs relating the history of the Christian Reconquista.
We also visited the Alcazar, a former Moorish palace with gardens lined with citrus threes laden with oranges, and edges of red and yellow Hibiscus. Truly beautiful.
We were again lucky with our sleeping arrangements, we stayed in a four stars condo resort type complex, with reservation made on lastminute.com, and paid € 165.00 for the 3 nights instead of the advertised € 330.00 a night.
The resort was 7 km from the city center in a very upscale residential suburb.
Very comfortable and quiet. We had a full kitchen, and were grateful to be able to eat a home cook meal, I made pasta with Iberic ham, and Spanish salcichon fried with garlic in olive oil, added some, Oveja vieja, cheese, freshly baked bread, salad, and a bottle of Rioja. Perfect!
As certain things happened when you travelled, I forgot my Serengeti sunglasses in the washrooms of a busy tapas bar while we were enjoying some croquetas, and cold cañas. It sucks because they were my favorite glasses but, what are you going to do? Sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose some.
So far I have forgotten one pair of gloves and a pair of shades, not too bad after a month on the road.
After Sevilla we head further south to Granada to visit the famous Alhambra.
Till then... hasta luego.