Sunday, January 3, 2016

Best Wishes for 2016 and Purchase of a Condo in Sevilla

Hello Friends, hope your year has started off well! 

Here is a view of Sevilla in a video Pepe was commissioned to do, it's in Spanish, of course but will give you an idea of this lovely city.

Street Christmas lights out our balcony

This year's "Christmas tree" more decorative than last but less inventive.

It’s done we are now proud owners of a flat in Sevilla! Fulfillment of a dream Bruce has had for many years, he and I are over the moon about it!

It is true Spanish style with colourful tile inlay in the floors and a lovely facade. Built in 1870 it was a family home of someone well off, we need to do more research. The building was renovated into flats in 1998 so plumbing is relatively up to date. There is a winding, beautifully crafted, wooden staircase going from first floor to second. Top floor has two bedrooms, bathroom and access to a sunny deck and a shaded one, unconsciously we seem to like that arrangement since it is the same in Freiburg. The kitchen has leaf green countertops, no dishwasher, no clothes dryer, but the washer and fridge are relatively new. Funny, Spanish people are looking for ultra modern flats and we foreigners look for older Spanish style flats.

Pepe, has been there for us, viewing the flat and going to the Notario as it is called here and spent a considerable amount of time fixing lights and odds and sods. He helped get us our Spanish residency permits, needed to purchase the flat, get a bank account, very important, and phoned to get the services moved from the previous owner to us. He has loaned us a dining table and chairs which puts us pretty much in the same situation we were when moved into Freiburg. Table, bed, kitchen and that's all, but that's okay, we're shopping slowly to outfit the flat.

Ivan took us to his friend's wholesale warehouse to buy all needed for a kitchen and then to Ikea to get bed and bathroom items. He moved the bed frame from the top floor to the lower via ropes over the balcony! A bit scary for both of us.

Friday December 18 is move in DAY! Pepe brought his car to the apartment and we shoved in as much as we could, all our luggage and four chairs, and the flowers he kindly bought as a welcoming. Ivan bought us salt, while you might find that a bit strange, it is considered here a very good omen if salt enters the house first, so it did!

Ryan and Angela came over to bring the table and Pepe bought champagne to celebrate. Later on there was a brass band playing in the plaza close by us. Boom, bang Oom pah pah, it wasn’t the best band in the world but it felt like we were being welcomed to the neighbourhood, well, that’s my take on it anyway.

Unpacking my suitcase into drawers, I found a pillowcase in one drawer, okay, but when I unfolded it due to it feeling hard in the middle, behold, a bank book, 120.00 Euro in cash and two lottery tickets fell out! The lottery date was for the next day so that made it somewhat urgent to call the previous owner, Pepe did and she was here at the flat in half an hour with a huge bouquet of pink carnations and baby’s breath. She thanked us profusely for giving back her things and said she had searched the place over for them. An unintended Christmas present to her and maybe she won the Lottery...

House outfitting hunting and we go to a big box area outside the city with Ivan, choose a couch and fabric to have it made. We surprise ourselves on how quickly we agree on large purchases and small ones too. Then got more fittings for the bathroom and kitchen, we were at a Home Depot type store. Lots of walking for me and reposed to a lovely lunch at a rather upscale restaurant bordering a park we’ve been to before. Ivan had been to his Uncle’s who has orange trees and brought us oranges and the tiny lemons off the tree at the restaurant. They smell amazing!

We have talked about getting a hamburger the whole time we’ve been here, enjoy the "salad" as much as the patty, and "Peggy Sue’s" is across the street. Remember we are in Sevilla, old town, not a usual place to put a 1950’s North American food and ambiance type of restaurant! They had jukebox selection of Oldies music at the tables, vinyl booths and chairs peppermint colour, a video that showed a talk, revue type show before Ed Sullivan on an old looking TV. Service was good, burger boring, not enough salad. I had my first onion rings in I don’t know how many years and, yes folks, they tasted exactly the same, once in about twenty years are good for those. My personal review, mixed, the ambiance was great, the food mediocre.

We had a couple of resting days over New Year's to get over my cold, contracted due to getting run down with the needed pace to get things done, no appointments which was slightly boring but good too. Saturday we were trying to find a place to eat and walked by the Museo square where Sundays they usually have an art market of local artists. Some of them were there Saturday though including a fellow from Argentina we bought a piece from last year. He saw me first, rushed up and gave me a big hug and nattered on, so friendly! We chatted some, he slowed down his speech so Bruce could mostly understand what he said. He gave us a small piece of his work as a gift, it’s a metal outline of a horse’s head, matte framed, thank you Sergio!

Well that's all for now folks, a turbulent but exciting few weeks for us since my last post. 

Many, many, hugs and thanks to Pepe, Ivan, Ryan and Angela for all their help with this move! You've really lightened the physical, mental load, and language barrier.


Happy New Year to you all our friends, may 2016 be a good one for you.


Cheers, Bev, Bruce and the staircase climbing Lexi Cat, she loves it!

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