Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!!!

Just a quick note and repeat of cartoon I tend to send every couple of years...

Best wishes to you!

Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Semana Santa 2016 Sevilla

Please do read the link, once again I am being a bit lazy and giving you the information via link instead of telling you myself, I'd miss important facts anyway... I am also very lucky to have the "bird's eye" view from our balcony, wouldn't go to be part of the crowd you are seeing here. Reporting live, well you understand, too busy watching and snapping pictures to type at the same time. Balconies that have processions go by are decorated with a rich coloured red cloth. Unfortunately I didn't know that ahead or would dressed ours up.

Float or paseo of Virgin Mary, didn't see her face under the canopy

People are streaming into this area from the downtown core, it is a cacophony of sound. 

Back of the paseo, that's some gown!

People are lining the streets with their foldable chairs. Nazarenos go by with their hoods. Someone is selling cotton candy! What, thought that was an American thing but apparently not. 

Hard to see, I know, but included anyway

Streets are lined with people on the sidewalk. The mood is exuberant lots of noise of conversation and anticipation and crowds I’ve never seen before, hundreds and hundreds of people, growing by the minute. 

What an experience!!! I won’t forget it in a hurry that’s for sure, the sheer volume of every parade was incredible, energy of people and exuberance along with the solemnity of the ritual. 

I've seen this in the church, beautifully painted.

Oh heavens, another band… they played until 03:00 a.m. on re-entering the church, woke me up.

I saw two floats, one twice with bands and nazarenos holding long candles, children, officials holding statues in-between I have no idea about. Read the link!

Nazarenos wear the pointed hats and some walk barefoot in penance which is why the streets are cleaned before. Then they are cleaned after to get rid of the wax drippings off the large candles they carry.

Because I was on the second floor I didn’t get a good picture of the Virgin Mary and serious editing of pictures will have to be done, can’t count how many I took, many, turns out about 80! Serious editing!

On the street people on the sidewalk were 6 to 8 people deep and waited a long time. Some brought folding stools, smart and snacks for kids, also smart. I understand now the reality of how Spanish people love a spectacle no matter how uncomfortable it can be, they just enjoy and forget about everything else it seems.

I also understand why locals leave, streets are shut down, too many tourists who don't know the rules of attending. So far, and you may get a Part 2 on this, it hasn't affected us too much. It did seem there were mostly locals in the crowd tonight, probably due to being a smaller church. There were many professional photographers as well. 

So now I can say I've "been" to Semana Santa and enjoyed it  very much mostly due to being on our balcony and not in the crowds. Hah, not a true Spaniard that's for sure.

Lexi Cat!

You haven't seen her for a while. We took her to a grooming place to get her nails cut so she's showing them off.

All for now. Happy Belated Father's Day to you fellows!

Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Maria Luisa Park

The Pergola

Went to a new restaurant in Sevilla called Sea Market with beautifully presented food. The website isn't worth posting here, they seem to be concentrating on social media i.e. Facebook etc. which is working for them because I've heard others talk about it that are more versed in social media than I am, not hard...

To walk it off we went to Maria Luisa Park which is just beautiful!    Do read the link, since I'm more about pictures this post. A real oasis in the middle of the city and every corner you turn there is something new to see, the water courses, fountains, statues, birds, different trees and bushes. The designer was Forestier, same fellow that designed the gardens we went to a couple of months ago. Here's Ryan and Angela's post on our visit together to that park.

Back to the park, pictures are 1000 words so here you go, many pictures.

Three phases of love
From inside the pergola

Swans, well isn't that obvious!
Froggy pool
White birds, no idea what kind they are...
Pool in front of honour to poets, can't remember which two they were...
Plaza de EspaƱa
As you can see this park is all about water and it is an oasis on a hot summer day with large palms, ficus and other trees. Beautiful, oops, said that already. To get a better view and save your feet you can use one of these, with friends.

Looks like fun!

All for now,

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Winery and Re-enactment

Detail of tile work in the Monastery

Next door to the monastery last post was a winery, very, very, very large with at least three long wide rooms of barrels. The fellow there was a worker and didn’t really want to be bothered by “drop ins” but Ivan asked politely and we didn’t stay long. In thanks I bought a couple of bottles, haven’t tasted yet, 2.50 Euro per bottle so it will either be under priced or plonk. (sorry to say not plonk, but not to my taste) The winery had taken over from a mill so there were strange architectural details, a staircase half way up the wall; another staircase leading to a door no ordinary person could reach. 

You don't see the door, it's way, way above the ending of the stairs...

High ceilings and machines used in milling (flour I would guess) left behind. 

Mostly intact large pot and one that isn't anymore

Went to lunch as we always do to Casa Rufino in Umbrete,15 kms from Sevilla. The restaurant is famous for their seafood, one day we’ll go when we can sit out on their patio. 

Love the colours!

The town has whitewashed buildings, a lovely looking Archbishop’s Palace we haven’t been in. 

Ivan takes us to a variety of restaurants, some new age or trendy and some simple small establishments that are family run restaurants that produce good Andalusian cooking. We’re good with both, neither of us are fancy dressers and do not need to be hoi-toiti about anything, we just enjoy good food in what ever atmosphere it comes in.

Sunday we had lunch with Ivan at El Pinton (click on the camera and you’ll see the lovely interior and display of food on offer) in Santa Cruz we had lovely seafood, and risotto rice.

The reason for our walk to the Santa Cruz neighbourhood was to see a dramatized guided tour of the Baroque style Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes. 

A seventeen century building of former residences for retired priests, a hospital and a chapel. The benefactor built it for the priests who were either sick or could not afford lodgings. The tour outlined the history of the building by fellows in period dress acting it out, there was also a moderator that spoke of the history and he really enjoyed his part, well they all did really. 

The chapel is so very ornate! So much so I couldn’t get a decent picture and you’ll be getting tired of seeing angel statues after the last post anyway. 

What an organ!

Hear ye, Hear ye


Conclusion, the soldier's uniform is original
All for now.

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat