Monday, February 11, 2019

Visits to a Palace and Church and food again.

Lebrija Palace, from the brochure: “Built in the 16th century and subsequently remodelled in the 19th century … is not simply a monument to a particular age or artistic style. It’s interior is branded with the life of the lady who once owned it, the Countess of Lebrija.” Casa Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija

This is a palace that is not hyped very much in Sevilla, many people walk past it and don’t go in. The website is minimal but I was walking past it one day and decided to go in. The main floor has many rooms, mostly mosaic tiled floors and shards of ancient pottery. Cameras are not allowed to be used inside, the outside is not overly beautiful so no pictures, except this one to give you a small glimpse.
The brochure and entry ticket.

Rocio was here on Thursday, as usual, but she was going to church after and invited me to join her. 

We walked just past the Seta’s arm in arm, because that is what you do here, honestly, makes it a bit awkward on a crowded sidewalk though, but felt nice. The apse of the church and working nunnery, held a Sainted nun’s body, or wax facsimile of one in a glass coffin. Many bouquets of fresh flowers surrounded it and people had come to pay their respects. Most churches here have candles to light in memory of a loved one, this church had small pieces of paper to write on and put into a slotted box. It was a solemn and respectful experience for me.
Rocio bought this for me as a memento, it is likely hand stitched, and less than 3 cm.
After we walked around town, through some back alley’s I am getting familiar with and then looked into home decorating shops. Rocio is a touching type of person, she likes to feel the fabrics, likely due to the fact she sews. Then we had a Cruzcampo beer at Casa Santos a bar around the corner from the flat. We used Google translate on my phone to communicate. It was a lovely, interesting outing!

I have run into this issue before when paying a large accommodation bill in Amsterdam. Now again with a much lower bill, less than 2,000.00 Euros twice for accommodations in France for the summer. Banks seem to arbitrarily (well not really, but they apply their rules) to put limits on daily spending. My opinion is it is my account and I should be able to spend as I wish, but they cite security reasons. I am good with security but damn it makes it difficult to pay things sometimes. I’m off to the bank to get it sorted….

Good use of technology, the gas company left a note they had come by to read the meter while I was out. They left a note with a phone number to use WhatsApp, so I made an appointment using the app to have them come back. Not correct, you just use your phone to take a picture of the meter, add your address and it’s done. There is even a “flashlight” in the app to lighten the picture, needed because my meter is in the back of a cupboard. 

I made lunch for Ryan, Angela and Pepe. Served shrimp scampi over fettuccini noodles (which are hard to find here) with asparagus and snow peas, bread, always bread. I’m lucky to have a fresh bread store half a block from the flat which is open on Sunday. I’ve never made shrimp scampi before and hardly ever eaten it in restaurants so I have no clue what put that idea in my head but there it was.
Ryan's picture, Thanks Ryan, Angela and Pepe for coming!
I found canned salmon at El Corte! For those of you from Canada that might not be a big deal, it’s readily available there, but I’ve been looking for a long while and not found it here, or in Freiburg for that matter.

I bought a TV! Common item in most, dare I say almost all homes, but not in ours. Bruce didn’t like the commercials and I got out of the habit, but I watched a bit of it in Freiburg and thought I was picking up more German. Plus it is background noise which I am now welcoming a bit of. Ivan ordered it for me and we picked it up and walked home with it, along with the mounting bracket because it’s going on a wall. Pepe came over to set it up and will bring his heavy duty drill over to mount it, currently it’s set up  on a cabinet.
New furniture decorated, Lexi approves. Ryan's picture.
We, Lexi and I, are taking a mini-break from Sevilla, not that we need to, but are going to Cadiz for five nights in March. I would have booked end of February but they have a massive carnival in Cadiz, world wide attendants and I am really not fond of crowds. This year it is later than usual Feb 28 - Mar 10, I arrive March 11 which means I may still see some of it since I’m told the party continues into the following week.

After my shower in the morning Lexi frequently comes to have her bath in the tub. She has never been bothered about a bit of water on her fur and I guess it is nice and warm in there.
Note the odd posture, all part of the bath.

Cheers, Bev and bathing Lexi

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Lunches in and out

I met up with Paula, Paul, Ryan and Angela on the Alameda for lunch at El Disparate, at the Corner House Hostel. Company was great, food not as good as other times we’ve been in my opinion. This was the day after the Three Kings Parade which Paula and Paul attended and got pelted with candy. Angela’s solution to this, stand behind someone very much taller than yourself, wouldn’t be hard for me…

After lunch we went back to Parceria mentioned in previous post and had coffee and sweets. The cheesecake there is fabulous served with blueberries and blueberry coulis (sauce). Gil did a couple of demonstrations of making coffee for tasting, one with a cone and filter, which is a common way of making it but the difference here is that the ground coffee is done to maximize the result and the water is weighed to the same end. The real “science experiment” though was done with a gas burner and two beakers. How to describe this? Here is a picture or two… “a thousand words” and all that. 
Water gets heated with the bunsen burner

I got the impression this way of making coffee doesn’t happen often, the owner was videoing it and all were very careful during the process. 
Heat makes the water pass between the two beakers, voila, tasty coffee!

The table we were sitting at, we decided, had a weird vibe. Sugar was spilled, forks dropped off the table more than once, it just seemed strange that these things would happen to us, none of us is overly klutzy. 

The bars around the city were packed with people, families with their dogs. Good day out with friends.

Next day, Gil had the day off so Ryan asked him and Pablo, another friend from Friday night social club to come to our hood to meet for breakfast at Granado, and they did and I did but sat outside, they inside and I didn't look, Ryan, the early morning fellow slept in, so meeting was later but we did. Paulo is from Sevilla but spent quite a while in Amsterdam so he speaks great English with a very unique accent. We talked about Christmas traditions and I hadn’t realized that my “creative” first Christmas tree hadn’t been seen by Ryan and Angela, they arrived after. Here it is

Paul and Paula's blog.

Paula and Paul left a couple of days ago to go to their winter spots in Morocco, (Essaouira (say that twice!) and Fez) I had them and Ryan and Angela over for lunch. We used that grill/fondue contraption. I had bought mushroom filled tortellini, pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese all put onto a bamboo skewer, very colourful, tasty and different. We also had chicken bits, three kinds of cheese, baked carrot, potato and onion, kalamata olives, sweet peppers, cucumbers. I did up devilled eggs but forgot them in the fridge. Angela brought banana bread “on crack” with the added chocolate chips. 

The links are to blog posts from Ryan about their visit with me in September.

Ivan and I went to a furniture store in Santa Cruz barrio. They had some nice pieces but they weren’t “my cup of tea” much of the finishing was that faked aged look which didn’t wash with me (pun intended). But the walk there was good, getting into a neighbourhood I haven’t been to in a long while and then, of course, lunch. We dined at Zelai which Ivan said was the first modern, trendy restaurant in Sevilla. 
Light cod fritters with yummy sauce.
Cappuccino mussels! Their signature dish.

They have now been there for ten years so it’s a milestone in a city with 3000 bars and restaurants. He had never been there when it wasn’t packed with people but it was pretty much empty when we went. In January people have spent their money on gifts or on sales and don't eat out very much. Nice day out, felt like I’d left the city for a day.

Next day and Ivan has an Ikea gift certificate burning a hole in his pocket so we decide to go. Wrong!!! The line up on the off ramp to the parking lot was long, it’s Saturday, raining and what better thing to do would be to shop the sales at Ikea? Not us! Ivan goes to close to his father’s office, changes the van for the car, more comfortable, then we go to Vanadela to look at furniture I found a credenza and a coffee table which is exactly what I was looking for, no crowds there either. 

Coffee table pictured is too large but they can custom make one for me.

Then we go to Lola’s tennis club, Bernier, for lunch, yummy, more casual than yesterday, but equally good. 
Cloudy day but I liked the palm trees, Lola said they grow fast, these are sixteen years old.

A bit about it, indoor and outdoor restaurant, tennis courts and paddle courts. I'd not known about paddle tennis before, here is a link that explains it well. The club has a Pro shop so I purchased a pair of sneakers! 

Walking on air now, but since I’ve had the old shoes for so long it will take a bit of getting used to. The day certainly turned out differently than planned but we are both flexible about outings.

I've cleared out one of the bedrooms upstairs, made up the bed properly and moved all the left over wood from construction on the elevator to one corner. We hadn't made any changes up there so it was overdue. 

All for now, Cheers Bev and Lexi Cat