Hola readers from scorching hot Seville (41 degrees right now. We had a long day filled with activities yesterday. I (Ronnie) am sick though so it was a tough slog, but somehow got through it.
The day started off in Granada which we are most definitely sad to leave. Added to this 10 people left our group to join a different contiki group that’s headed to Morocco. That leaves us with 14 people – such a tiny, but nice group. We jumped on the coach for a solid 3 hours to our first stop – Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is the most southern tip of Europe and is a British territory (at the moment, who knows what the future and and in particular, Brexit will hold. It is a pretty contentious issue with the Spanish). Therefore, you need a passport to cross the border. One of the girls on our trip couldn’t come in because she is South African and would need a visa to get in, she had to stay in the port sadly. The rest of us ventured through on what was the most relaxed border security of all time. We for sure could’ve snuck her in! As soon as you cross the border you have to walk across an airport runway which is pretty weird but cool. Gibraltar is also really tiny, approx 6 kms squared with a population of about 30,000.
You can tell that this is British. They have the red phone booths and post boxes, police in the bobby uniforms and everybody speaks English. Our tour guide Zach is English and encouraged us to honour the national dish and get some fish and chips which we sure did and it was delicious!
Then we had our optional experience which is a guided rock tour of the rock of Gibraltar. We jumped in a little minibus with a local and very British (born and raised in Gibraltar) guide. He told us the history of Gibraltar while he drove us to our first stop which was Europa point. Europa point is literally the southernmost point in Europe and it is the only place in the world where you can see 3 countries (Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco), 2 continents (Europe, Africa) and 2 bodies of water (Mediterranean sea, Atlantic Ocean) and get them all in one picture!
We then began the drive up the rock of Gibraltar. The biggest reason to come up here is to see the monkeys!
They are the only wild monkeys in Europe and they are awesome. They are pretty naughty and often steal food from people. They had only just had their recent round of babies so there were lots of little baby monkeys. You can get really close to them too because they are used to humans. However, we were warned not to touch them because they are still wild animals. There are about 300 on the rock and it was fun interacting with them.
Then we got to go into St Michael’s Cave. This is a cave that is inside the rock of Gibraltar that has been transformed into a concert hall. It is pretty excellent. I imagine the acoustics in here would be amazing. They had lights and sounds playing to give an idea, but I’d love to see an opera or something there. The Romans believed it was bottomless and therefore the entrance to hell. Pretty interesting.
We left Gibraltar and through even more relaxed border security to Spain and drove a few hours to our stop for the night Seville. We had about an hour to freshen up before our next optional activity which was another local dinner. If you’ve been following our blog you’ll remember when we were in Milan and we did the eat with a local? Well this is the same thing but in Seville.
Last time the chef was on Masterchef, this time he was a normal chef but he was also an inventor. The home is an art studio/workshop, it had a cool vibe.
He cooked us up a three course meal. The first course was a salmorejo (cold tomato-ish soup). Neither Aimee or I really liked it. I think that’s probably because cold soup is weird for us. I mean the flavour was okay, but cold soup, ew. We also had some manchego cheeses and wine to accompany.
For the main we had rice with a prawn and Alioli. This was pretty damn good. It was a mix of flavours that all went really well together.
Then we got invited upstairs to watch him prepare the dessert. The dessert was caramelised banana, with passion fruit sorbet and melted chocolate drizzled over it. Both Aimee and I thought this was delicious and went down a treat. It was really nice on my sore throat.
Afterward he showed us the invention that he is most proud of. It is a flamenco machine. It is kind of like them self playing pianos except it makes flamenco sounds? The guy was super passionate and proud of it but I thought it was kinda lame and didn’t serve much of a purpose. It was cool for him to show us this though and he gave a few people in the group the opportunity to give it a crack.
After this we jumped back on the coach and headed up for some much needed sleep.
- Fish and chips – £27 (yes. That’s pounds).
- Optional “Guided rock tour” – €60
- Optional “Eat with Seville” – €70
Total: €130 and £27 – approx €31.
Under budget and a day filled to the brim with fun activities – just how I like it. (We are gonna need to save our money for the amount of shopping Aimee will do in Madrid).
Ronnie and Aimee