Hola readers from sunny Spain. Yesterday was an absolute scorcher. Europe is currently in a brutal heat wave. Toledo, where we are going today, is expected to reach up to 43 degrees. Just brutal.
The day started off with an early wake up in our hotel in Seville with the classic continental brekky. We then drove into the Plaza de España in Seville. The square itself is really nice. It’s a semi circle shape and was built for the world fair in 1928. It had also featured in numerous films serving most notably as Naboo in Star Wars.
We met our local guide for our optional walking tour here who took us to a famous bull ring in Seville where they have bullfighting. We walked around through the museum there and out to the actual arena whilst listening to the history of bullfighting and the controversy surrounding it.
Then we went to the old town of Seville (Santa Cruz) and walked around the narrow streets. We thought that this optional activity probably was not worth the money. We didn’t get to spend much time in Seville and we probably would’ve liked to have spent that time differently.
Right after this we had about 2 hours of free time in Seville before we had to meet up for our drive. Aimee and I had pre-booked entrance to the Alcázar of Seville. This is a beautiful place and garden, it is similar in tone to the Alhambra but not quite as pretty. It also serves as Dorne in Game of Thrones. You know all of those scenes with the sand snakes and prince Oberyn? Yeah – all here.
We also got lost in a hedge maze. It was pretty cool to see but we had limited time and it was also over 40 degrees and we were outside for most of it. We decided it was time to leave.
We went to literally the nearest restaurant and sat down inside for some tapas. We ordered Jamon Iberico which is always a treat. We had some manchego cheese which is cheese that is made out of sheep’s milk which is also delightful.
We also had some falafels which were just okay and not much different from any other falafel.
Last, but certainly not least we had some pork loin in whiskey sauce. This was damn delicious. Aimee loved it.
After our nice tapas meal we sought air conditioning and ice drinks – Starbucks was happy to provide this to us. We didn’t have much time left so and we wanted to spend it comfortably. We then met up with the group for our drive to Cordoba.
It was about a 2 hour drive to Cordoba so it wasn’t bad at all. The problem was though that I was feeling pretty sick by this point and the temperature was up to 41 degrees. Where the bus dropped us off we had a 5 minute walk to our hotel with our bags in the sun that was actual hell. We got into our hotel and we had 45 minutes to freshen up and Zach was going to take us on a walking tour. oh fuck no. We decided to skip the walking tour. It was way too hot and I was feeling horrible. We turned our aircon on which unfortunately was not great and caught up on the latest two episodes of the Handmaid’s tale – what a great show. We also got a little kip in here.
At about 8 we walked over to some food markets called Mercado Victoria that was where the bus dropped us off. We walked around and ordered little bits of tapas. We got some Patatas Huevos which is potatoes with egg and bacon, was pretty nice, had it with a guava juice too.
Then Aimee got some mussels that she thought were nice with like a little salsa mix of capsicum/tomato and a vinegary sauce.
We shared a pulpo a la gallega which is octopus that is grilled with spices and potatoes. It was pretty good, very calamari like which was delicious. It was a bit heavily spiced for me though, a bit lighter on the spicing and it would’ve been great. Aimee thought it was a bit oily but I thought it wasn’t too bad.
We had a few other things not worth mentioning and some wine and then met up with the group for the highlight of the night (and of the trip). We were going to a hammam. For those who don’t know a hammam is an Arab bath.
There were three different communal baths you could relax in. One hot, one warm and one cold. There was also a sauna and you can drink sweet tea in there. You’re not allowed to talk, you have to be silent so everyone can relax. Your ticket gets your 2 hours with a 15 minute massage included. This whole experience was glorious. We went from the sauna (great for my congestion!) to the cold to cool down (it was REALLY cold) then to the hot to warm up a bit and then to the warm to relax in.
Aimee and I got our massages at the same time which was just great, they let you choose the oils and ask what massage you want, we both got upper body. It felt so great and I haven’t felt that relaxed in a long time. We left the baths feeling absolutely great. We walked home with some of the others from our group in what was a really nice night.
- Optional “Walking tour inc Bull Ring” – €39
- Lunch tapas – €21
- Starbucks – €6
- Snacks – €6
- Alcazar of Seville entry – €37
- Dinner tapas – €40
- Hammam – €80
- Water – €2