Seville: Gas, Churches and She Wolves, Oh My! (Part 2)
coming to a highway near you
I’m “that person” who never allows the car to drop below a quarter tank of gas. I get it from my mom. I understand that “other people” seem to know exactly how far a vehicle can go before it faints on the side of the road somewhere. But I like to keep automobiles happy, alive, and breathing in that weird smell of gasoline that I not-so-secretly like. So imagine the twisted sense of satisfaction I had when, en route to Seville with the fam bam, the only gas station for 40 kilometers was broken. Like, the entire station. No gas. Nada. Zilch. Good thing you’ve got crazies like my mom and I, preventatively stocking up on fuel, huh?! 40 kilometers to the next gas station? No problem. We’ve got Spotify premium, baked hummus crackers, and time to kill. Bring on the road trip, baby.
Besides the little fuel stressor, our voyage to Seville was painless, and loaded with healthy (are they? really?) snacks. So yes, this is in fact the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Part dos of the family trip through Spain and Portugal has arrived.
For starters, I’d like to say that European folks seem to road trip in a more civilized manner. Rest stops have local restaurants, with actual food, and it’s not uncommon to sit down and enjoy warm bread, olives and a freshly pulled espresso (or wine for you non-drivers) before jumping back on the road. None of this “grab a burger and stuff your face while spreading crumbs all over the seat of your car” business. I am a FAN.
So after perusing the olive and bread selection at every rest stop, we safely arrived in Seville where, hark! They speak Spanish! A language I (kind of) know! Naturally I said “Danke” to the first Spanish person I encountered. Nailing it.
So where did we stay? In bigger cities, I’m team Airbnb for accommodation, as it makes me feel like a local (a local Spanish person saying “danke schön”), and in my opinion, leads to better deals in many prime locations. Not to mention, there are some pretty sweet Airbnbs for four people, and not so many sweet hotel rooms for four people. (As much as we all love to cuddle.) This Airbnb did not disappoint, and our lovely host Maria, left plenty of personal recommendations, including the tapas place we headed for dinner.
it gets better.
there’s a second floor.
Nom Nom Nom
La Azotea is the modern tapas bar recommended by our Airbnb “host.” It’s cool, sleek, and inviting at the same time, due in part to the warm staff and the deliciously cheap wine (order the XIII Lunas Tempranillo)
The food was inventive, flavorful and presented perfectly. Get there early to snag a table, as the place fills up quickly.
With full bellies and warm, wine-buzzed hearts, my mom and I went for a post-dinner walk around the streets of Seville. This city is magic. From the meandering, tiny alleyways, to the ornate tiles, to the artsy cafes, Seville screams romance. There’s a sophisticated energy to the city, and it is a dream to stroll through.
Which is exactly what we did the next day!
After our morning family espresso time, our lil’ Brady Bunch wandered through the city, to the big, famous cathedral. If you’re into old churches, you’ll be very into this church. It’s beautifully maintained, full of extra rooms with fascinating exhibits, and it has nice bathrooms with, wait for it, a water fountain! (I drink a lot of water.) Opt for the audio guide to understand the cathedral’s history, and whip out your student ID card for a discounted ticket, if you’re under 25. (If you’re over 25 do not attempt this. They will catch you and give you a look that only 26 year-olds understand. Not that I know or anything...)
Should you be the kind of person who prefers the express tour of old churches, like my sister Mariah and I, head out through the fragrant citrus courtyard, and into the surrounding streets, chock full of cafes.
Mariah and I had every intention of sitting in the sun and enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee at one of said cafes. But our last name is Hughes, which means we’re always hungry, so we set off to find lunch. Mission accomplished with fresh, healthy salads at a gem called Cocome.
After a cozy afternoon siesta, we had a glass of wine and some olives, before heading out for our evening entertainment. All day, my dad had been stomping and spazzing throughout the streets of Seville (encouraged and joined by my sister and me) in preparation for the FLAMENCO SHOW Mariah had scored us tickets to.
Five minutes into the show, it was safe to say our family respected the talent of those involved, but it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That being said, I immediately googled the history of flamenco because I wanted to know what all of these women were so angry about. It’s incredible. They’re stomping, squatting and clapping in the most “un-ladylike” manner, and it’s fierce. I think flamenco dancers are the original She Wolves. They’ve got feelings, and they’re not afraid to show ‘em.
Not Pictured: Flamenco dancer Terry Hughes (aka Dad)
Will I book another ticket to a flamenco show? Not at the moment. But that’s the brilliant thing about traveling. You’re presented with numerous opportunities to see something different, or out of the ordinary. And in a time when difference is being demonized, I’m pretty grateful for the chance to see some She Wolves creating fierce and, dare I say, aggressive art. So thank you, Seville, for the passion, romance and confidence in being different. I can’t wait to return… with a pleasantly full tank of gas.