Midnight fireworks marking the end of Feria 2018 in Sevilla.
While still on the lookout for a recommended place in Sevilla to get a professional pedicure I came across this baby on sale (30% off!) so I decided what the heck. Tried it last night and, although still a ways to go before my heels are “velvet smooth” (you’re not supposed to sand off too much at one time), it does seem to be doing the job. Anyone else have one of these?
So there I was just minding my own business and wondering what to do after a long day of photo editing and writing (catching up on my websites!) when I got an email from a guy called Steve from Australia, who asked if I was free to do a “last minute” tour that evening. And you know what? I really wasn’t up for it, so I said I wasn’t available for a tour but, because my friend Phoebe put him in touch with me, I suggested meeting up for a late afternoon drink.
Steve had just come from judging wine with Phoebe at the IWC in London, and then took a trip to Jerez to visit a few sherry bodegas. He was on his way home with and this was his last night in Sevilla, so he was in a very sherry mood. We met at Palo Santo for a nice chilled manzanilla and a chat and then – somehow! – one thing led to another and we ended up on a Tapeo Extremo. Well, sort of. We only went to two bars – Eslava and La Azotea – but there was definitely extreme sherry involved. And as always, lots of fun talking with the bar staff at both places. An unexpected treat.
The April Feria in Sevilla is not my favourite thing – in fact it’s not even my favourite feria – but I do like stopping by for at least one afternoon to see the splendid horses and the lovely flamenco dresses. By chance this year it has also coincided with the azahar, which is still (just barely) on the trees. It also suddenly became summer yesterday, with beautiful blue skies and temps of around 32º or more.
So here are a few pics from yesterday, with possibly some “feria by night” ones to come. It’s been years since I’ve been to Feria in the evening, but I have an invitation to go tomorrow, so we shall see.
I can’t find a way to embed this so you’ll have to click through to this twitter feed and watch it there – it’s worth it! Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you will understand it. Rosa and her husband have had to leave their home of 40 years in Jerez, due to her husband’s failing health. She said she was leaving her beloved barrio with a heavy heart, until…
The noche de pescaíto (night of the fried fish) is a time-honoured tradition, taking place on Monday evening before the lighting up (the alumbrao) of the April fair grounds at midnight. Until now. When the powers that be decided last year that Feria should be extended to include two weekends – the more money to make, my dears – this meant that the alumbrao would now take place on Saturday night. Along with the pescaíto. Except at one special location in Sevilla that will not give up the traditional Monday evening custom.
The Antigua Abacería de San Lorenzo is host to all manner of weird and wonderful special events that celebrate various Sevillano traditions. And nobody does seasonal window dressing quite like husband & wife owners Ramón and María Carmen. It’s always a bit chaotic there and always a lot of fun.
I actually learned a couple of things tonight. First that THE sherry drink of the Sevilla feria (manzanilla) is a relatively recent thing – 30 years ago it used to be fino. ALSO… this whole noche de pescaíto thing is also only about 30 years old, and nobody seems to know how it started. Other than the evening before the alumbrao there were obviously people still setting up their casetas and having a casual meal before it all got lit up. Why it ended up being a fried fish meal remains a mystery (since you can actually have fried fish all week long at Feria). But whatever. The pescaíto and manzanilla at the Abacería tonight were great!
I’ve been enjoying this on Netflix, though I have to admit that I have never seen the Seinfeld series. But this episode almost broke my heart. Obama getting coffee, being funny, being smart, being a human being. Speaking in complete intelligible sentences. It seems SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long ago, doesn’t it? Can you even remember what it was like not having a gross and disgusting self-serving idiot running the US of A?
So remember the person who got in touch by email last week to tell me about the new vermouth bar Yo Soy Tu Padre? Well, we were able to meet up before they headed home. Meet Sally and Rand from Boston, shown here at YSTP (later we went for a penúlitima at La Azotea). I never know who is reading my stuff, so it’s always great when I get to meet someone who has enjoyed my websites. They plan to come back next spring and spend another month in Triana, so we will stay in touch and hopefully see each other again next year.
By the time I moved to Sevilla Los Gabrieles had already been abandoned, though I think the hostel next door (and above it) was still in operation. It has since closed too. Apparently it is inspected from time to time by the Urban Planning Department, and the paper ads plastered all over this gorgeous tilework are removed.
The original tiles date back to the 1930s and were made in Triana at Mensaque Rodríguez y Cía, which closed its doors for good in December 2006. As you can see, Los Gabrieles was also used as a gaming toom, late last century. What a shame that it is just left like this to deteriorate. I would LOVE to see this place restored and used. Any takers?