This year’s Feria de Abril portada commemorates the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Expo and, imho, really couldn’t be uglier. This year there are two notable firsts. The Alumbrao (turning on of the lights and official opening) has been moved ahead to Saturday midnight, instead of the traditional Monday, in order to pack another weekend into the festivities. And there will be a Tourist Tent (caseta) for visitors, which will hopefully help them feel more welcome. A third possible first remains to be seen… whether my friend Cinta will be able to turn me into a Sevilla feria lover. She thinks she can. Game on! 😉
The Tío Pepe tram is back in town. A harbinger of the famous Feria de Abril, even though this year the annual presentation of Tío Pepe en Rama was moved to Madrid… so, you know, wtf?
Another big change this year is that the feria is starting on Saturday night instead of the usual Monday midnight to Sunday midnight. And Monday will be a local holiday. Hey, all the better to milk this whole deal for all it’s worth by throwing in an extra weekend. Olé!
You may recognize this as one of the many signs of spring in Sevilla, this one specifically heralding the arrival of Easter Week (Semana Santa). After an entire week of processions with thousands of dripping candles along the various routes, you can imagine that things do get quite slippery. This also means that for weeks after Easter Sunday both shoes and car tires tend to squeak as they accumulate wax, until both heat and daily traffic gets rid of most of the waxy residue.
This year I saw two things I had never seen before. One was the use of sawdust on some of the main procession routes, which at first only seemed be making matters worse. But then…
… a couple of nights later I came across this curious machine on my way home from a tapas tour. The usual cleaners were there hosing down the streets with water, along with this thing that basically was pummelling the heckity out of the wax. I haven’t been back yet to check out the results. Will let you know.
It seems like this year the annual orange harvest is taking a lot longer than usual. It’s rare to see trees full of fruit – especially in the centre of town – at the end of February. Not only are the oranges somewhat past their prime, but they become a hazard for people walking below.
I came across this group picking oranges in Plaza Santa Cruz at midnight, on my way home from a tapas tour. No sign of The Dude of course, with all this going on. It was also the first time I recall seeing people harvesting so late at night. Budget cuts perhaps? Who knows?
Ania la Cordobesa
This is probably as close as I’m going to get to the Feria de Abril this year. Well, other than to maybe stop by one afternoon to take horse photos. Ania and I were invited to a pre-feria event at the Taberna del Alabardero and both of us agreed that it was a much more pleasant experience than the actual feria here.
Since the first day of spring was all wet and chilly, I spent the evening snuggled up with the cats and binge-watching (actually rewatching) Game of Thrones season 4 (season 5 starts next month and I can’t remember a damn thing from the previous season). So here’s Loki on my lap with his big orange head resting in the crook of my arm, Morcilla having a little grooming session on my “office chair” and Luna (out of shot) over on the sofa. Doesn’t Loki look totally blissed out? He’s one big hunka lurve that guy.