spain savvy sarah

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Back in April I posted this photo from the Sevilla feria on Instagram and then found out this little Sevillanas dancing cutie belonged to Sarah Gemba @spainsavvy (that’s also her daughter and mother-in-law). Thing is, although I’d “known” Sarah via social media for awhile, we’d never met in person, and since that day in April we’ve been attempting to meet up for a chat. You’d think it wouldn’t be that difficult, right? Wrong. So I was delighted to FINALLY meet Sarah over a quick brekky today (forgot to take a pic!).

After moving to Spain over a dozen years ago, and working in various travel/tourism companies since then, Sarah now runs her own travel design business called Spain Savvy. So needless to say we have a lot in common, as well as quite a few mutual friends. Looking forward to getting together again, next time for a bit longer… should be able to manage something by September?  😉

downsizing…

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I remember when I first saw this little upstairs room at my present apartment… it decided everything for me, simply because of the built-in bookshelves and cabinet. So it’s ironic that it became a room that was almost never used, until Peter decided to switch from the second bedroom downstairs to upstairs. But even now he can’t use it because the central air-con remains broken, so he is now sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room. But I digress…

Back in the days before iPhones, I would easily read a book a week. This was not only costly, but it meant I needed space for all those books. I haven’t counted, but there sure are a lot of them. Likewise the whack of DVDs I’ve acquired over the years (that fill the cabinet), not to mention CDs that take up another set of shelves. And so I have this dilemma… what to do with all this stuff? Because although this ended up being a rather useless room, it was damn handy for storage, but it just was never a comfortable space.

The new apartment has only two bedrooms, so unless I line the living room with IKEA Billy Bookcases, there really won’t be anywhere to put the books. So I’ve been wondering if I should either sell or just donate them. Same with the DVDs and CDs. I mean, who even listens to CDs anymore, and although I have some amazing films on DVD, I can mostly find them online.

Look out for a big Apartment Sale soon… not just books, CDs and DVDs, but also furniture and appliances I won’t be able to use in the new place. All in good condition of course. And what I can’t sell I’ll just give away to charities. Still not sure if this is going to be therapeutic or traumatic…

riding the c5

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For years I’ve seen this cute microbus all around town – and I mean ALL around – but not in a way that made any sense. I’d wonder how the C5 bus stop could be in so many seemingly random spots and where it could possibly be going. Then one day my friends Julie & Steve informed me that “riding the C5” was one of their favourite pastimes when they visited Sevilla, so I put it on my To Do list, and today I decided to take the plunge.

There are three of these Mercedes Sprinter diesel microbuses used on the route, measuring 7.7 metres long and 1.9 metres wide, with a capacity of 27 passengers (13 seated, 14 standing), and equipped with an electric ramp for people with limited mobility.

[click on image to enlarge]

Calling the C5 a circular route is a serious simplification. We started at the “start/finish” stop just behind the Alfonso XIII Hotel and from there it was like being on a Magical Mystery tour. We had no idea where the bus was going to go next as it trundled down one narrow street to another. Just when I thought I knew where we were headed it would abruptly turn, even occasionally backtracking down a parallel street to end up almost where it had just been. Whoever designed the route must have been either mad or a genius. Or drunk. We noticed that sometimes even locals getting on the bus had no idea where it was going, and would get right off again after checking with the driver. But it clearly serves a purpose, as long as you’re not in a hurry, connecting parts of the “casco antiguo” (old centre) that larger buses can’t access.

AND…it was fun. Plus it could also serve as a totally wonky “off the beaten path” tourist ride for visitors, though it’s a bit of a bumpy ride at times, and the driver doesn’t stop anywhere for long, so taking photos is tricky (as you can see above). But I’ll certainly be doing it again.  🙂

 

wine tasting at la cochera

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[click on image to enlarge]

It’s been a crazy week (in mostly a good way) that got off to a great start when I was invited to a cata on Monday for this year’s edition of Bodegas Delgado Zuleta’s D.O Cádiz white wine Viña Galvana. Delgado Zuleta is of course best known for its sherries (it’s said to be the oldest bodega in the marco de Jerez), especially Manzanilla La Goya, but also produces local white wines.

The 2017 Viña Galvana (85% Palomino Fino and 15% Moscatel) is a fresh, light wine with a bright pale gold colour and a touch of fruitiness, and pairs well with fish and seafood. Really a perfect summer wine. The label pays tribute to one of Sanlucar’s most popular events, the annual horse races on the beach which take place every August. The cata was presented by Jorge Pascual, the Director-General of Delgado Zuleta and enologist José Antonio Sánchez Pazo, with promotion by @ProbandoGastro.

The event was hosted by my friend (and colleague!) Cinta Romero at her gorgeous La Cochera del Abuelo, which is fast becoming one of THE places to hold small personal events in Sevilla.

hey, caesar!

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Yeah, I know I should know better, but sometimes hopeful optimism takes over. Like yesterday. I was out having lunch with Peter and saw Caesar Salad on the menu, saying it was made with the restaurant’s own char-grilled chicken. Now I know that chicken isn’t a traditional ingredient in this salad, but I also know that this restaurant has a nice char-grill, so what the heck. And well, as I say, I should have known better.

I had even joked with the waiter that I wasn’t actually expecting a proper Caesar salad, saying that in all my years in Sevilla I’d never had a decent one (other than at home). But I was at least hoping for a nice crisp green salad with freshly grilled chicken and a “caesar-ish” dressing. Nope. What arrived was a plate of bagged mixed greens, some tiny hard croutons, parmesan, and chunks of tired chicken tasting of fridge. So as usually happens in these cases, Peter ate it.  😉

Later on I jokingly put a post up on Instagram saying I should give a master class to chefs in Sevilla who offer Caesar salad on their menu, and apparently ruffled some feathers. Suddenly I was “insulting” chefs, blah blah… who did I think I was, etc.

My point is… if you want to offer a mixed green salad with chicken and parmesan on your menu, go right ahead. Just don’t call it a Caesar salad.

so much going on…

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There’s so much going on that all I can do today is leave you with a photo of skinny-minny Morcilla, demanding more wet-combing. She’s become quite a fan.

I hope to have some good news to share soon, because things can’t keep going like this. The whole apartment fiasco is seriously affecting my health and well-being, it’s been so awful, so stressful. Let’s see if things get better soon.