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Needing to focus on positive things right now, so I will actually post a trip report of my recent holiday to Seville.

Saturday at oh my god its early we set off to Stanstead airport for our flight to Seville. Having never flown on a Saturday before, we were a little taken aback as to how busy it was, however we managed to find a quietish table for breakfast in the departure lounge and await our flight.
Arrived in Seville at noon and got the bus into town it was sunny, I was happy, and the connection pretty easy, albeit rather busy.  Found the way to our little hotel with relative ease first challenge of Sevilles maze of tiny streets a success!  We were staying in the budget but absolutely gorgeous Hotel Zaida situated in a former palace, it featured stunning neo-Mudejar tiles and archways and a galleried courtyard layout. Our room was located just on the gallery, with a balcony over the street, couldnt have been any more perfect (oh yes, it had a kettle too. A rarity!)
It was lunchtime, so we headed to a café/restaurant just up the street, that Id seen recommended on tripadvisor for its Churros. Unfortunately it turns out Spain likes its traditions and churros are not served at lunchtime (breakfast or late afternoon only!). So instead we braved our first attempt at deciphering a Spanish tapas menu ordering jamon iberico, croquetas, calamari and a spinach and chickpea dish not too adventurous but the only ingredients I could recognise the name of.  Staff were fantastically helpful though and the food was yum, so it was a good choice all around. Also had my first sherry of the weekend. :-)
Our plan for the afternoon was to head to the Cathedral and spend some time wandering around the medieval old centre, Barrio Santa Cruz.  Enjoying the sunshine, we decided against queuing for the cathedral and just went for a wander.  A little frustrating, discovering everything closed for much of the afternoon (Spanish siesta/long lunch time!) and, as we discovered later, we werent actually in the pretty bit of Santa Cruz, instead in tourist hell and shopping streets.


After a couple of hours of aimless wandering, we ended up at the Metropol Parasol probably the only modern structure in the centre of town, a massive wooden public artwork/aerial walkway/giant mushroom.  Admission to the top also gave you a 3E drink voucher, so we chose to use that in the rooftop café to relax and enjoy the view sampling the local drink, Tinto de Verrano or an abomination of red wine and sprite, just horrific!






Once we descended, I wanted a coffee so we stopped at a café across the road which sold all manner of sweet stuff.  Rob had a choice of 10 hot chocolates and I went for a speciality coffee Dulce de Navidad.  Not sure what I ordered, it was blooming gorgeous but quite definitely not coffee! A glass cup one third filled with condensed milk, one third nearly solid chocolate and one third squirty cream . Maybe they forgot to add the coffee?
Checked my map and realised we had just enough time to fit in an attraction before it closed, as we werent too far from the Palace of the Countess of Librija A small, stunningly beautiful mudejar palace with roman mosaic floors.  It was too late for a tour of the upstairs rooms but at least viewing the downstairs let us feel wed done something touristy that day!




Continued our aimless wandering around the old town, ending up in a fabric shop selling beautiful blingy and spotty fabrics for flamenco, followed by a religious shop selling beautiful blingy and blingy religious paraphernalia and soon after a millinery supplies shop selling feathers, appliquey, bling and more bling. By now wishing wed brought a suitcase!

strange thing to see in a fabric shop!!!

ok, its a "catholic" thing!

For the evening, we headed to Alameda del Hercules, an area which was supposedly more alternative a fun atmosphere, lots of bars all around a long square and everyone drinking outside.

brrrr! al-fresco drinking in January.

  By now it was pretty damn cold, so we defied tradition and went for food early, picking a restaurant purely on the basis of its tiled counter.  Turned out to be a good decision as Casa Paco served pretty awesome tapas in immense portions.   After food, we went back round the square to find dessert but in the end were drawn into a lovely cosy bookshop café with board games.  Having had a very early start that day, I was now finally starting to flag, so we had a (relatively) early night, heading back to our hotel around 11pm.

A slightly frustrating first day but still good enough to make us both fall for Seville.
Full set of photos for this day are here
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