Sunday November 25, 2012
Our last travel day was upon us. We had to reorganize things a little since I got sick earlier in the week. We shortened our day in Cordoba and come back to Seville to sightsee a little and enjoy our last taste of tapas. We took the 7AM train into Cordoba. At this hour everybody was still asleep with the exception of one couple we saw on the Roman Bridge that looked as though they had only met a few hours earlier. Within a few minutes, he was urinating on the Calahorra Tower that left an amazing contrast for our photos. They continued on trying to find their way home. Aside from this, it was tranquil on the streets. We walked around some more and then headed to the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba, which was right around the corner.
The Mezquita was once an Islamic place of worship, but has since been converted to a Catholic Christian cathedral. It was built around the year 600 and it’s most commonly recognized for its 800 arched columns spread throughout the cathedral.
At this point Jen wanted to take some romantic pictures, so we headed over to the Calleja de las Flores.
On our way out of the city, we walked through the courtyard with the monument Cristo de los Faroles.
We took a 10 minute cab back to the train station and it was 45 minutes back to Seville. From there we went to the Real Alcázar and then to the Plaza de España. The Alcázar, once a Moorish fort, is currently the oldest operating royal palace in Europe. I would give it about an hour of your time. We took a quick cab to the Plaza de España, a popular spot for families. There you will find street vendors, picnic areas and plenty of people just strolling around the grounds. It has been preserved in its authentic state since 1928, except for the waterways which were later added.
It was 2 PM and time to start our last day of food in Seville and Spain altogether, which meant one thing, more tapas. We started off at Becerrita. Overall, the food was good and the service was welcoming. They even offered us a free cocktail to end our meal. The revuelto was our favorite dish and we also enjoyed the picos that they served as part of their bread basket.
Calle Recaredo 19
41003 Seville, Spain
From Becerrita we headed to Arenero. The dishes we intended to try weren’t on the menu that day, so we started with the pork takati. It was good, but more in tune with the type of small dishes we would find in the US. The server was less than enthusiastic about helping us order more dishes, but she managed to suggest one dish, the lomo. Unfortunately, it was similar to the pork and not what we had in mind for a second dish. I would definitely recommend skipping this place, nothing about it felt like Spanish tapas.
Pasaje de Vila, 6
41004 Seville, Spain
After these two quick tapas lunch stops it was back to sightseeing. We headed to the Cathedral in Seville. It’s the third largest cathedral in the world, but it didn’t seem that big to us. Inside it houses Christopher Columbus’ burial site and there is 300 foot bell tower you can climb with views overlooking the city.
During our trip we had intended to have breakfast at Horno San Buenaventura, but never managed to get to it. Since it’s next door to the Cathedral, we stopped by for a coffee and a pastry. Although, we didn’t have a full meal, the dishes that passed through the dining room did not look appetizing and it seemed like a tourist trap. The service wasn’t particularly friendly either. It was quite the process just to figure out how to buy a bottle of water.
When we were planning our trip, we had to address the topic of bullfighting. I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t positive they even killed bulls in the process. But they do and typically three bullfighters kill six bulls on any given day. We opted for the less gruesome tour and just needed to decide between the bullring of Madrid and Seville. The Madrid bullring is larger and was probably our first choice. However due to our limited time in Madrid, we decided to visit the charm of the Seville bullring, the oldest in Spain. I read poor reviews that it was basically a 10 minute tour and with a little time to take pictures, which was fairly accurate and what we actually wanted. Our tour guide was very informative and available to answer any questions we had. We first walked inside the bullring for five minutes then spent the next 15 minutes in the museum.
As we were walking back to the hotel, our photographer snapped this photo of Jen and I in the kissing lanes.
Our final dinner plans included two restaurants, first we were off to Vinería San Telmo. It was bustling place full of patrons inside and also packed on the outdoor patio. The walls are plastered with well-known poetry quotes. Due to our shorten time in Cordoba, we weren’t able to try the specialty salmorejo, a soup consisting of tomato and bread. It was on the menu, so we ordered a bowl. It was nothing special. We ordered a few more dishes, most notably the crepe with red pepper sauce. We also had to save room for dessert, all of them are homemade and they all looked delicious. We wanted the lemon meringue pie, but they were out on the night we went. Our second choice was the Banoffee and a perfect end to a meal. One great thing about Spain was the lack of a tip line on the checks. We just assumed tipping was not necessary. I wasn’t sure if this was true, but I really didn’t want to know. It wasn’t until tonight when we saw a large tip being handed to our server at another table that we inquired about the country’s tipping protocol. We were informed that tipping was not required, but appreciated. So we did and tonight was the first time we tipped on our vacation. By asking on the last night, I figured it saved us about $300.
Vinería San Telmo
Paseo Catalina de Ribera, 4
41004 Seville, Spain
Next door was Modesto, a seafood restaurant and the spot of our final meal. We got an assortment of fried and marinated seafood. Even fried, the shrimp were the clear standout. We also added an order of the mushrooms, which the restaurant was known for, but they were just average. Stuff and satisfied for the night, the week and probably for the next month, we headed back to the hotel for the final time.
Cano y Cueto 5
41004 Seville, Spain