Happy birthday to my lovely Dad.
Our friends Janet and Paul were arriving today at 3 p.m. so I was very excited. At home Janet and I used to meet up every week day to walk our two dogs Inke and Riley for years until Inke died a year ago. Riley only had eyes for his frizbee and he would race round totally absorbed in finding it once it had been thrown, Inke on the other hand only had eyes for Riley and she would follow along hot on his trail whenever and wherever he ran, it was the perfect way to exercise them.
We did very little in the morning, our excuse was that we were conserving our energy for later on, in reality we’ve just become very lazy!
In the afternoon we walked over to the hotel we were treating ourselves to for the next couple of days, the Hotel un Patio en Santa Cruz. It was situated down a narrow alley, it looked very pretty from the outside and we entered into a bright and airy reception area with an atrium in the centre that was open to the sky except for a sun shade that was pulled across the gap. The receptionist greeted us as soon as we came through the door and after we’d filled in the paperwork she directed us to our room where we left our case and headed straight out again to find somewhere for lunch.
We ended up eating at the cafe in the square next to our friends hotel, the food was very nice (although again the patatas bravas was not what I was expecting, I keep thinking it will be chunks of roast potatoes with a tomato sauce, dare I say, as we’ve had at home, but it seems to be chips with a sauce on them). There was unexpected entertainment thrown in too. We had already moved tables once, it was my fault, I’d chosen the table but as we sat down I noticed we were under a tree and didn’t fancy being pooped on by birds so we moved to a table further from the tree. Halfway through our meal there was a tremendous CRASH and we looked over to see a woman with a shocked look on her face while her friends were creased up with laughter! It seems an orange had detached itself from the tree just above her head and she almost experienced Newton’s Theory of Gravity personally, luckily it just hurtled past her ear and bounced off the table! It happened again a short while later, this time it came down with such force the orange rolled all the way over to my chair! We were very glad we had changed tables!
We were just discussing whether our friends would drive past the square on their way to the hotel when we saw Paul waving at us with Janet following along the narrow ‘pavement’ (it was more like a wide curb in the narrow lane) closely behind him.
It was SO lovely to see them both, they’re a great tonic and really cheered me up, no one could be miserable with the pair of them around. We sat for a while so they could relax and have some lunch then we went off exploring the city.
Janet’s friend Nancy and the tourist information lady had told us about ‘The Mushroom’ so we made our way there. It was an amazing piece of architecture, it reminded us of the wooden puzzles that the boys had when they were younger, the pieces of wood slotted together to make a dinosaur or another figure or in this case on a MUCH grander scale, an abstract MUSHROOM! Paul thought there might be a walkway up on the roof and he spoke to a road cleaner who pointed to the entrance which was under the building along with some Roman ruins which could be seen through the glass window.
We were very surprised to hear that although it cost 3 Euros to go up on to the walkway the ticket included a drink at the cafe on the roof and a present when we came back down! What a lovely surprise!
The walkway on the roof was very impressive. It was a piece of art in itself as the path wound up and over the roof. Janet was very brave, she’s petrified of heights but she forced herself to come up with us nevertheless. There were far reaching views from the top, the weather was perfect for our climb up there. Once we had finished our tour we sat at a table outside the roof top cafe in the last of the afternoon sun and enjoyed our free drink then we made our way down to the little shop where we were allowed to choose two postcards. What a bargain ticket, that was definitely 3 Euros well spent.
From there we went into a church for a quick look around, I have never seen statues with real clothes on before, the materials they were made from were dyed rich deep colours.
I had a rather spooky experience, as I mentioned earlier it was my Dad’s birthday today and as we turned a corner I spotted four names written on a door in gold pen and the second one down, Anthony, was my Dad’s name! I know this was just a coincidence but what a very strange coincidence.
As we walked a bit further along the road we came to a shop selling vestments and ecclesiastical garb. We did wonder at the end of our exploration of Seville how come there were so many shops selling either items for the church or flamenco clothes. There is obviously a great call for both!
After a lot of walking we came to a narrow street full of restaurants where we sat outside chatting and ate yet another lovely meal before heading back to our respective hotels. The view over the old buildings and illuminated churches from the roof patio in front of our room was well worth seeing.