If you’ve been following my latest posts you know that I’ve officially embarked on The Spanish vacation with my parents. This is a massive undertaking for several reasons. One, the schedule is an ambitious one – four cities, approximately ten days. Two, this is my parents first time in Europe! The pressure is on to showcase the country I love. Three, my penchant for food is not genetic, my parents are not very adventurous eaters. And four, ellos no hablan español!
We started in Madrid last Thursday and the folks skated right on through the day showing no signs of jet lag. In the glorious sunlight I detoured the wrong way down Calle Mayor and we walked way more than we should have. This earned me a “she’s trying to kill us on the first day!” from my father. Not true, I assure you.
In the capital we checked off all of the major sights: Palacio Real, Templo de Debod, El Retiro, El Prado. I introduced my coffee aficionados to the magic of cafe con leche and my mother swears no one makes a latte like the guy on Calle de la Cruz – the heart in the foam convinced her. There was paella and churros and kebabs. They rode the metro (clean and efficient) and a city bus (far too crowded) and walked every cobblestone on squeaky clean streets. The weather was outstanding and gave us a pleasant day trip to nearby Segovia (30 minute, 10€ train). There we climbed the Acueduct, and admired the Alcazar. The taxi driver that transported us back to the station inquired if we had seen a dead woman that day (!) and when I said no he offered to show us. Approaching the snow covered mountains you can make out the figure of a woman lying down across the mountain ridge – larger than life and indeed, quite dead. A hotel recommendation for you: Hotel Adriano – clean, well appointed and well located.
Sunday brought us down to Sevilla by high speed train (Internet prices now 50€ one way, my friends). Here in the city I currently call my home we found a beautiful apartment hotel that I insist you try if you’re in the city (and unable to reserve a spot on my couch). Google: Singular Apartments, Sevilla. Tucked away on the pedestrian city Siete Revueltas we are enclosed in a white washed wonderland with all of the modern accoutrements. It’s quiet and mere steps away from Plaza Encarnación, San Salvador and San Francisco. From here I walked my parents to my apartment (“your daughter said it wasn’t far”) and exhaust them right away. My mom gets to appreciate the alimentación where we get a sackful of groceries for a mere 6.99, including fresh eggs wrapped in a paper cone and not in a cardboard carton. Even the Chinos get to meet my parents as we pick up water, coffee and paper towels for pennies.
Over the next few days I get them to try jamón, tortilla, croquetas, ensaladilla and the local beers. We dine like royalty at Cosa Nostra and in our post Italian food coma we enjoy a sunset cruise on the Guadalqivir River. There is gelato and there are pastries at all of my favorite haunts. We wander through cathedral, alcazar, gardens, bull ring and tiny Santa Cruz streets. We make breakfast at our gorgeous apartment each morning and pass out cold every night. My mom takes charge of writing the postcards and my dad works the camera. Today on our midday coffee break two Spaniards gave us their stools so we could each have a seat at the corner table. These are the kind of things you can’t take pictures of.
Tomorrow morning we will make our way by train to the motherland: Granada. Strategically, we have made our way from largest to smallest, as well as international to traditional. I wonder if the city will cast the same spell over them as it once did to me. Regardless, I get to show them my first true home away from home from the hills of the Albaicin. If I get them to try Moroccan food, you’ll be the first to know 🙂