SEVILLA

Dragging me kicking and screaming from Granada, we made our way to Sevilla. By now we realized three things: (1) Spain isn't as cheap as we thought it was, (2) it's cold during the winter there, and (3) the Spanish have apparently never heard of heaters. This is something I had not anticipated, and with their cold tile floors and cement/plaster walls, I was working on a pretty nasty cold.

Our downtown hotel was located in a very cool-but-funky old building, but walking up the four flights of stairs to get to our room was something of a challenge, especially after walking around town all day. Woof. And while walking around we discovered Sevilla's bullfighting ring; we thought watching a fight may be cool, but decided against it -- the spectacle would probably be a little too gruesome, especially for a delicate flower such as myself. Another prominent aspect of Sevilla is flamenco, and we managed to root out a flamenco bar on the other side of the river. These people are serious. Masterful guitar playing and fiery, passionate singing, and although we didn't see any actual dancing, the performance was live, up-close, and very earthy. Just what was needed to meet my expectations of Spain, which is good because we bumped into some American 20-somethings there who were raving about Portugal. They told us it was less expensive there, some of the people actually spoke some English, and it was warmer. How could we resist?

Your road is everything that a road ought to be and yet you will not stay on it for half a mile, for the reason that little, mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your chosen road and explore them.

-- Mark Twain

Pictures of Sevilla