Sunday, 30 November 2008

Edouardo Ramirez

Edouardo lives in Paris, where he works for Lufthansa Airlines. He had found the blog whilst browsing the internet and sent us a mail telling us that he was born in Olvera, his parents still live here, and how pleased he was to see pictures of the town and also of familiar faces and places.
We wrote back, hoping to meet up when he was next back in Olvera.

Quite unexpectedly, at Alan's birthday bash last night, Edouardo introduced himself to us.

As always, it's great to meet up with anyone that takes an interest in the blog and it was lovely to spend the evening chatting about his family, work and travels.
It also turned out that he was a long standing friend of our neighbours Paco and Maricarmen and also a cousin to a spanish friend of ours, Loli, who attends the english language course at the Centro Adultos in Olvera.
It is indeed a small world!!.

Edouardo is pictured here with Maricarmen and Paco.

Through this blog, we have met and made friends with some lovely people and Edouardo is no exception. We hope to meet up again before he returns to Paris in a few days.
Linked posts:

Feliz Cumpleanos Alan

We all gathered last night at Pepe Rayas to celebrate the 60th birthday of Alan, seen here looking good in the centre of picture.
Alan has been in Olvera a few years now and is one of the artists featured on the Andalucia Artists link on this blog.

Our friend Alfonso, who came in to the bar to watch his beloved Barcelona on the TV but unfortunately was disappointed due to the party.

Our vecino (neighbour) José on the left with David.

Mel sitting with Elma.

Our friends from down our street, Ray and Geraldine.

Margaret on the left and Eira. Eira's husband Eric has, subsequently to this post (as I regret I didn't obtain names at the time), informed me that Eira is a keen walker and a regular visitor to Olvera, having owned a property here for a number of years.
We look forward to hopefully meeting up again in the future.

Friend Austin......

.....and partner Shayne.

Paco on the left with José. Paco brews a very potent wine called Mosto, made from locally grown grapes.

Paco persuading Daryll that Mosto is far better for him than beer.

CB, partner of Daryll above, with David.

Our lovely neighbour Maricarmen, with Paco her son and Laura her niece engrossed in a Nintendo Super Mario game.

My apologies for any misspelling but this is Juani and Gualy, a couple of new spanish friends we met for the first time last night.

The backroom team who made the party possible, in particular Isobel who provided the lovely buffet.
From left to right Ian, Isobel, Inigo and Laurie.

Maricarmen with her lovely son Paco.

Mari, her husband Léo and daughter Laura. I have mentioned in previous posts that Léo is a guiar (shepherd), working seven days a week out in the campo tending his flock of goats. They are a smashing family and have made us feel very welcome here.
Hope he got up OK this morning as it was a bit of a late night (or I should say, early morning).

With our friend Mel.

A little bit of self indulgence but we liked this pic.

So yet again, another good night at Bar Pepe Rayas and hopefully Alan enjoyed his birthday bash.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Seville at last

At last, after fifteen months of living here in Spain, we have at last made it to Seville. Prompted by our friends Chris and Stan who had visited before us and mentioned that it was closer in distance than Cadiz, we set off this morning at 8.30 arriving in Seville just over an hour later.

Experience has told us that it is best, if possible, to make several visits to large towns and cities, rather than try to cram all the sites into one frantic visit.

Our plan therefore was to visit the Plaza de España, the Reales Alcázares, a group of palaces dating back over a thousand years and the Cathedral of Seville, dating back to the 9th century.
We parked the car in one of several underground car parks by the river and armed with our city guide set off on our travels.
After a short walk through the Parque Maria Luisa we arrived at the Plaza de España. Built between 1914 and 1928 in a semi-circlular shape, it now houses mainly Government offices.

Looking across the Plaza.

Click here for more detailed information.

Leaving the Plaza, we headed through the Jardines de Murillo and into the Santa Cruz district, where the Alcázar is located.
Cycling here seems to be very popular with well laid out cycle lanes. This row of bikes were presumably at a hire and drop off point. Not for us today though !!.

The outer wall of the Alcázar.

Those of you who read the blog know that we love the old parts of any town or village that we visit and this was no exception.
The narrow streets and squares were a delight with many small shops and cafes.

We came across this chap playing his guitar and we were happy to listen and contribute a small token towards his continued success. Anne said it may bring us luck......I think somehow we have that already.

After a short while we came to the main entrance of the Alcázar, just around the corner of this ancient wall.
The complex of palaces dates back to the year 700, comprising many different styles added over the centuries.
More detailed information can be found here.

One of the many beautiful ornate inner courtyards.

The main part of the palace, the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens), with decorations and tiles from the 16th century.

One of many Flemish tapestries in the Salón de Carlos V.

More of the tapestries in beautiful surroundings.

The exit point of the Alcázar.

Definately worth the entrance fee (€7), just to marvel at the building, the artwork and the decoration.

The "Giralda Tower" of the nearby Cathedral.

One of the many horsedrawn carriages showing tourists the sights.

The ancient minaret, known as the "Giralda Tower", was part of the original mosque on this site. Building started in 1184 and finished in 1198.
We didn't go into the Cathedral as time was moving on and we had a fair walk back to the car park. Another time perhaps.

It's not as cold as it looks....honest!!.

Walking back to the car we passed by this unusual statue. We had to look twice before we realised he was actually breathing.......we only noticed when he moved his foot!. Very good.

Looking back down the Avenida de la Constitución towards the Cathedral.

The Torre del Oro that houses the Maritime Museum which we passed on our way back to the car.

Just like Cadiz, there is so much to see in Seville that it will no doubt take several visits. We look forward to returning in the not too distant future.