It is now Friday April 3 and the world has changed a bit since we started this blog. Now that we have endless time on our hands we have decided to continue writing and posting from time to time. This is our next to last house guests in Seville. We started writing in Madrid about two days before our lives changed drastically. It’s Thursday March 12 and we are in Madrid, having arrived here on the 10th by train from Seville. We have been very lazy for the past few weeks, just enjoying our houseguests and wandering Seville with them. The guests in this blog have been to Seville before so no pressure to play tour guide. Sigi and Paul arrived the evening of February 25 and stayed through the morning of the 29th. We met them the summer of 2018 at their home in the London suburb of Richmond having been introduced remotely by our Boston neighbor Peggy Scott. We have shared a few meals at each others homes and we stayed at their home the night before leaving London in August of 2019. They jumped at our invitation to stay with us in Seville and we are so happy that they did. Sigi is a nurse and a flight attendant for British Airways and also a penultimate chef. Paul is retired and does landscaping for a few select clients. They just returned from three weeks in New Zealand one week ago. We have no idea how Sigi holds down two jobs and still travels so much. They arrived late evening, we just had snacks and went to bed. Jim awoke with fever, chills, sweats and severe malaise. He did not get out of bed until mid afternoon. We both developed a severe cough which stayed severe for two weeks and has then lingered till even now. In retrospect it seems highly likely that we had COVID19 which did not cross our minds until two weeks later. Fortunately none of our direct contacts have become symptomatic to date.
The only scheduled activity we had was a tour of the upper floor of the Real Alcazar which Jim had to book online a few weeks ahead. We had already seen the lower floor but not the garden as it was raining the day we toured here and all parks and gardens are closed when it rains. There are no pictures of the upper floor as they put all of our phones and backpacks in a locker for the short tour. We would recommend booking the upper floor tour if you plan on seeing the Real Alcazar which is one of the top tourist destinations in Seville. The Moorish architecture is very distinctive and quite interesting utilizing keyhole arches, fancy domes and ceilings, courtyards and beautiful tile.
We spent four days with Sigi and Paul after only having met them briefly for a few meals together over the past 18 months. They were great houseguests and our friendship grew immeasurably. We are already making plans for meeting up again, possibly in Madrid in a couple of weeks, but definitely in Porto Portugal where we want to include Peggy Scott who introduced us in the first place. Peggy of course knows nothing of these plans yet.
Jim had bought four tickets for a modern dance interpretation of Carmina Burana at the Seville Opera House the night of the 29th thinking that Sigi and Paul would still be here. When they left that morning we offered the two extra tickets to this barber who gave them to his parents. We sat next to his parents who were just as good looking as he is. We did not interact with them due to the language barrier and we both had slight coughs made worse with talking and coughing in public places is not a good thing right now. They did send us a very nice bottle of wine in thanks though.
Sigi told us about Convento San Leandro where the nuns sell their goods without ever coming face to face which seems like a great idea right now. Sigi had brought home their signature sweet, a candy made up of only an egg yolk and tons of sugar. We went there on our own and here is Jim trying to order Magdalenas. Watch the video. She said “we don’t have any Magdalenas right now”. Here’s hoping we can try again next year.