Tom O’Toole arrived in Seville the evening of March 3 having flown in from LA.  We first met Tom in February of last year in Mexico City through other friends.  He actually stayed a few nights with us in CDMX and then we met up with him again in LA while on our way to Melbourne.  Tom is the first convert that we know of to our way of life.  After meeting us in Mexico he returned home to Boston, sold his loft in The Leather District and started traveling.  Tom has been to Seville before so we don’t have to act as tour guides.

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Tom’s arrival at our front gate.
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First meal out at one of our local favorites, Bar Alfalfa.

 

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One of our favorite views of the Geralda, we take everyone here.

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The beautiful colors of Seville.
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Sandy recruited Tom to help her make hand sanitizer using aloe vera and isopropyl alcohol.

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Found a great new restaurant on Calle Agua, Corral del Agua.
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Restaurant entrance.
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We decided to take the train to Granada for an overnight trip as The Alhambra is Tom’s favorite place on earth.

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Last picture of Jim with his wallet.  He used the ATM at the train station withdrawing 500€ and never saw the wallet again.  We think that he missed his pocket when replacing it, very similar incident in Gibraltar where the wallet was found and returned.

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Beautiful day in Granada.
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We liked the street lights.
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There was a very moorish feel to the alleyways of Granada with a lot of Arab restaurants and shops.
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Entrance to Alhambra.

IMG_3297The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex which was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications,  It was renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by a muslim emir and then converted to a royal palace by the Sultan of Granada.  After the fall of the Moorish empire in 1492 it became the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella.  It has been renovated numerous times, allowed to fall into disrepair, undergone retaliatory destruction by Napoleon and was declared a national monument in 1870.  It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well-known Islamic architecture.

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A long uphill walk with all of our luggage which we put in lockers at the entrance to Alhambra.

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Jim just discovered he lost his wallet right after this picture was taken, we ate lunch at this table.
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Our lunch view looking at Generalife.
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Church of Santa Maria de la Alhambra.
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A portrait in the making.
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And here it is.  Tom was in heaven being back at Alhambra.

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Parador de San Francisco, an elegant hotel in a former convent within the Alhambra.  We had lunch in their outdoor cafe.

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Sandy doesn’t get many pictures, Tom took these two.

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View from the above window.
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Lots of indoor courtyards with fountains and pools.

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Courtyard of the Lions.
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So much beautiful tile in this country.
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Fantastic moorish ceilings.

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This is the Generalife which was a summer palace and country estate just across a small ravine from the main palace.

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He is still grinning from ear to ear, so happy to be here.
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Finally out of Alhambra, whew says Jim who has been in way too many palaces although he admits that this one is amazing and definitely worth a visit.
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Our Airbnb on the top visible floor.
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View from our balcony of another religious procession.
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We hit a local bar for dinner.  In Granada all bars serve free tapas with every drink.  We had dinner for the price of two drinks.  You don’t get to choose what you get but it was quite good.
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Sangria and wine for the first course.

 

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Day 2 in Alhambra, just wandering.
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Granada Bull Ring.
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See the snow on the mountains.  There was a snowboarding competition the weekend we were there.
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A home with a view and beautiful wisteria.
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We walked up a steep hill and then a long flight of stairs for this view from the Albaicin district of Granada.
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Had lunch on the street at this sweet little outdoor spot.  The beer was well deserved after the climb up to the heights and Jim had the best ever garlic soup here at Casa Gabriel.
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Sculpture of a famous Gypsy in Granada, Chorrojumo.
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View of Alhambra, one of the pictures above is looking out the windows of the square tower.
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Can’t figure out what this is, but it looks like a nice place with a view.
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After lunch we had a nice long lazy walk along the river back to the train station.  We had a 5 something train arriving Sevilla at 8 with 9pm dinner reservations.
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Our Sevilla hosts, Maria and José Manuel treated us and our houseguest to a lovely dinner.
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After dinner we walked to Triana for a highly recommended Flamenco show in the home of a former Flamenco dancer.  This is the line at 12:17am.  Casa Anselma, the owner decides who is allowed in.  Tom and Sandy wouldn’t wait so we did not go in.  Strange to see that we were at a restaurant and in this crowd on March 8.
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Sunrise and moonset at 7:30am on our last full day in Seville.
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Our last meal at Taberna Aguilla.  First and last meal here and probably eight in between.  Our favorite waiter was here and took very good care of us.  Even gave us his telephone number.
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Last night champagne on our terrace at sunset.

IMG_3369We left Seville the morning of March 10 on the train to Madrid and Tom flew out to Barcelona later in the day.  We were supposed to be going to Madrid with grandson Jackson but he had to cancel as his university was advising against any European travel for spring break.  All of our potential house guests booked for Madrid have already cancelled and we are knowingly headed into the epicenter of COVID19 in España.  By the way Jim’s wallet was not returned this time but no credit card charges even though we didn’t cancel them.

3 Replies to “Last House Guest in Spain”

  1. What a wonderful record of our last week of normal life before the skies darkened with pandemic. I’m grateful to have spent it with you both. Your hospitality, sense of humor, and openness to adventure made for a memorable week. Stay well, and see you on your travels once again soon!
    Tom

    Like

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