Day 8: Sevilla

We slept in again this morning before going out to eat at a joint in our neighborhood.  Breakfast was the usual coffee and croissant, this time served by a salty waiter whose contrary disposition made us giggle, thus plunging him into further saltiness.  After breakfast, we collected our laundry and dragged it about 10 minutes away to the Lavanderia Roma to have it cleaned.  This is one of the best values in Spain:  we each had nearly all of our laundry washed (2 full loads-worth) and it was €6/load.  Then it was off to do the Rick Steves’ walk of the Santa Cruz neighborhood, where we walked the outer walls of the Alcazar and photographed ourselves by the Don Juan statue.  It was on this walk that the smell of Sevilla really hit us.  The orange trees were all in bloom, making the town smell like lilacs (or orange trees in bloom, depending on how you want to look at it).  Yum!

Don Juan lurking in the shadows behind us

Next up was the Alcazar, which could be one of the best places we visited.  It had beautiful rooms in the palace and the gardens were second to none.  We hung out in the gardens for a good while, taking a breather and watching the resident ducks beg for food (and saw a family of baby ducks lolling about).  After all this relaxing, we were tuckered so we stopped in the Santa Cruz neighborhood just outside the Alcazar walls for a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade.  Refreshing!

The Alcazar gardens

At some point during this day we also tried to find the convent where nun-baked sweets are sold.  The story goes that you walk in, figure out what you want, place your order on a big Lazy Susan, then the sweet comes out and you put the money in its spot to pay for it.  The entire transaction is supposed to be conducted so the nuns never see you and you never see the nuns.  However, given this is the 21st century, the counter was manned by a Spanish girl wearing a mid-riff top and tight jeans.  Somehow the charm was lost in translation.

Afterward we made a quick pit stop in the room, then, as it was almost 19:00 (the time we were told our laundry was to be ready), we took off to the Lavanderia Roma.  Our plan was to get our laundry then stop for more of those amazing hot, salty almonds to tide us over a bit before dinner.  But our plan was foiled by two things:  one, our laundry wasn’t ready yet, and two, the almond lady didn’t open until 20:00.  Oh, Spain.  So we ended up going for a beer and croquettes tapas in the Lavanderia neighborhood, which was a nice way to relax and people watch.  We wasted enough time there for our laundry to be ready, picked it up, then treated ourselves to the big bag of almonds (€5 this time), and went to hotel to drop everything off.

Usually we would embark on our Dinner Stroll next, but this time we had a plan (!):  we’d seen an interesting looking Italian restaurant during the day, so we decided to beeline directly for that.  It is called San Marco (in the Santa Cruz neighborhood), and it looks like a big wine cellar with stone walls.  We were seated in the back (away from most people, and again, I was wearing my absolute best hoodie), and dinner was a mixed bag.  Jim had a macaroni/meat sauce/cheese dish that was pretty good, I had a pizza that I believe was microwaved.  But the room and service was great, our waiter didn’t even fuss when he saw Jim had made a huge mess of things by his plate (after dropping a fair amount of saucy pasta on the white linen tablecloth).

Full and pleased about our clean clothes, we were off to bed.

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