Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Seville’s Folklorique Museum

Just across a large plaze is another wonderful museum, one I could happily spend many days in. Once again, they waved us through, they would not take our money. There were several exhibits showing us how things came about, how they developed wheat grinding, for example, how fabrics were woven, all with tableaux and short videos. We watched one very long video about a church that carries the Saint or Madonna around the town on a special cart once a year, and celebrates with a festival.

 

My favorite part of this museum is one whole wing devoted to textiles, embroidery and gossamer shawls, that remind me so much of the ancient, transparent “shayla” the elderly women used to wear as veils in old Qatar and old Kuwait. Nothing like the black opaque headscarves and face coverings of today; these were light and airy and as fragile as a spider’s web. I have one I treasure, but I keep it wrapped in a box because it can tear so easily. Here is a whole wing of a museum with glorious examples of exquisite handiwork of this nature.

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Hand embroidered cut-work:

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Hand worked lace and cut-work on fine linen:

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Decorative tools and utensils:

 

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The Folklorique Museum and tile patterns done in stone and mosaic:

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Gossamer lace work:

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Glorious white work:

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Finely woven and embroidered silk:

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We would haunt the flea markets of France, and find many similar treasures in France, tossed out by people who wanted new and glossy. I bought linens of all kinds, but nothing of this quality.

We were thrilled to have this extra day to see Seville more thoroughly, and to explore these two museums. Once again, and easy 10,000 steps 🙂

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December 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Exercise, ExPat Life, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Hopping off at Seville’s Museum of Archaeology

We had wanted to see this museum, and thanks to this bonus day, woo hoooooo, the Hop-On Hop-Off bus lets us off just a short walk through the park to the Museum. The Museum attendants waved us through, wouldn’t even take our money, and directed us to start down-stairs.

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This museum is full of treasures, carefully curated, beautifully edited. The pieces they display give good information. We found something lovely in every room. MdventureMan often commented about how good this museum was about placing the find in a meaningful context:

 

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I am always interested in early needles 🙂  How man figured out how to make them from tiny bones, how they got the eyes in the needles without splitting them, fascinates me.

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December 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, ExPat Life, Quality of Life Issues, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Bonus Day in Seville and the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus

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Our dedicated tour guide, Antonio, is very dedicated and very professional, and he works very hard to keep us all happy. When we see him the next morning, and ask him when the ship will be departing, he has a perplexed look. It’s past departure time. The ship isn’t moving. An hour later, the ship isn’t moving.

Then comes an announcement; because of all the rain, the Guadalquivir River has silted up and must be quickly dredged. We will depart tomorrow.

The schedule had been to go down the river to Cadiz, and for groups to go off to visit the sherry factories in Jerez. AdventureMan and I have travelled together well for so many years because we are quick to recognize when we just don’t care. We don’t care about sherry, or how it is made (OK, OK, yes we are passing on an opportunity of a lifetime, but . . . it’s OUR lives! We know what makes us happy!) We tell Antonio we are not going to Jerez; we will spend the day in Seville.

Tour directors always look a little worried when you tell them you are going off on your own. I can imagine they have experiences that back them up, but we don’t have to take a tour just because we paid for it, and we intend to have a great day on our own. He very graciously helps us get information for the Hop-On Hop-Off bus (I had ridden the one in Barcelona and loved it) and wished us well.

We weren’t sure where we were going, but there was a tourist office nearby where they pointed us down the street and told us where we could buy the tickets. They also gave us maps of the city and the bus routes.

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The bull fighting ring:

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Tower in Maria Luisa Park

 

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December 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Boarding the Agean Odyssey

Most people come back from cruises groaning about weight gain. We had no such problem I wore my FitBit and every day, we did over 10,000 steps without even trying. All these guided tours take you up, down and around; one day somehow I climbed 23 sets of stairs!

When we reached the dock in Seville to board our ship, we were delighted at how easy the process was. We showed some paper, they gave us a card, and as you enter, you are asked to use an antibacterial hand lotion. You are shown to your cabin; your luggage is already inside. Oh, we like this!

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We have closets, cupboards and shelves, we have a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and a big bottle of champagne to welcome us (we never did drink it.) As we entered, there was a notice that the spa had a special on foot massages, and I quickly called down and reserved for two foot massages in half an hour. We unpacked, and went to the spa to have our feet soaked and rubbed – sheer heaven!

 

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Our steward, Sam, came by to introduce himself and ask if he could do anything. I asked if he could have the trash bin removed. I was joking, but by the time we came back from our foot massages, the bin was gone. I think that’s just a co-incidence 🙂

 

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We had a large walk-in shower, which we loved, and here is another feature I always love – a pull out drying cord! You can rinse out a spill, wash socks, you can do a million things with a drying cord, and best of all, it hung high above the actual shower area, so you didn’t have to worry about competing with things that were drying. I know, I know, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

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Within hours of boarding, we had a big evacuation drill. It was truly hilarious, and I am glad they mandate these things. It is kind of annoying, but I like knowing my escape route.

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Here is our view as the sun sets over Seville:

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This is the Terrace restaurant, where we ate our first night on board:

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And here is Seville, on a beautiful October night. I think that is the Golden Tower, where the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus stops. We are scheduled to leave on the high tide, early tomorrow morning, for Cadiz.

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December 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Cultural, Customer Service, Exercise, ExPat Life, Fitness / FitBit, Quality of Life Issues | , , , | 2 Comments

Bodega Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain

As soon as our guide finished talking, we quickly walked to the Bodega Mesquita and were greeted and seated within seconds 🙂 The menu was huge, but it also had photos to help us along. When we return to Seville from Cordoba, we are boarding our ship. We expect to stop in Cadiz, and have another opportunity for a dinner out, but eating in a country, in our experience, is a meaningful part of the whole experience, one we don’t want to miss!

 

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They bottle their own brand of oil and vinegar:

 

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When we got there, there were only a few people, but within minutes every seat was taken. This is the interior:

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We wanted to try real Spanish gazpacho; it was really good. AdventureMan says mine is better, but I think the taste was close. I like mine, too, but I was happy to taste REAL gazpacho and to find mine was not far off. We also had a mixed salad.

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Then we had a pork steak of the region. Things came one by one, there were also some meatballs, but somehow we didn’t get a photo of those.

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By the time this little tuna steak arrived, we were stuffed. We had split the dishes, and thought it would be about right, but we ordered too much, and we also ran out of time. AdventureMan had to pay the bill while I used the (very clean) restroom, and we raced to try to find silver filigree jewelry in our ten minutes before the meeting up time, which was a hopeless thing to do. Oh well, I do have enough jewelry 🙂

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December 25, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Restaurant, Travel | , , | Leave a comment