We chowed down at the Bar Estrella our first night in Seville, thanks to our hotel staff’s recommendation for a local, not too touristy tapas bar in the area. The waiter was hard to understand, and with our habilidades del idioma, we surely weren’t the easiest, either…but we made it work and didn’t have to fall back to speaking English. He was good-natured about our attempts, and we could see that he appreciated it. Throughout the whole trip, we never found a single case where someone tried to switch to English on us after we started out in Spanish — what a refreshing change from our first couple years of living in Germany!
The English-language menu was the only thing we found in the place that seemed the least bit tourist-oriented (they had a small, paper, English version on the table of the Spanish-language menu published in chalk on the wall and out on the street), and it was a godsend. Nuestro vocabulario de la cucina no es suficiente. Especially for excluding things like seafood or squash. We tromped around in the rain a bit, killing time, waiting for the restaurant scene to wake up for the night.
The next day was also a bit rainy, but it eventually blew out. We spent most of the day in and around the world’s third largest church building. It has a special significance to those of us familiar with Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, since its design was inspired by this cathedral. The sheer size completely wore us out, which is why we didn’t get a whole lot else done this day. Except eat some jamón. You can always do that. It’s hard not to. We were still tired from our full-day-of-arrival travel, so a quiet walk through a peaceful place was a nice way to start the first real day of vacation. It annoyed us at first that the Cathedral had an admissions fee, (they don’t require one at our Dom!) but we got over that quickly, once we got inside. I was pretty shocked and amazed that they didn’t prohibit flash or tripod photography (except in some very specific areas) inside the cathedral. We spent a good three hours walking around the guts of the place and climbing the tower — a twisty-turny continuous spiral ramp with interesting viewpoints and exhibits along the way up/down instead of 32 flights of stairs. We really could have spent more time in there, as the audio guides were rich in detail, but after about the twenty-second stop on the audio tour, we started to lose track of exactly which of the 80 chapels currently loomed before us.
Click ’em to embiggen ’em.