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SEVILLA
Jan 13 - The Kings of the Guadalquivir

The Guadalquivir is the river that runs alongside the historic centre of Sevilla. It's very tranquil along this stretch with few rapids and clear crisp water. It was a perfect place to row and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. So we went to the nearby Club de Remo de Sevilla and signed ourselves up for a 1 month membership and some private lessons to learn the basic techniques.

At the start of the classes our instructor, Sergio, taught us the parts of the boat and how to get in and out without falling in the water. It was a bit more difficult than I expected. But after a few classes, we improved our technique to manage the boat and avoid getting stuck in the reeds along the riverside.

I really liked rowing on the river--the locals fishing in the river yelling at me to avoid their lines, ducks swimming alongside as if I was part of their pod, rowing althetes born with oars in their hands cruising past us as if we weren't moving at all, and every 100 meters feeling like I'm about to fall into the water with a giant splash. It was all very fun.

Our AirBnB host, an avid rower, called us the Kings of the Guadalquivir. I'll take it. It has a nice ring to it.

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NUMBERS 15.01.13 SEVILLA
ATM exch rate: C$1 - EUR$1.42
taxi, airport to Madrid: E$30
train, Madrid-Sevilla, last minute: E$63
train, Sevilla-Madrid, early buy: E$30
apt casco viejo, 1 month, airBnB: E$927
airBnB fee: E$84
club de remo, 1 month: E$55
club de remo, 5 private lessons: E$135



SEVILLA
Jan 22 - My Martian

I found a flamenco guitar teacher on Craigslist a couple of weeks before I arrived in Sevilla. It's so cool how we can find the people we need so easily with technology these days!

My teacher Andrés, almost half my age, played guitar since he was a kid. He has an impeccable sense of rhythm, plays everything by ear and memory, and his fingers move like well-oiled machines. He showed me flamenco techniques and I really like them--the rasgueos, golpes, and arpegios all combined. During our 4 classes, he taught me the chords and technique for a cute song called Mi Marciana by Alejandro Sans.

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NUMBERS 15.01.22 SEVILLA
4 flamenco guitar lessons: E$30

SEVILLA
Feb 1 - Beautiful Sevilla

We rented some bikes and took a tour around the city. What a beautiful place!

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NUMBERS 15.02.01 SEVILLA
bike rental, 6hrs: E$6

SEVILLA
Feb 8 - Tapas, Tapas, Everywhere!

I've been to Spain a few times before---never liked tapas. Maybe doing the tapa thing made me feel uncomfortable eating alone around tables full of people chatting and laughing with their friends. Maybe it didn't make sense to eat tapas alone when they are meant for sharing. Maybe I thought they were too expensive for what you get. Maybe I just left the restaurant feeling hungry. I don't know. But this trip, we have been eating tapas everyday like madmen. And it has been amazing!

A tapa is a small plate with a small portion of food. They are probably a third the size of a regular plate of food in Canada. The food goes from the very local and tipical like cheese and meat croquettes and chunky french fries in a tomato sauce, to fancier dishes like cigar-shaped pastries filled with hake. The prices run the gamut from 2 to 6 euros per tapa--and we found that the expensive ones did taste better!

After 28 days of eating tapas daily, almost at a different restaurant each day, we came up with a list of our favourite tapa restaurants:

La Azotea – This restaurant is in the group of places we visited with pricier menus, but it was really worth it. The chef put the finishing touches on each tapa in front of our eyes. We ordered a few of their fish tapas and each mouthful was a burst of incredible flavours.

Eslava – This place was really convenient for us as it was near our apartment. But this wasn't the only reason we like the place. The porcions are a bit small, but their creations are inventive and interesting. They have won prizes in the "Sevilla en Boca de Todos" tapa contest, and we tend to agree with that assessment. The service here was also very quick, friendly, and efficient.

Vinería San Telmo – This place is on the edge of the touristy area so after a long day walking around, it's a good place to rest your feet. The tapas here had an arabic influence with their tajines and cous cous. Delicious!

Arte y Sabor – This was the first tapa place we tried and it was a good choice to start off our month of tapas perfectly. We have been taking more of a vegetarian route lately, but their pork carrilada was too tempting. Just thinking about the taste makes my mouth water.

So overally, it was a very decadent month--we submerged ourselves into the world of tapas. Definitely, next time I'm in Spain, I'll take any chance I get to do tapas. They are delicious and I can't wait to come back to Sevilla to try even more!

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NUMBERS 15.02.08 SEVILLA
tapas for 2:
10* al medina (full dinner): E$30.00
9* la azotea: E$23.00
8.5* arte y sabor: E$21.70
8.5* eslava: E$13.70
8* pitacasso: E$15.40
7* dos de mayo: E$14.90
7* 100 montaditos: E$5.00

RONDA, CARMONA, and CÓRDOBA
Feb 9 - Daytripping

This entry is going to have pictures from the cool day-trips around Sevilla. I would write more, but I'm too lazy to write the Spanish translation of whatever I write here.

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NUMBERS 15.02.01 SEVILLA
bike rental, 6hrs: E$6

SEVILLA
Mar 29 - Return to Sevilla

We met up with Felipe's family in Berlin (sorry no time for a blog there). It was a fun stop, but coming back to the warmth of Sevilla was wonderful. Sevilla has now become one of my favourite places in Europe!

And if you are really lucky to get as nice of a family-in-law as I have, you'll have a chance to try a Sevilla orange. Sevilla oranges are not meant to be eaten, but if you're tricked into eating one then you'll know they are SOUR! They even took a secret video below!

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