Puente de Isabel II (bridge) between Triana and Seville over the Guadalquivir river

Today was the day to pack up in Jerez and move to Seville.

We spent 9 days in Jerez for the festival and enjoyed all of our time.

After one last breakfast at Albores—alas, they do not offer churros—we finished packing and Patricia did her usual thorough cleanup. The weather in Jerez seems to be changing. It was a little cooler with a fairly strong breeze that made me sorry I went out without my hat.

It can be tricky to find a cab in Jerez, but this time we had no problem. We got to the station quickly and began our wait. We always get there well in advance of the train departure because—well, I don’t know why exactly, but one of us wants to be early. While we were standing in the ticket line, Patricia spotted someone with an Albuquerque Flamenco Festival tee shirt and introduced herself. It was someone who regularly travels to Albuquerque for the festival in June and she knew some of the same people we know. It is indeed a small world when you can meet someone in a train station in Jerez who attends the same festival that you do, thousands of miles away.

Today it wasn’t raining when we left Jerez. In the past it has rained and two years ago parts of the train’s right-of-way were flooded and we had to slow down a lot. This time we were able to see the agricultural industry between Jerez and Seville getting ready for spring. There was a lot of activity in the fields.

The trip between the two cities is quick, even though we were on a train with stops. It took an hour and 5 minutes to cover about 50 miles. 

Our apartment wasn’t ready when we arrived, but we were able to store our bags while they got the apartment ready. Marta, the woman who checked us in, was quite helpful. While we were waiting, we ate lunch at a restaurant we have been visiting for years and we had some ice cream from one of the best ice cream places anywhere. The weather is cooler here than it was in Jerez, but we did not mind.

Our apartment in Seville

The apartment is on a street where we have stayed before, so we know how to get where we want to go. It is a nice place with its own set of quirks. It is a loft apartment, which means we have stairs inside. On the other hand, it has no external stairs which is a nice change from Jerez where we had to go up/down 49 stairs to get to street level. It seems well equipped and and very clean.

This evening we had lined up a “Tapas and Flamenco” experience. The idea was to meet with someone who knows flamenco and would take us to locations in Triana, a district of Seville known for its flamenco (and bullfighting) traditions for conversations about Triana and flamenco before seeing a flamenco performance. There was one other couple in the group and we all got along quite well.

Kati is a professional dancer and knows flamenco culture well because her family has been in flamenco for many years. She took us to a couple of places where we sampled about 10 tapas while we got acquainted and learned about Triana and flamenco. Then we went to a taverna (like the tabancos in Jerez) where we sampled more tapas while Kati and Maria got ready for their show.

Kati performing at T de Triana

The show itself was based around the tradition of “family flamenco” which is where the flamenco we know today originated and which still takes place, although not like it used to. At T de Triana, the taverna, flamenco is performed in a small area which can seat fewer than 30 people. Before each number, Kati and Maria would give some background on the palo (song style) and what the cantaor and guitarra were going to do and how they would interact with the bailaoras (dancers). They even sometimes explained the “compás,” which is the rhythm that goes with the music and dance.

One can never tell how tours like this will turn out. For us, this tour turned out very well. We had a good time and learned more about flamenco.

BTW, I should mention that Patricia had us stop for ice cream twice today and she ended up consuming 4 scoops.

Tapas and flamenco group with Kati and Maria

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