By Regina Winkle-Bryan
Nancy and I started The Spain Scoop in 2008. Over the years we’ve collaborated with many talented writers based all over Spain. Zach of Not Hemingway’s Spain, Liz of Young Adventuress, Christine of Christine In Spain, Lauren of Spanish Sabores and Madrid Food Tour, Julie of Guiri Girl In Barca, Chris C of Barcelona for Idiots…the list goes on and on.
Working with these expats was an unexpected perk for us, as we didn’t imagine collaboration when we first began The Scoop. We’ve learned much from these bloggers and have been inspired by their journeys around mainland Spain and the islands.
Being based in Barcelona has meant that we’ve not always been able to meet writers in Spain face-to-face. It was on a trip to La Rioja, when I was on assignment for a magazine, that I met Liz finally. At TBEX in Girona we got to shake hands with Lauren, Julie, and Chris C. When I traveled to Tenerife to cover a story on hiking I had dinner with Linda, of Island Momma, who writes monthly posts for The Spain Scoop about her galavanting around the Canary Islands (what a life!). It’s a blast to meet these courageous and interesting people who we often feel like we already know well because of our online relationships with them.
We still hadn’t met Cat of Sunshine and Siestas, or Karen McCann who wrote Dancing in the Fountain, or Fiona of Scribbler In Seville, all of whom live in Seville, in Andalusia. Though Nancy and I have been to Seville a few times, we decided to book a Vueling flight (which was overbooked, we were bumped and then compensated $300; know your rights!) from Barcelona down south, and spend a week in one of the country’s prettiest cities.
In springtime, orange blossoms open and the streets of Seville are filled with their honeyed perfume. We love Seville. We love Andalusia. It’s so different from Barcelona and Catalonia, and it’s these differences that make traveling around Spain such a rich and rewarding experience. I felt myself relax as soon as we got out of the taxi; life moves more slowly in this part of the country.
It rained the whole time we were in Seville. It didn’t matter. We weren’t there for the weather, but to have time together (Nancy and I had lots to catch up on and gossip about!) and meet all these savvy wordsmiths.
Umbrellas out, we rushed from our flat in La Macarena (provided by Go With Oh!) area to have breakfast with Fiona before she flew to Morocco on assignment. We had tapas with Cat at the extremely popular bar La Azotea, and even ran into Shawn of Seville Tapas Tours there, by chance. We got the feeling that if you live in Seville, you run into people a lot — it’s a small town. Before leaving we had a long Spanish-style lunch with Karen and her husband at the restaurant Con Tenador, which was our favorite food experience in the city.
Most of our time was spent eating, drinking, chatting, and laughing. We did wander the Plaza España, and on one biblically rainy day, took a side-trip to Córdoba to see La Mezquita. Neither of us had been to Córdoba, and it was an effortless 45-minute ride on the Ave from Seville. Sadly, the rain (which fell sideways, bounced up, and came down in waterfalls from rooftops) prevented us from seeing much of the city, but the journey was well worth it just to experience La Mezquita, one of the most impressive buildings I’ve ever been inside; it may be a cathedral, but it feels Moorish, it feels like a mosque.
There are a few faces we still haven’t seen, namely, Robin Graham, of A Lot Of Wind, who lives in Tarifa. We’ll get down to him one of these days! This jaunt reminded us that after a trip it’s rarely the sights that you remember later, instead it’s the people you meet and the food you eat that form happy memory nuggets, recalled for many years to come.
So yeah, ‘sevilla mola’….we’ll be back again!