20th March 2017
I lead a hard life. Before flying back from Huelva, we had a wander around Seville and stopped for lunch in a once-genuinely, now tourist-pleasingly rustic restaurant.
The first time I came to Seville was when I was living in Granada. The two cities are rivals, sort of. The sevillanos just don’t seem to have particularly noticed. But the first time I visited, I was warned that if I prefered the sevillana beer Cruzcampo to the granadina Alhambra, I may as well stay there. (I didn’t; Cruzcampo is dirty water to Alhambra‘s crystal depths).
But it is a beautiful city. We wandered through the old town and La Triana, passing by the Giralda and stopping by the Iberoamerican exhibition palace in the plaza de España.
Last time I was here, I ate swordfish with a jam sauce in the centre. I remember being blown away by everything we ate, even if the other dishes escape me now.
This time, my girlfriend took me to a rstaurant that made a mark on her many years previously (around the same time I was there. Possibly the exact same time! Maybe we sat in the same bar, oblivious that we would meet and fall in love many years later!). Unlike mine, her restaurant hadn’t closed since.
In this oppulent city, I indulged in ruby-red tomatoes aliñados and rich solomillos al oporto, cleaning the plate with the fresh bread; and then ordering more solomillo, this time in roquefort sauce (al roque).
Our trip ended with a few beers outside a market on the edge of the Gualdaquavir. Years earlier, before ever coming to Seville, before speaking Spanish, I went to the cinema outside of Granada and watched a film following that river from source to ocean. It ended on a fox frolicking on a beach in the Gulf of Cádiz; it began up in the hills of Granada.