‘I May Take a Holiday in Spain’

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Flamenco dancing at Cerviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant down here in St. Pete is good, but it doesn’t compare to the dancing in Sevilla, Spain. I studied in Sevilla for seven weeks during the summer between my junior and senior years and dream of someday going back to see my host family, revisit the city’s historic sites and speak the language.

My love for the city was rekindled this weekend when I read a New York Times travel piece that describes Sevilla as “easily Spain’s most flamboyant city.” The written story is accompanied by photos that tell a tale of their own, capturing images that resonate with my memories of the place.

I lived in a barrio called Triana, which was right next to El Rio Guadalquivir and el torro del oro, a “tower of gold” built by the Moors in the 12th century (see photo below). One of the great things about living in Triana, and in Sevilla in general, was that everyone spoke Spanish. My host mother, Pepa, and her husband, Paco, didn’t know any English, so I had no choice but to speak the language.

Like many Spaniards, Pepa and Paco started their night on the weekends at midnight and wouldn’t come home until about 3 a.m. If I didn’t go out, Pepa would ask me, “Que pasa? Estas enferma? Por que no estas afuera con sus amigos?” (What’s happening? Are you sick? Why aren’t you going out with your friends?!) I’d try telling her I was just tired — not sick — but I’m not so sure she believed me. She always had enough energy because she routinely took a two-hour siesta every day. I think we should start a “bring the siesta to America” movement. Everyone always seems to be in a huge rush, over-tired, stressed, etc. here. Why not break during the day — close our shops, stop working — and just relax for a couple hours? Seems like a great idea to me…

I could ramble on and on about Seville, but I’ll let the Times article and the links to the photos below tell you the story of this city. Here’s a song I like by the Counting Crows that reminds me of Spain. (The music video’s cheesy, but the song is good.)

This Times piece about frugally traveling cross-country is also worth a look. How cool would it be to travel across the country with a friend and write about it? This is definitely on my list of things to do before I die.

Where do you want to travel/what city do you want to write about?

Photos I took:

Flamenco dancers working up a sweat


Torre Del Oro

La Catedral

Me and my super cool Spanish professor, Jose

El Bidet, just for kicks

Other Spanish cities I visited:

Cordoba – Inside La Mezquita (the mosque)

Fountain in Granada’s Alhambra

Bridge in Ronda

Rolling hills in Ronda