As the air breathes still, the heat seems to gasp and goad, and then lie back in a tired exhausted stupor. And yet Sevilla is alive. Alive and throbbing and intensely romantic. Even at evenings at 41 degrees. This is a city where stories are experienced, not heard; a city where lonely alleys have more to tell you than huge monuments; a city where literature could be written in graffiti, and poetry could be sung in sunny cafes. This is a city that would probably hurt you…maybe exhaust you…maybe even kill you. But it’s a city where you will fall in love. With it, with the world, with yourself. Romance, thy name is Sevilla.
Every day my cousin and me would brave the heat and the crowds and walk along ancient buildings, sometimes taking shelter from the crowds in narrow deserted alleys, and then back into joy and fervor of the city. And we always – always discovered something beautiful and amazing – whether it was a small hidden bakery, a quiet church, an old bookshop, or an old traditional bar where old men greeted us with toothy smiles.
And then was this day where we were desperately searching for Flamenco performances. Our hotel had suggested a show which would cost us 32 euros each. It was a lot of money, and if you know me, you would know that I am quite cheap. 🙂 But more than that, I wasn’t sure if this was the best way of watching a show. I remembered how I had got conned in Vienna – a lot of hotels and travel companies recommend shows like the Opera and ballet, and I had gone along with one show that my hotel had recommended. While it was not bad, and I had quite a good time, I knew it was a show created only for tourists. A few days later I realized the difference when I watched the real thing – a ballet in the Erkel theatre in Budapest. Since then I have been quite wary about watching shows in touristy places.
Anyway, I decided not to go with the hotel’s recommendation, and do a bit more research on the net. Of course as always, the research never happened, and we spent all our time roaming about in the city (and I am not complaining.) And then on our last day as we were looking for a place for dinner, we saw this nice little restaurant where they were having a Flamenco show. There were no charges for watching the show, though of course you would have to eat at the restaurant. A quick look at the menu, and we realized that while the food would cost us more than our usual fast food dinner, it was still quite affordable.
And we watched this show…I am not sure if it’s quite authentic, and I am quite aware that it’s probably catering for tourists like me. But I have to also say that I really enjoyed the performance – the dancer was great but I couldn’t but help admire the voice of the singer. She’s not wearing a mike – but how powerful is that voice (doesn’t come through in the video), and combined with the clapping and the music – beautiful! One of my favorite memories of Sevilla.
P.S: I am not usually a big fan of shows in restaurants. I find it quite annoying when people are eating and drinking rather than concentrating on the performance. This time it felt okay – maybe because it was a small place or maybe because we were sitting right at the front and didn’t really have anybody pouring wine over our heads. Or it could be more that most of the spectators really seemed to enjoy the performance, and were really enthusiastic about it.