10 Things I Think About Seville

1. Spained

I think "Spaining" is an inevitable part of any holiday in Spain. "Spaining" is any delay, inaccuracy or inconvenience that happens when in Spain. It is a cyclical process. The waiter or shopkeeper who is "Spaining" you is also being "Spained" by a fellow Spaniard. Their car park was probably too small to get out of or the button that opens the washing machine was missing. That is the reason why they haven't brought you your beer or have decided to close all of the checkouts in the supermarket. It's not some personal vendetta. The best way to deal with "Spaining" is to embrace it and enjoy the experience,it's not malicious and by the end of the holiday you will look forward to it each day.

2. AirBnB

I think the AirBnB was beautiful, a four bedroom apartment about a 10 minute walk from the centre. The owner liked art, particularly religious art. The walls were crowded in paintings. My bedroom was like a shrine from Knock. I felt very safe and holy. We never got around to doing our own paintings, I'm sure they would have been appreciated. The car park improved my driving skills no end, not sure it did much for the clutch of the rental car.

3. Running

I think Seville is a great city for running. It's not that big but thanks to the numerous white elephant sports facilities and expo parks there are lots of safe off road running paths. The wide promenade along by the river was perfect for sessions. The city also has a great network of two way bicycle paths which are ideal for running on. The cobbled streets aren't great for running but it's good for ankle strength.

4. Bread, Olive Oil and Iberico Ham

I think that fresh bread, olive oil and ham is the perfect fuel for running. It's perfect for breakfast lunch and dinner. It's also good as a snack. I like Iberico ham a lot.

5. Fluimucil

I don't think Fluimucil was in the jiffy bag. Inspired by the contents of Bradley Wiggins's jiffy bag I was anxious to try out this Team Sky marginal gain. It was a major disappointment. Fluimucil is everywhere in Spanish pharmacies, it's just a decongestant that Spanish people use when they get a headcold. I bought a few boxes just in case. It had nothing to do with the sub 3:00 minute km pace that the race results in Chipiona credited us with. That was Spain. I do think that it cleared my headcold.

6. "We don't have"

I think that it is a perfectly acceptable practice in Spain to offer a person an extensive menu of tapas, give them 20 minutes to choose and then when they order, reply "we don't have". This will be repeated for all of the nice sounding dishes on the menu. It's clever when you think about it.

7. Cod

I don't think I've ever seen someone order Cod with vegetables and then receive a plate containing no Cod.

Peak "Spaining".

8. Top 3 Restaurants

1. El Traga, best waiter in Spain, best steak and best Sangria.

2. Veloute, just across the road from the AirBnB. Great mini burgers, Hierbas is a nice digestif.

3. Los Palillos, Japanese beef curry was the best dish I ate (almost as good as bread ham and olive oil).

Honourable mention, Meson Guadalquivir home of the black pudding Irish breakfast tapas that fuelled Michael Herlihy to victory in Chipiona.

Worst Restaurant, Tribeca, where John got codded.

9. Meal Times

I think it is impossible to eat in Spain between 5pm and 830pm. Every restaurant closes at 5pm, just as all the foreign tourists are getting hungry. This could be deliberate I'm not sure. If you get to 5pm and are hungry it's going to be a long evening unless you've stocked up on ham bread and olive oil or failing that a box of cornettos.

10. New Years Eve

I think New Years Eve in Seville was unusual. The Sevillians only start to go out at midnight to eat their grapes. Every restaurant is closed. We left the apartment just before midnight and wandered down into the centre anticipating some sort of countdown or fireworks. A huge crowd had gathered in the square to celebrate New Years. Then the clock hit midnight...nothing, this is Spain we thought, it might just be late. The fireworks never did go off, they'll probably go off some day next week, it being Spain no one will care.