Saturday, 19 August 2017

LAS CASAS DE LA JUDERIA



















Our hotel in the old Jewish quarter of Seville
was out of this woooorld... 
It was a little hard to concentrate
on formalities in the Moorish-influenced reception
upon arrival,
when through the glass doors you could glimpse
a large sitting room, open all the way 
through the second floor,
surrounded by columns,
with mismatch chairs, magazines,
& a little bar at the back.























We were escorted through countless passageways
& courtyards dotted with plants and water fountains
in every shape and form,
until we were startled to find ourselves
on the opposite side of the street
from where we'd begun
and were shown to our two rooms
connected across a tiny cute courtyard of our very own. 

























Above the rooftops,
a pool and scorching afternoon sun.































I could have easily spent the whole time in Seville
getting happily lost in the labyrinth of corridors and courtyards
at Casa de Juderia, which didn't really feel like a hotel,
as it's "27 traditional houses
linked through 40 patios and gardens",
as the brochure says.






















( Not a sponsored ad this,
but gladly recommend this place
to anyone out there who gets their kicks
from old pots, stones and pillars :) )  






P.S. Here's a beautiful little video
with English subtitles
about flamenco in Seville
also partly shot in the backstreets of the hotel
by the looks of it. 
Famous flamenco bar La Carboneria
was located on a tiny street
 just behind the hotel.
When returning back late at night
through the narrow alleys,
all you wanted to do
was head towards that beat... 
Hopefully one day again,
among grownups... 














x




























Thursday, 17 August 2017

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

SEVILLA


















S. is sleeping off her flu, 
while I sit here and wonder where we’ve landed 
all of a sudden. 
In the evening, O. wants to take me to the cathedral
along a maze of winding streets. 
It’s like a tourist show out there, 
but we find some bustling streets behind 
where also locals wander. 
On our way back towards the hotel, 
we all meet up again 
& end up in a tiny bar for some tapas, 
where bottles of liquor, pictures of Jesus 
and Virgin Mary statues mingle side by side.












































The Thursday market is brimming 
with all sorts of interesting paraphernalia, 
but prices are high.
My only catch of the day is an old, 
beautifully wrapped pack of Lisbon cards. 
On our way back from the market, 
something unbelievable happened. 
I noticed a small vintage shop called Bien Chiné. 
Once inside, the owner suddenly calls my name. 
It was Nines, we’ve been following each other for years, 
it just hadn’t dawned on me that she lives here in Seville. 
Kisses on the cheeks, a flood of words, baffled smiles. 
She wanted me to choose something, 
I also wanted to buy something to take home… 
Her shop was about to close 
& she had to be somewhere else, 
but she wanted to pack everything as beautifully as you can imagine, 
and insisted on dropping the things off at the hotel. 
Later on, I hear a knock on our door 
and I’m handed a brown bag of love. 
We were all astounded by the unexpected warmth 
that came our way,
a heart of gold towards
strangers in a strange place.





























Later on, we meandered through the town 
for dinner in the old gypsy quarter Triana, 
passing the bull ring on the way. 
Teenage boys were crowding around the entrance, 
all as if in their Sunday best
of pale chinos and pastel-hued shirts. 
The bridge leading over the river to Triana 
was heaving with people, 
 gathered to watch the statue 
of Triana’s patron saint Santa Ana sailing in, 
ready for the week-long feria.































Despite the hoards of tourists, 
there’s a deeper, enticing beat to this place, 
dark secrets you’d like to uncover. 
In the velvety night, 
the spine-tingling rhythm of flamenco 
echoes from the back streets
 – it reverberates deep in the stomach, 
penetrates the soul.























S. nukkuu flunssaansa, 
minä ihmettelen, mihin tupsahdettiin. 
Illalla O. vei minut katedraalille pitkin mutkittelevia kujia. 
Siellä oli kunnon turistishow käynnissä. 
Katedraalin takaa löytyi kauppakatuja, 
joissa sentään paikallisiakin. 
Kotimatkan varrella koko perhe taas koolle, 
päädyttiin pikkuruiseen baariin tapaksille, 
jossa vierivieressä likööripullot, 
Jeesus-kuvat & Pyhän Marian patsaat.



Torstaimarkkinoilla kaikkea kiintoisaa, 
hinnat vaan korkealla. 
Saaliiksi ainoastaan vanha, kauniisti kääräisty pakka Lissabon-kuvia. 
Markkinoilta palatessamme tapahtuikin ihan uskomaton juttu. 
Huomasin pienen vintage-kaupan nimeltään Bien Chiné. 
Sisällä omistaja yhtäkkiä lausuu nimeni. 
Hänhän oli Nines, jonka kanssa olemme seurailleet toisiamme vuosikaudet, 
en vain ollut tajunnut, että hän asuukin Sevillassa. 
Poskisuudelmia, sanatulva, 
yhtä hymyä ja hämmennystä. 
Halusi, että valitsen itselleni lahjaksi jotain, 
halusin myös ostaa… 
Kauppa oli menossa kiinni, 
hänen oli oltava pian toisaalla, 
mutta halusi ehdottomasti paketoida tavarat kauniisti, 
toimittaa ne perästä hotellille.
 Illemmalla kuuluikin huoneen ovella koputus 
ja minulle ojennettiin kassillinen lempeyttä. 
Olimme kaikki häkeltyneitä tästä odottamattomasta,
hyväsydämisyydestä,
vieraille vieraassa paikassa. 


Myöhemmin illalla vaellus kaupungin halki syömään 
vanhassa mustalaiskaupunginosassa, Trianassa, 
ohi härkätaisteluareenan. 
Teinipojat parveilivat porteilla, 
kaikki kuin pyhävaatteisiin sonnustautuneina,
siistit vaaleat housut ja pastellinväriset paitapuserot. 
Trianan puolelle johtava silta pursuili ihmisiä. 
Olivat kerääntyneet katsomaan, 
kun Trianan suojelupyhimyksen Santa Anan patsas lipuu veneellä 
valmiuksissa viikon kestävään juhlintaan.



Turistimeiningeistä huolimatta 
kaupungissa tuntuu syvempi syke, 
tummia salaisuuksia, 
joita haluaa raottaa. 
Yömyöhällä takakujilta kantautuu flamencon pakahduttava rytmi 
– se värisee syvällä vatsanpohjassa, 
tunkeutuu sieluun.




















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