OH THE PLACES YOU'LL GO
Travels and wonderings whilst on a wander.
Ole me old mucker - or two go to Seville
Flamenco dancing in Seville you say? Do we get to wear a frilled shirt and stamp our feet a lot. Of course, she said. Swishy skirt and intense dance instructors? Yes. Absolutely that. I'm in I replied.
Cherry Williams has a turn (or two) in Seville.
Poor pent up worker bees can accumulate a fair bit of tension in the daily slog and if your not blessed with robust skin and the wearforall to rock a bikini (heaven forbid, we are British dontyaknow), then lying on a beach somewhere might not cut the mustard. An activity break and a physical, stamping it all out and clicking of fingers trip at that, just might release some of that stress and do the job instead.
First things first, the city itself - the smell of orange blossom in the air is a delight, oranges are everywhere, its warm, its friendly, it's beautiful and the food is pretty tasty too. We made sure we had a day's sightseeing time factored in before the classes began and I 'm so glad that we did.
Here are our favourite seven things:
1. Hot chocolate and churros on the steps of the Metropol Parasol - a giant mushroom shaped wooden beauty that shades the square. It's a walkway too, so you can get some fabulous views. We got ours from the friendly nearby Kukuchurro and they were heavenly.
2. Friendly cafes and bars - with some especially delicious tapas. We really enjoyed visiting El Rinconcillo - a stunning interior, traditional and delicious food, apparently the tapas are based on old books the owner has found. La Brunilda was another great find, hidden away behind an azure blue door, it was pretty busy with locals - always a good sign. Creative twists on the standards.
3. Get your art on - the Museo Bella Artes is a gem, housed in a stunning building with pretty courtyard, it's free to look around too.
4. The cathedral is stunning, the whole area around it is too. Pop into the courtyard square filled with orange trees, just lovely in the sunshine.
5. The Macarena district - not only do you get to sing that song to yourself, the church is especially pretty and well worth a look
6.A river walk, escape the heat and poodle on down to the river walkway with art sculptures en-route. Take ice-cream.
7. Flamenco (of course) check out the street dancers, raw, exciting and passionate. Ole
We arrived at Taller Flamenco school, just a short stroll from our hotel and came over all kids from fame sans legwarmers. A dance school at our age! The teachers (we had three) were a mixture of intense and joyful and we soon got into the hang of things. First up was 'palmas' and we spent a whole hour applauding ourselves, which was surprisingly tricky. Then dancing techniques, which was just joyful. Finally we had a dance class and put all we had learnt into a routine.
It's a marvellous stress release and its goodbye passive aggressive awkward English girl and hello, just frankly aggressive senorita - or passionate as we like to call it in the flamenco biz.
With six hours of tuition over two days, our legs certainly felt it, but to immerse yourself in the culture was a tremendous treat and an adventure that will stay with us for a lifetime.
As part of the package, we also got to see a show one evening to watch the experts in action. Their raw energy and skill was masterful.
Most of all, we can say we did it. We came, we saw, we churro-d.
The low down
We stayed at Hotel Macarena.
Things we loved:
The fresh orange juice at brekkie.
The roof terrace (there 's a pool in the warmer months).
Moorish design with pretty courtyard.
The district, just outside the city walls and a short hop to the flamenco school.
The welcome message on our mirror.
Great foodie options and room service for when you are danced out.
Our friendly barman - cava is the new prosecco dontyaknow.
We booked our weekend of flamenco with GoLearnTo. Four fabulous classes at Taller Flamenco and a trip to a show to see the professionals in action.
GoLearnTo has a great range of affordable courses from painting holidays to dancing and lots inbetween.
Is there anywhere you would like the gumption squad to visit and review? Drop us a line below.