| Iberian Adventure:
Savoring Seville As We Wave Adiós
Story and photos by Tom Weber
intrepid "band of merry media" and I, 29 travel writers and
photographers invited by Insight Vacations (Insight) to experience a
portion of its Iberian Adventure through Portugal and Spain,
have cleaned up pretty well a shower, sport coat and a spritz
of cologne for me as we gather outside the Meliá
Sevilla Hotel for our final, jam-packed evening.
A twilight carriage ride, a passionate
flamenco show and a tasty tapas dinner inside Seville's
oldest tavern await.
Aboard a classic horse-drawn carriage,
pulled by a caballo blanco named Flamenco and driven by Pedro,
we rattle across the cobble.
Down tree-lined streets that wind around
spacious Parque de Maria Luisa, past postcard-perfect Plaza España
and the impressive Cathedral of Seville, and across atmospheric Barrio
Santa Cruz we go until the clippety-clop finally stops and we dismount
right outside El
Patio Sevillano, a 300-seat theatre that's home to some of the
fieriest flamenco in all of Andalusia.
Short of slipping on a pair of classic,
well-worn, Gallardo black leather boots and obligatory tight-fitting
pants, I do the next best thing: grab a front row seat and order a glass
For the uninitiated, flamenco is a form
of Spanish folk music and dance with roots dating back to 18th century
Andalusian gitanos (gypsies). It's the combination of cante
(singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas
I'm so close to the action I've
got beads of dancer's sweat dotting my jacket to prove it that
I feel as if I'm a member of this colorful troupe as the rhythmic stamping
of heels on hardwood vibrates underneath my chair.
I can't control myself and jump to my feet
repeatedly with shouts of OLE!
Hey, it's what you do in Seville.
We started this journey back in Lisbon
and now find ourselves around long tables in a private room up on the
second floor of El
Rinconcillo, Seville's oldest tavern since 1670 for cryin'
out loud where we're putting the finishing touches on this Iberian
Adventure the best way possible: feasting on an assortment of mouthwatering
tapas washed down by some excellent rioja, and all on Insight's
No less than eight appetizers are plated
before us along with a delightful flan dessert. Salud!
For complete information on Insight's 112
premium and luxury-escorted journeys around Europe, including 10 highlighting
Portugal and Spain, just click HERE,
or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.
This brings to a close the Iberian Adventure
and, with it, the end of the road for this latest edition of the intrepid
"band of merry media."
Over the past week, we've been treated
to some of the very best signature sights, sounds and savors that the
Iberian Peninsula has to offer, thanks, in large part, to the gifted
and knowledgeable Insight staff, all well-versed in the art of touring
With over 35 years of experience in the
travel industry, Insight seamlessly took care of everything, from first
arrival to final departure, with nary a hiccup in between. You really
are in excellent hands with Insight no matter the destination.
Adiós Iberia. You've been
We All Just Get Along in Córdoba?; I'm
Not a Barber, But I Am in Seville; Evora's
Priced Iberian Ham; The
Medieval Village of Monsaraz; Enchanting
Évora, Portugal's Laid-Back Museum City; Sampling
World-Class Wines at the Alentejo