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Seville Part 2
Iberian Adventure:
Savoring Seville As We Wave Adiós
(Dispatch #14)

Story and photos by Tom Weber

Pedro and his horse-drawn carriage, Seville

he 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.


horse-drawn carriage driving around the Plaza España, Seville

Aboard a classic horse-drawn carriage, pulled by a caballo blanco named Flamenco and driven by Pedro, we rattle across the cobble.

driving around Barrio Santa Cruz on horse-drawn carriages

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.

flamenco show at the El Patio Sevillano

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 of sangria.

lady flamenco dancer performing at the El Patio Sevillano

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 (handclaps).

a flamenco couple onstage

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.

flamenco dance troupe

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 euro.

No less than eight appetizers are plated before us along with a delightful flan dessert. Salud!

Iberian Adventure brochures from Insight Vacations

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."

the band of merry media

Insight Vacations motor coach

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 in style.

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 magnífico!

Related Articles:
Can't 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

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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

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Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: Thanks for stopping by and commenting..


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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal

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