As we tend to do when we travel to Europe, we booked the hotel for the day before we arrived in Spain. It seems like a waste of money to many, I'm sure, but we've spent too many first days of our trips walking around like zombies until a 2 or 3pm check-in, lugging around camera bags and other stuff that we want don't want to leave at the hotel, that we really think it's worth it to get to the hotel at 9am, sleep for 3 hours, and wake up, energized, and go out trying to find a place that is actually open for lunch at 12pm. Restaurants typically aren't--open at 12pm--and if they are, we're the first customers. Bleary-eyed Americans. At the very least, somewhat well-rested Americans who had a chance to brush their teeth. Well worth it, again. Please, people, brush your teeth more often.
But I'm not here to tell you about my breath or complain about yours. I'm here to tell you that the first thing we did in Sevilla, after napping, brushing our teeth (as far as you know), and having an uneventful meal, was meet a neighbor-friend, who has a semester abroad Sevilla. Kids these days, with their privilege.
This young friend gave us some information about Sevilla and the culture that may or may not have been news to people more than twice her age. But the one thing she told us, which had us on the edge of our uncomfortable little Spanish outdoor table seats, was that Mercado del Barranco, one of the more famous markets in Sevilla, has an outdoor seating area with couches and comfy seats down by the river, and you can get food from the market, and a bottle of wine, and sit there down by the river, and well she had me at "couches."
Of course we rolled in to Mercado del Barranco at about noon. You know, before it was open. I mean who in southern Spain eats lunch at noon. Who shops for food in southern Spain before noon. No one. Not even Americans. But that didn't stop us from trying.
It didn't take long to get through the market, really. It's quite small, certainly compared to Boqueria Market in Barcelona, and even the smaller less-known markets in Barcelona that we roamed around. But it's bright and beautiful. And based on pictures I've seen, it probably ROCKS at night. Like when I'm in bed.
After walking around the largely un-open market for 20 minutes, we headed to those comfy seats, down by the river, and waited for the place to come to life.
We couldn't have been happier spending our last day in Sevilla lounging on the comfy chairs, eating little nibbles, and sipping vino tino and vermut. I think we spent about 3 hours there, and don't regret a second of it.
It's a beautiful structure, Mercado del Barranco, which I've read was designed by Eiffel, of the tower fame. Or his son. Or cousin. Or not. Who knows. It's really not large enough to worry about that or google it. What matters is the comfortable seating, the vino, and the foodstuffs.
Here's some stuff from the market that we didn't eat, and then stuff we did eat.
Tacos al pastor
Mercado del Barranco : Calle Arjona, S/N, 41001 Sevilla, Spain : Down by the river