Sunday, July 31, 2011

Street-Walking and El Corte Inglés

Thursday marked two weeks since our arrival in Sevilla.  Hotel-living is getting old.  Especially hotel-living on the edge of the city center rather than within the city center.  In 95 to 100 degree heat, we'd much rather not have to walk the extra 10 or 15 minutes to get to the heart of things.  But, as they say, this too shall pass.  It is Sunday in Sevilla.  Sundays tend to be very quiet here since many businesses are closed.  Sundays in July and August are just about dead, since even those businesses that are usually open have shut their doors on Sundays (and many on Saturdays, as well) these two months.  But, our hotel has been pleasant.  And the deal is incredible.  The hotel room is actually costing us less per week than our apartment.  If it weren't for the expense of eating out three meals a day, this wouldn't be bad.  Anyway, Jerry and I have been known to eat out three meals a day even when we have a kitchen.  So, I suppose I shouldn't gripe too much.  Jerry doesn't go out much in the heat of the day (nor do most people).  I don't mind it much — nor do I sweat (excuse me, Mom, perspire) like Jerry (who has been going through about three shirts a day).  So, I continue to wander on my own, exploring, marveling, and taking pictures.

AVENIDA DE LA CONSTITUCION THIS WARM SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

We patiently await (or at least we try to patiently await) the turning on of the water and electricity in our new apartment.  We have no idea when that will happen.  Perhaps Monday.  Perhaps as late, or later than, the following Monday.  Until we have electricity (which means air conditioning), we will not get our furniture from IKEA, nor will we schedule delivery of the things we had shipped from California, nor will we paint the living room, etc.  So, we're in a holding pattern.  I have drawn up floor plans and furniture to-scale, so we know exactly where everything is going and how it will fit.  Jerry has created a spreadsheet of all the dimensions, stock numbers, prices, and more, of everything we'll get from IKEA.  We're ready.

PLAZA DE CABILDO, A TINY SEMI-CIRCULAR PLAZA DISCOVERED DOWN AN ALLEY
ACROSS FROM THE CATHEDRAL.  WITHIN, A GREAT STORE FOR STAMP-COLLECTORS.

Yesterday after lunch, Jerry walked back to the cool of the hotel and I strolled the city.  It was too early to take care of some of the things I wanted to research, such as what our internet/TV/landline telephone/mobile options are — because those few stores that would have been open Saturday were closed for siesta.  So, I simply walked the streets. 

EL CORTE INGLES ON PLAZA DEL DUQUE.  MAIN STORE AND CAMERA STORE.

I shopped a bit at El Corte Inglés and will definitely have to find more practical places to shop, as just about everything is significantly more expensive than I'm used to (Jerry's usually $16 designer-chic deodorant sticks are more than $40 at El Corte Inglés).  I like to shop but I enjoy sales and premium outlet malls.  Still, El Corte Inglés is a fun place (or I should say places) to shop. 

EL CORTE INGLES, MORE FOR WOMEN ON EL PLAZA DEL DUQUE (AND THE BACK ALLEY)

In Centro (the old center of Sevilla), the department store has five buildings (unless I've missed one).  There is another large El Corte Inglés in Nervion, a more contemporary neighborhood well east of Centro.  The main store in Centro, in the Plaza del Duque, contains clothing, their famous gourmet supermarket, places to eat, cosmetics, etc.  Across the plaza is the store that carries books, cameras, and other personal eletronics.  On another corner of the plaza is more women's clothing.  A few streets away are two more El Corte Inglés stores.  One carries furniture; the other is for appliances, housewares, hardware, electronic keyboards, mobile phone company counters.  It's hard to keep track.  We met Albert our first day in town in front of, per his instructions, El Corte Inglés.  He told me which one, electronics.  I didn't realize there were more than the three on the Plaza del Duque and thought "electronics" meant the one that carries cameras.  Poor Albert (and Jerry) stood waiting in the hot sun.  I'm grateful for cell phones.  Albert is half Swedish.  Jerry is half Norwegian.  They both change their shirts often.

WHERE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE.  ON THE PLAZA DE LA MAGDALENA.

12 comments:

  1. Hello Mitch:
    We do so very closely identify with all the shops closing at the weekend. This is something which happens in Budapest but it is something we really rather like and approve of as it distinguishes the weekend from week days.

    We very much hope that you have someone on hand to iron all of Jerry's shirts!!

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  2. Your photos are super and while I envy you the sun, I don't ency you the 40C temperatures. But once August is done with, it should get back to a perfect temperature. I agree that while El Corte Ingles is wonderful, it is pricey. Mind you, welcome to Europe. Kiss goodbye to USA retail bargains. You might want to spend a few minutes browsing this web site http://spain.angloinfo.com/
    You can pick a region within Spain. We found the French site quite helpful for recommendations for things like phone/internet service. You can search by topic in the business section (top) or discussion (bottom of the page). There isn't a Seville version yet but one such as Valencia will be useful for news re Telefonica ADSL etc.
    Good luck, and poor Jerry!

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  3. In time you'll learn to live with the seasons.

    Everything imported from the US is costly, due to import taxes. See if Amazon UK or France carries the products you liked at home [USA] or switch to a local producer.

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  4. J&L: I think we'll adjust to stores being closed as well (especially since we now need help distinguishing weekdays from weekends). As for ironing: Fortunately Jerry does his own. But, we mostly buy shirts that don't need ironing (he does better at that than I, which means I have several shirts that are rarely worn) and we'll probably continue to take our laundry to be done (and we can then possibly have them iron what needs it).

    Craig: Thanks so much for the link. We are constantly on the lookout for this kind of help. It was difficult enough to understand our options in California. Understanding our options in Spanish... argh! And, yes, poor Jerry!

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  5. Peter: Thanks so much for the Amazon UK and France advice. We've got a lot to learn.

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  6. That first picture is absolutely gorgeous.

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  7. Bob: Thanks. I was quite pleased with myself!

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  8. Just catching up with you guys! Sevilla looks to be a WONDERFUL place to get 'stuck in' for a while. Looks very neat and tidy. Hope the electricity gets turned on soon so you can get started on things.
    Thanks for dropping by today.

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  9. I think we have discover a great photographer in this blog.
    Great captures Mitch, you should work for Loneny Planet, you picked up Sevilla´s essence in each picture.
    Good Job!

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  10. First I want to comment on your Photography. You have a good eye, it is refreshing to see a perspective where someone uses the forefront to give depth to the shot and I also like how you take your time to frame a great shot.

    I want to share one of my favorite things from Spain. It is silly, but it is soap. If you can find it look for Maja Soap in El Corte Ingles. It has a really great scent. I remember when i was just a little boy, my father would go to Spain all the time, he would bring this back for my Mom. It is a great soap, try it. It was on my list on my recent visit.

    Scott
    www.travelwithscott.com

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  11. Scott: Thanks for the compliments re my photography. I have a degree in art, but have never had the patience for the mechanics of photography. The composition, however, is something I enjoy. I'll check out Maja soap at El Corte Ingles; hope it's not as expensive as Jerry's deodorant!

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