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  • Hola Fabulous Flamenco

  • LESLEY-JOY WOOD  | CONSULTUS CARER FROM 2005 TO 2016

    The Andalician Flamenco Festival had been diarised for a year. This was the first time I have been as it’s held for just three weeks, from mid-February to early March annually – it was more exciting than I could ever have imagined!

    Flamenco's raw passion transports you into a unique Spanish culture known as 'duende', an emotional journey depicting many different feelings.

    Seville

    SevilleSeville is vibrant and architecturally breathtaking. We stayed in the old part of town, in what had been a 17th century convent, now converted into a boutique hotel. It was very well positioned for all the main attractions.

    In between Flamenco performances we marvelled the majestic Seville Cathedral and The Alcazar. The Cathedral is where Italian 14th century explorer Christopher Columbus is buried – a tribute no doubt for his influence in establishing Spanish/foreign trade. The Alcazar is an ancient palace with wonderful gardens dating back to the 11th century, with various rulers over the years adding extraordinary architecture. It is a tranquil and beautiful sanctuary, unexpected in the centre of a busy classical and sophisticated city that gives and gives around each corner.

    Attending a performance of Flamenco at the Museo del Baile gave exceptional insight to the many facets of this dramatic dance; transporting us from sadness to elation, romance, unrequited love and pure passion. It was provocative, suggestive and very exciting. The dance originating from Byzantine chants to Roma gypsies’ expressive storytelling and prominent to this region.

    There were tapas bars on every corner and the café culture was easy to embrace for the marvellous coffee and the very good food. We tried duck liver served on crisp rounds of bread with a mild cream melt-in-the-mouth sauce. It was so delicious we requested a second helping! Happy, smiling and welcoming waiters were in every establishment, who were clearly proud of their food and culture.

    Triana, an older traditional Flamenco area, is a short walk across the river and was originally a part the gypsies lived and frequented because of the bustling trade along the riverbanks. Now, Triana is brimming over with dance schools hosting worldwide students, and with many shops selling the colourful flounced dresses, silk fringed shawls and leather shoes worn so proudly by the performers. We were saddened to leave this beautiful city, but our journey by train onto Jerez de la Frontera takes only an hour.

    Jerez de la Frontera

    Jerez de la Frontera CathedralPlunged into the very heart of Flamenco in the ancient city of Jerez de la Frontera, we are delighted by the abundance of its bars/sherry bodegas hosting impromptu performances, plus its wonderful intimate theatres, offering up to five shows per night.

    The Spanish way of life appears more prominent with shops/restaurants trading from 10am-2pm, closing for siesta and re-opening at 6pm until late. Except Sundays, which is obviously family day, having Grandpa to the newest born all seated together around a table, eating, drinking and conversing loudly with much laughter, affection and gesticulating.

    Our apartment in a typical authentic Andulician homestead has a gorgeous central garden and roof terrace, bang in the middle of the action in the old part of this sprawling city. It was rustic but lovely, with a wonderful statue of ‘Lola Ferres’, a Flamenco legend immortalised outside. There's a bar on every corner with melodious strains of guitar playing enticingly out to the surrounding cobbled streets.

    Discovering the amazing fresh fish market by chance, I could not resist purchasing 30 fat juicy prawns for a mere €5.70. Cooked in a little butter and lemon, with a sprinkle of pimento to my travel companion’s delight, we shared with a glass or two of local Ribeiro wine.

    We visited the charming Tetro La Guarida Del Angel around the corner, within five minutes walking distance. Impressed by the raw quality of performances we return the following evening to a warm welcome by the local staff and Spanish patrons.

    The local carnival on our last day was a kaleidoscope of colour, with Micky and Minnie Mouse a prominent favourite on every float. We were swept into the happy festivities with ease, enjoying the laughter and camaraderie!

    Our reconnaissance feels a success and Fannys Fabulous Tours will return next year for sure – a truly uplifting, wonderful experience and well worth repeating!

    Fabulous Flamenco Tour

    • Please email Lesley-Joy to reserve your place on this exciting Fabulous Flamenco Tour, which is open throughout year, subject to availability. 
    • Budget cost for an experience you all deserve Groups are limited to six persons per trip.
    • Lesley-Joy has 20 years’ experience in Tourism and a Consultus caring background.

     

    Contact her for more info soonest Email lesleyjoy@mail.com