09.05.2012 - 09.05.2012
Our next stop was Ecija, a small town with big heat, situated in a valley between sandy hills with a desert-like landscape. It is known by the locals as la sartenilla de Andalucia – the frying pan of Andalucia – because it gets so hot there (it once reached 52°). It was roasting hot and the only solution was to sit around doing not much and eating magnum icecreams!
Ecija is known for its skyline; eleven tall baroque church towers covered in glistening, brightly coloured tiles. When we arrived in the town, we were surprised to find it felt quite deserted, like the heat had forced everyone into a constant siesta. We worked our way through the brilliant white streets to the palm-shaded main square where we sat and enjoyed the surrounding architecture and watched life pass by us. The town lost many of its old buildings during an earthquake in 1755 and everything was rebuilt in the baroque style, so the town has a different look to others we have visited in the region.
In the late afternoon we ventured into one of the churches where there was a service taking place. There was a nice courtyard and we were greeted in Spanish by a local man but unfortunately our Spanish wasn’t good enough to make conversation, it’s a shame as we haven’t had much chance to get to know local people since arriving in Spain.
However, we did manage to practise our Spanish before we left the next morning. Our hotel was located out of town near a service station and there was a ‘diner’ that served breakfast. When we arrived it was packed full of people at the bar and all the tables were full. The waiting staff were rushed off their feet and literally throwing things around. It was chaos and there was Spanish being shouted all around us. We decided to throw ourselves in at the deep end and worked our way towards the front, eventually managed to grab someone’s attention and even managed to get ourselves understood in placing an order. Success came served as toasted fresh bread covered with a tomato salsa, freshly squeezed orange juice and strong coffee. It was all delicious; no wonder the place is so popular.
We only stayed in Ecija for one night, so after our well-earned breakfast we drove towards Seville, the ‘greatest city of the Spanish South’, to see what all the hype is about….