… sadly, this is starting to sound like a refrain.

Last year’s R.C.E.A. (Royal Andalusian Carriage Club) Carriage Exhibition in the bullring was cancelled because of rain, so our CAA group missed it entirely. This year, it was cancelled because of rain again. Although this time, I was standing around on the sidewalk with many of the drivers, owners, and R.C.E.A. members, and so I was able to see the one smartly turned out commercial turnout that trotted through (it would’ve been in the exhibtion but as there was none, kept right on going) and a lovely four-in-hand of mules. They stood in the rain for a while and then turned around and drove away. Then some men cam with a trailer and took away the barriers that had been blocking off the street so the horses and carriages could gather and line up on Calle Adriano (next to the bullring). I understand that the reason these are cancelled if there’s a lot of rain (which there has been these past few days) is not so much because of the rain itself, but because the combination of the rain/mud and the horses and carriages would turn the sand surface of the bullring into a major mess for the evening’s bullfight. Soooo … still no carriage exhibition. We’ll hope that my third try is the charm, and that we’ll actually be able to see it next year.

one of the beautiful mules in a four-in-hand that showed up (briefly) for the rained-out carriage exhibition

a detail of the (wet) Andalusian-style harness on one of the mules

It turned out to be a good thing that the exhibition was cancelled because, although the skies cleared briefly, the early afternoon featured torrential downpours and thunder. At that point, a group of us (R.C.E.A. members and guests, including myself and the exhibition judges) were safely inside the carriage museum of CAA member Miguel Angel Gutierrez Camarillo, where we had gone to see his beautiful collection of restored and original-condition vehicles. I’ll have more on his collection in an upcoming issue of The Carriage Journal, and at that point, I’ll use whatever photos we can’t fit into the magazine article for a blog post here.

a row of carriages in Miguel Angel's museum; we'll have more on his collection in an upcoming issue of the CJ and in a future blog post

After our visit, we had a nice, loooong lunch. It started, as you can see, with prawns, olives, and bread. The plate behind the bread (which you can’t really see) had tuna with roasted red peppers. Later, out came plates with two kinds of Spanish ham, and then after that: fried fish and fried calamari.

mmmm ... lunch

And, finally, before I sign off for tonight … some scenes from Saturday afternoon/evening’s walk-around:

you can see orange trees all over Sevilla

a lovely, peaceful scene, no?

it turns out that around 7 p.m. is a nice time to walk around the cathedral (or pretty much anywhere in the old part of town); the tourist attractions are closed (shops are open), but most of the other tourists are gone for the day - the bride in the lower left was one of five I saw on Saturday