|CHURCH OF SAN SALVADOR ON THE PLAZA SAN SALVADOR THIS AFTERNOON.|
We went out for dinner Thursay night with Margarita. She led us to a tapas bar in a plaza we had never seen before. This was surprising considering that in my aimless as well as my purposeful wanderings I have been all around the streets surrounding the plaza and never stumbled upon it. Originally, Margarita had been aiming for a tapas bar on Plaza San Salvador. I know that plaza. The Church of San Salvador is the second largest church in the city (after the cathedral). It was built on the remains of a 9th century mosque and began to be used as a parish church in the 13th century.
|CHURCH OF SAN SALVADOR … THE SITE OF THURSDAY NIGHT’S BOTELLON.|
There is a bar across the plaza that I have noticed is always booming in the evening and late at night, filling the plaza to overflowing with people. As we turned the corner onto the plaza you could hear the buzz of revelers. Margarita immediately said, Oh, no. We’ll go around the corner to someplace quieter. No need to try and have dinner in the botellón, she said. A botellón (a big bottle) is a phenomenon that began in Andalucia in the 1980s as a way for workers to enjoy a cheap drink outdoors without paying the expensive (at the time) bar prices. It has evolved into a popular activity for young adults. The crowds looked mostly to be in their early 20s. So, the mobs I always see in this plaza are not only the overflow from the popular bar.
|THE TAPAS RESTAURANT DURING THE DAY.
THE BAR (BEHIND THE TREE) WAS CLOSED.
We headed out of the plaza and around the corner to a smaller plaza. To Margarita’s consternation, it looked like another botellón. Mobs of people stood everywhere. The tapas bar she was headed for sat right next to the crowd and had lots of empty tables. We didn’t know if people were waiting to be seated. Margarita walked up to the host and asked and he laughed and said the tables were all available. The crowd was simply overflowing the patio from the bar next door. So, this was not a botellón. It was just a popular bar.
|THE VIEW FROM OUR TABLE THURSDAY NIGHT.|
We sat at a table and proceeded to enjoy yet another incredible tapas meal in Sevilla. We passed back through Plaza San Salvador and a now even larger mob. But, except for a guy peeing against a wall in a side alley, there was no unpleasant or rowdy behavior. Of course, botellónes continue until the wee hours of the morning. So, there’s no telling what went on once we were snug in our beds.