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Monday, August 30th "Sevilla: siempre de obras; And the prices go up..."

For the visitors in town beware that Sevilla is under heavy road construction. Some roads leading to the center have been cut off while the water utility replaces pipes, etc. Add that to the road closings due to the work on the metro and it's quite a mess. You will always be able to find houses in the center being renovated as well. It doesn't make for a pretty city at the moment. When I walk out my door and take a right I see the iglesia Santa Catalina under renovation, then a green barrier on calle Juan de Mesa which blocks my view of anything. They were scheduled to be finished with the road work on the 27th, but like many things in Seville it's taking a little longer. And the plans don't ever seem to stop. Starting in 2005 will be a project to reurbanize the Alfalfa area, meaning work on Plaza Alfalfa, Plaza Salvador, Plaza del Pan and Plaza de la Pescaderia. The end of this project is slated for 2007! All means a better center in Sevilla and we will all benefit in one way or another from it all. But in between we suffer through the ugliness, noise and dust of upgrading.

September price increases are here! August is a time for the sales in all the stores, the hotel rates are low and many businesses are closed for vacation or renovations. Come September everyone pays for the down time and remodeling with higher prices. For example, Las Columnas, a gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, has just been renovated. And the prices went from 1,20€ a tapa to 1,40€. Still, it is an improvement and there is a little more room to sit now. Aside from the bar there are a few standing only tables on the other side of the wall. Perhaps one of the best investments was a refrigerated room for all the barriles de cerveza, and we noticed the difference in our first beer - it was nice and cold on a hot and humid Monday night.