Mihail Pandrea reviews his first Ryder team trip, where Team Malcolm visited sunny Seville, the capital of Andalusia in Spain.
On a foggy November morning, suspense was growing around the whole of the UK for the South Africa v England final in the Rugby world cup. People across the UK were establishing themselves on their sofas for the historic Saturday morning game. Conversely, Team Malcolm were propping a phone up with salt and pepper shakers in the Wetherspoons at Edinburgh Airport, waiting to board their flight to one of the most important cities in the Iberian Peninsula, at half time.
The Urbis – once known as ‘Spal’ during Tartesian times, ‘Ishbiliya’ during the Moorish period or ‘Hispalis’ during the Roman era – is now the setting of modern day Seville. The Andalusian capital was awaiting the members of the Glasgow team with sunshine and temperatures that not even the most positive Scotsman would expect in November.
Whilst Seville was the birth place of two of the Roman Empire’s most important emperors, Traianus and Hadrian, it could also be said that everyone in Team Malcolm has links to the Roman Empire. Traianus was the conqueror of Dacia (modern day Romania) and Hadrian was the conqueror of Britannia. Hadrian was followed in power by Antoninus Pius, the leader of the successful military campaign that ended up with the construction of the Antonine wall just a few miles from Glasgow. This trip was therefore a pilgrimage of sorts, providing an opportunity to trace back the roots of an important stage in our common history.
History aside – as soon as we arrived, we checked in to our centrally located, warm and welcoming flat in Calle Cristobal de Castillejo. After a short wait, our host Pedro showed us around, gave us his introduction and set us free to enjoy what those on Spanish time might call a late breakfast. To us, it was 14:00.
When in Ro….Seville, do as the Andalusians do – what better way to start the day than with a vast selection of delicious tapas? We were spoiled for choice and realised that the Romans weren’t always right. If the Romans came with “divide et impera” (divide and conquer), we went for unity and all agreed that “There is no I in tapas”. This phrase quickly became the motto of Team Malcolm’s trip. We spent the rest of the afternoon near Plaza el Cabildo, exchanging ideas and getting to know more about each other, all while having a good laugh over a vino or two.