Here we are back in Seville! Sorry for the long wait for this post, I got caught up in Germany, you know travelling around and then the hot heatwave Europe has been having kinda distracted me away from the dark glooms of my working in a windowless room staring at a computer screen. Actually, I’m not sorry, you got to put up with me, so there!
So where was I? Oh yes, I just arrived in Seville and had some tapas with A Matador who was the spitting image of President Obama. Then I went out with some European dudes starting at 1am…only to roll in at 5am. So you can say that I wasn’t particularly too enthusiastic to get on the walking tour of Seville. Actually, I found myself on it by accident. Waking up at 10am and sipping some black coffee to stir some life in me, I was approached by an inappropriately in your face tour guide who said he was ready to pick me up along with the David and Auston. Huh? Oh…I did mention briefly yesterday that I expressed interest in doing this today but didn’t really book anything. Not wanting to waste his time, I downed the rest of my coffee, collected my camera and headed on out in the blinding sunshine that gripped the grand city of Seville. It’s actually the hottest place in Spain and it proved to be so sapping at my already dehydrated body. And I didn’t have sunglasses so the majority of Sevillian Views were spent looked at through narrowed eyes. Thank god for my camera so I can stare at the photos pretty as much as I wanted in a darkened room. Damn you, Tequila!
So as we assembled with the other pick up guides, we were led by a heavily accented Italian Guy who showed us the grand and majestic sights of Seville. And this is what I saw.
Seville remains at heart, a Catholic City. Despite the surroundings of Moorish and New World Architecture, little pieces of religious culture still permeates the hubbub of the city. You can find the nuns scurrying about at every corner but prepared to stay away from the rip off gypsies who want to read your palm. I kind of expected a fight between the two cultures but sadly, it was not to be.
As the principal autonomous city of Andalusia, Seville does give rise to the souvenir shops that is EVERYWHERE! I love souvenirs, I can’t help gravitate to one. But after a while, I began to resent them for getting in the way of traditional Spanish Culture and local shops.
Not before long, we passed through the shadow of the centrepiece of Seville’s City. The Cathedral. Okay, okay, you’ll be groaning now that there’s far too many Churches and Cathedrals in Europe and is it all that the continent has to offer? Well, Seville Cathedral is a pretty unique kind as I will talk about in the next post (a great story of the worst deaf awareness I’ve experienced there) but today, we were just seeing it from the outside. I started to come to life seeing the statues that adorned the masonry. I think I’m becoming an Architectural buff.
It takes time to walk from one end of the Cathedral to another. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely MASSIVE! But astounding moment was distracted by the horses. I was concerned about them. Walking up to one, I patted the mane and asked why it wasn’t happy being outside one of the most beautiful structures in Spain. ‘Why the long face?’ (okay, okay, that was bad.)
I’m still loving the Spanish Architecture. How quaint and ordered the windows are?! And the little bitsy balconies?! I can imagine myself waking up in the morning, reaching out to grasp the early morning sunshine in my vest and boxers, meanwhile supping on a dose of Spanish Coffee and watching the world go by. Ah, I’d love to be Spanish.
Walking around Seville is a scary affair. You are constantly felt small by the grand and wide avenues and you will automatically start running for cover especially when you reach a traffic crossing. It does takes time to get from one end to the other and you are given a countdown to get across safely, that is if the spanish drivers will decide to let you pass within the timescale offered. Usually it’s about 10 seconds. I pity the old ladies with canes who has to dash across…maybe that’s why I didn’t really see any old people on the roadsides, they are probably on a bonnet of a car somewhere. But usually for me, by the time I get to the middle of the road, the traffic light will scream at me with blinding ferociousness that I’ve got 3 more seconds to live on the road unless I get to the other side. I survived.
Sadly, this is not in use today. What? I only wanted a look. One of the Kings of Spain used to hide his mistresses here from his powerful Queen and would frequently come to Seville to check up on activities there but really in fact visit his whores. He would slip in unnoticed by the canal that runs on the side of the city to this castellean in the middle of the night. I feel sorry for the women who had to be locked up in there only to walk round, and round, and round…you get the picture.
Before long, I began to suspect that this wasn’t the best walking tour I’ve been on. Maybe it was because I was hungover but I didn’t feel made to be enthusiastic about Seville. This tour guide was more of a ‘look and point’ guide. He was describe what’s there but wouldn’t go into great detail about the history and the funny aspects of the sights we were looking at. I started to amuse myself by poking David awake. But the guide did lead us to one of the most breathtaking sights of Spain…
As we were walking up to the best place in Seville, I checked out its gardens that contained very weird flowers and plant but beautiful. You can just hang out here to read a book in the shade from the scorching sun.
I’ll take a backwards glance before revealing the epitome of Seville!
This is Plaza de Espana. Built especially for the royalty. It’s all closed when the King comes to visit. All that room for just one person! So to avoid losing money for the tourism industry and the King not on an official visit, he sometimes stays nearby at an exclusive hotel. The Palace faces the coast across to South America with two of its wings held out as a sort of embrace to celebrate Latin America. I think it’s another one of those buildings to say sorry for you know…the conquest. Like the Palace in Madrid.
Check out even further the pictures of Plaza de Espana.
So as the Walking Tour wrapped up after leaving the Plaza de Espana and seeing a few nondescript buildings, I thought it was time to enjoy some more tapas and again, more sangria before hitting up a great Spanish custom…the Flamenco!