Today was going to be our last day in Seville before we caught our next bus to our next Andalusian destination so we would check out the city in style! And that meant going on a pilgrimage to one of the notable figures in history, Christopher Columbus. It’s a tale of laughter, confusion and more so extremely bad deaf awareness!
Still humming the tunes of the Flamenco we visited last night, we made our way to Seville Cathedral, just a stone’s throw away from our The Living Roof Hostel Accommodation, and despite cringing at the 12 euro fee to get in, we knew that Christopher Columbus would be inside. Dead. But was it worth 12 euros? I mean, don’t get me started on a religious establishment that charges money to get in. Jesus would be so embarrassed and remember the story about when he flung money across a temple?
So why Christopher Columbus we have come to see? Unless you have been living under a rock for all of your life, he changed the course of history. Blessed by the Christian Monarchs in 1492, he led an expedition to find a trade route to China and the Orient across the Atlantic as the Dutch and other countries battled in the Indian Ocean therefore disrupting trade routes through the Red Sea and the Ocean itself. However, instead of reaching Japan, he reached the Bahamas and in further voyages, Venezuela and Central America. Convinced he had reached the Asian Continent, he proclaimed the area ‘East Indies’ after the people he believed were Indians. Well, that was stupid of him wasn’t it?! Furthermore, he proclaimed these lands for the Spanish Crown, even though he was Italian himself, and was thus made Governor of Hispania. This act led to the Latin Americas and Central America enter a dark period. The Mayans and Incas, the rulers of these lands were decimated, only partly by the Conquest by Spain to find gold but also by a much deadlier force…the common cold. None of the inhabitants were immune to this and thousands died in their droves. After all that, the Spaniards came back again in their religious fervor, the dreaded Spanish Inquisition, to convert what remained of the Mayan and Incas culture to Christianity.
Sounds like a good guy, Christopher Columbus eh? Could it be argued that he should be despised rather than celebrated? Who knows, you cannot change the course of history, unless you’re Doctor Who, and therefore you have to accept that Christopher Columbus, irregardless that he might have been a hate or loved figure, is one of the few people counted that ultimately changed the world. And we were here to see him at his final resting place.
Turning up to the till point to pay for my ticket, I spied that disabled people can get in for free. Bingo. I’m deaf and disabled so by rights I should get in for free. Wait, it says that I need proof? Erm, my hearing aids should do the trick but I will do whatever it takes to try and get me in for free. And that meant playing up on my deafness. Reaching the till, I pretended I couldn’t speak as well and so I pointed at the sign with my finger firmly pressed underneath ‘disabled.’ The attendant realised and looked at me puzzedly. Turning my head, I pointed at my hearing aid and gave a smile. She reached over to her supervisor and they chatted a minute until the supervisor came to me. ‘Do you have have your white disabled card?’ she said to me. Now, I was truly playing it up. I pretended I couldn’t hear her and tapped my hearing again and gave a puzzled look to her. She started gesturing and pointed at the sign that simply said I needed to have a Spanish white disabled card. Erm, do I look Spanish? I shrugged my shoulders and pointed at my hearing aid again. She gestured that I would have to pay. I stood my ground. She stood her ground. Okay, it looked like it wasn’t going to go anywhere although I was pretty annoyed that disabled tourists would have to pay as well.
Then came the WORST and FUNNIEST deaf awareness ever!
As soon as I paid, the attendant stopped me and mumbled something while pointed at something with her finger. I followed her line and was pretty gobsmacked before bursting into a fit of giggles. She was trying to push an AUDIO Guide onto me. Throughout the whole conversation at the till, I’ve demonstrated that I’m deaf and really, I hadn’t uttered a word. And now through all that, she thinks I can just pop on some headphones and listen to an AUDIO GUIDE? Chortling so much, I waved my hands in front of me to catch my breath and also to say no before pointing at my hearing aid again to say I can’t even use the damn things. She looked abashed and waved me on.
I just couldn’t believe it!
But now, the Two Bad Tourists and I were in the Cathedral. And I have to say that the Cathedral was pretty, well GRAND!
Even the courtyard within the Cathedral had a Lemon Tree Planatation…
And what wouldn’t a trip to your local Cathedral be if you didn’t climb the gazillion steps up the Bell tower and see all of Seville laid before you?
After all the Cathedral antics, it’s time to honour the man who changed history and so we found his tomb. And we weren’t impressed. It was just a dark stone slab on the floor with really ineligible writing on. And only a simple railing went around it. Really wasn’t at all impressive. We could just make out Columbus in our eyeline if we could get over the heads of the Japanese who had cameras and Ipads glued to their faces. Walking away after doing poses with it, we were pretty disappointed. I began to get mad about the money I paid to get in, let alone such a notable figure isn’t given a grand tomb. I mean, had something happened between the man and the nation that I didn’t know about? That is until David stopped us. Checking his guide, he looked up earnestly and said we were at the wrong end of the Cathedral for the tomb…huh? Then what was the name Columbus doing on this one? Diving back into his guide, he said this was actually in fact Christopher’s son, Diego, who also became the Governor of Hispania after his dad retired. Oh! So on we rushed to the other end and what we saw was actually worth for Christopher Columbus.
And so we found Christopher Columbus. But by rights, he shouldn’t be here. At the end, he argued with Spain so much that he claimed he wanted to be buried in Latin America and definitely not in the ground of Spain. So here he is in Spain, and the cunning spaniards here knew he would be a tourist draw so honoured his wishes by not actually BURIED in the grounds of Spain. He’s just in a tomb above ground. Sneaky eh?
That finished, it was time to grab that bus for our next destination…Grenada.