Jun 08, 2019

Our first full day in sunny Seville

In just a short period of time we have come to love Sevilla, even more than Barcelona. The city tugs at our heart strings, the architecture, the ease of walking everywhere, there is so much to see, there are walking paths and biking paths plus the fact that our Spanish is widely understood here and also that for the first time in the past few weeks we are able to easily find foods that we can eat and enjoy.  Our diet restricts us somewhat but here we are able to find something in almost every restaurant. We have always been able to find something to eat but here the food is at a higher level.  A waiter told us that he had a client earlier who was from Barcelona and told him that the food here was superior.  We agree.  We started our first day with what turned out to be a fabulous three hour free walking tour.

We enjoyed just walking to the tour.

These ladies are all over the city and all have a different appearance.  It appears to be an artist challenge.

The carriages are everywhere but never in the way.  On close observation I discovered that there is a collection contraption to hold the horse poop which is why the streets remain so clean.  Also, we have seen several street cleaners over the past two days.  This city is very clean.  We have yet to see litter anywhere, other then cigarette butts.  Again it appears that the women are the smokers.

A flamenco street performer kept us entertained as we waited for our tour to start. Many many people watched her dance and his playing but only a few put some money in the box for them.  I saw folks videoing the performance and they did not even put in a penny.

Just a street scene of the Sevilla Catedral and the Royal Alcazar on the right.  Can you spot me in the middle foreground?

The Catedral was an Islamic Mosque first.

Triana which is across the river. It has its own unique story and secrets to share but that will have to wait until our next visit.  Colin really wanted to get there but we did not have enough time.

The Alfonso XIII luxury hotel was built way back when, from the city coffers so that there was proper accommodation for visiting dignitaries.  Inside is the only art deco look within the city.  You can go in and enjoy a coffee for less that the price of a Starbucks coffee which is just across the street.

Years back Seville was in dire straights and the King at the time was trying to boost the economy so he came up with the idea of a tobacco factory.  However he spent a fortune to create a large and ornate building to house the factory, which by the way is currently being used as a division of the University.

The words read Fabrication De Tabacos.

I wanted a photo of me standing here at the entrance to the tobacco factory for a very personal reason.  Mi amiga Suzanne will understand.

This is the scene from the opera Carmen where she comes out of the cigarette factory singing the famous song, Habernera.  Our guide asked if anyone had figured out who was the most important factory worker and I had.  He gave a brief explanation of how the factory workers were gypsies ( which is true ) and how new guards were assigned to guard the factory, also true. He mentioned Don Jose as if he was a real soldier and how Carmen trapped him to instantly love her.  He even sang a bit of the Habernera ( of course I chimed in ) and wove a wonderful spell.  Likely it went over the heads of many of the others on the tour but it was pure magic to me.  Here I was standing in the very spot in which the opera was composed.  It happened here in Seville, the gypsies were real, as well as thieves and smugglers.  My favorite opera just became real to me.  It was an extremely personal and special moment.  I have tears in my eyes as I write this as I know the music and the words and now I was standing in the very spot.

The Plaza de España is a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa, in Seville, Spain, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish architecture.

There is quite a bit of history associated with this location. Please Google it, if you are interested.

We haven’t even begun to explore the local transit system and the very modern trams.  Next time.  That Cathedral  is immense.

We finally stopped for lunch.  The pasta was excellent and the wine even more so. The entire day ended up being 18,680 steps for me, Colin always does much more as he checks out other things. He also managed to buy yet another pair of shoes. I am happy to see him buying things for himself.  However our suitcases are barely closing.

The tram is coming towards us and the bicycle path is just beside our table going in the opposite direction.  It is used by bikes, scooters and razor powered scooters in which a few have seats ( I can see myself on one of these ), Segways, power wheelchairs and many others.  So fun to watch it all.

This is the largest Cathedral in the world ( by volume ) and the tomb of Christopher Columbus is inside.  This is on the list for our next visit.

Yes that is me, trying to give you a idea of the size of this Catedral.

The feet belong to a homeless fellow who has a dog ( and later we found out that he also had a new tiny kitten ), collecting money to buy a Ferrari.

Because of my cold ( which continues to improve ) I am unable to partake in all the ice cream and gelato for sale.  However there is store after store after store and always are folks lined up eager to taste the delights.

There is no end to what these people will do for money.  First time we have seen Jesus with a crown of thorns smoking and trying to collect some coins.

Note how some of the buildings are so very narrow.  Every street has something new to see.

Very different mannequins than what we see back home.

Colin has been looking for the perfect venue since we arrived in Spain to attend a Flamenco show.  He finally found one here in Seville at La Casa del Flamingo.  It was a traditional Flamenco show in a 15th century house which lasted a full hour for only 18 Euro each. The difference from all the other Flamenco shows is that we sat ( a limited number of guests ) in chairs ( 2  – 3 rows deep ) surrounding the stage.  No interference with food or drink.  We all had a good view of the show. Each performance had a new cast of fresh performers.  It was not a choreographed performance, they played, sang and danced from their hearts and souls.  No two performances will be the same. We were privileged to have been a part of this great cultural experience. It was not just dancing, but exceptional guitar playing, singing and of course dancing, both female, male and the two together. It was so very special to watch how they interacted to each other to create the music, the songs and the dance.  We were privileged to see how one performer opened up and just danced to his own inner beat and how the others reacted and enjoyed the changes.

We were not allowed to take photos until the last two minutes.  It did not matter, as what we saw and experienced was the true soul of flamenco and we will never forget the experience.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Our first full day in sunny Seville”

  1. You’re not having to worry about with diet taking all those steps! I enjoy the pictures and it makes me sad that in the Americas we don’t take pride in ownership. On our trip through the U.S. and Canada there was so much that was in disrepair, unpainted, rundown and I am sure all of that exists in Europe as well. I do know that Paris is a filthy city. Mexico is beautiful and I love it, but we could do so much better to attract and maintain tourists.

  2. George Yates says:

    What a fun time you are having love your photos and all the sites you are seeing, keep on doing more and safe travels.

  3. Suzanne says:

    “L’AMOUR!, L’AMOUR!, L’AMOUR!”

  4. The colours in the photographs bring life to what you are seeing.
    You have been blessed to see all those performances.
    Hoping the Cold will soon be a thing of the past.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your adventure.

    It’s about time.

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