Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fiesta y Siesta en Sevilla

We concluded our Spanish road trip in Sevilla.  After a few days there, I realized I have lost my ability to cope with heat.  It was 40+ degrees Celsius (into the 100s, Fahrenheit).  I would have been happy to just sit in front of the hotel air conditioner vent.  The hotel's air conditioning was not so bueno though, so we strolled around town, shooting back cones full of melted ice creams every few minutes.  And that kept everyone refreshed!  With all the heat, Patrick had no trouble falling asleep in the stroller, so it was pretty easy to just leisurely stroll around town. 
Bull fighting is big in Spain and huge in Sevilla.  We popped by the Plaza de Toros to tour the arena and visit the museum.   I have mixed feelings on bull fighting.  On the one hand, I am amazed by how imbedded this sport is in the Spanish culture and the reverence people seem to have for the matadors and the bulls alike.  On the other hand, I pity the bulls very much.  I saw a bull fight in Pamplona about 10 years ago and left feeling so sad for these creatures.  And that was even after two matadors were gored.     

It was interesting to learn about the history and evolution of bullfighting.  For example, the matadors used to ride horses.  Didn't know that.  The medical interventions have come a long way as well.  Because they do on site transfusions here at the arena, they haven't had a (human) death in decades. 

This poster for the 2013 fights is all over Sevilla.  I think this guy looks just like Barack Obama.


Patrick trying new things.   Olives!
We stuck to tapas restaurants the whole trip and that served us well.  Fast service and small, yummy dishes the kids could pick from until they found what they liked. 



My favorite spot was the Alcázar of Sevilla.  It was originally built as a Moorish fortress in the 1360s, but later became the palace to the royal family of Sevilla.  It is the the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.
The centuries of Muslim rule over Sevilla is evident in the architecture of Alcázar.





Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla.  It's underneath the palace.  Rainwater collects here.  I tried to keep my shaky hands still, but it still came out a bit blurry.  
The gardens were even more beautiful than the palace.  We spent a good hour or two just walking around, getting lost.

Patrick was most happy splashing around in the fountains.

The Sevilla Cathedral was most impressive.  It is a spacial wonder.  The construction started in 1402 on the sight of a former mosque.  The oral history goes that the men who commenced the construction boasted "Let us build a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad".

It is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus was originally burried in Spain, was then reburied in the Dominican Republic, then in Cuba and finally returned to Sevilla.  This picture is of his tomb.
For those unable to crane their necks to see the beautiful vaulted ceilings, they had handy convex mirrors on the floors.   Very thoughtful touch.
That is all from Sevilla!   Buenos noches! 
 

6 comments:

  1. You have such a glamorous life!
    What beautiful captures!!

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  2. Gosh, I really need to get back to Spain! Seville looks amazing. The bull fighting arena is spectacular - I have mixed feelings on it too. We saw one in Arles, France when we lived in Avignon and it was certainly a cultural experience (it was the type though where they just cut the ribbon between the bulls horns, so no bloodshed. Just a badly taunted bull :( ).

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  3. Beautiful! I have lost my love of hot weather too...anything over 90F is too hot! horray for ice cream :)

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  4. this is gorgeous! you always seem to be having the most amazing adventures! i'm sure your babes will have fabulous memories.
    p.s. i feel the same way about the bull fighting... and the heat!

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  5. So good looking at your images! I sit here in the freezing cold remembering the heat saying to myself "I've been there!"/

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  6. Such beautiful photos! I think it's so good that you do so much travelling and educational things with your children, Meryl. They are learning so much from these visits! I'm with you on the bull fighting, I think it's cruel on the bulls, but also realise it's such a huge part of Spanish history. That picture does look like Barack Obama! Also, I could totally eat tapas every day for the rest of my life, ha ha. Thanks for sharing your visits with us, I cannot wait to see where you will travel next. X

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