Greetings family and friends. Have I told you lately that I love you?
Yesterday was a very full and fun day in Seville.
Seville was a port city, and Magellan and Vespucci are among the sailors who sailed from it.
The morning started in the Plaza de Espana or the Spanish Pavilion, which was built for the 1929 world fair, which unfortunately the stock market crash busted. I enjoyed it. It had four bridges that represent the four ancient kingdoms that made up Spain: Aragon, Castile, Leon, and Navarro. There were beautiful tiles, there are some that are maps. There is one for every province of Spain. I took pictures of some of them.
One of the things I marvel at while traveling is how things were built to last back in the day. People mention that cost of labor today, but my counterpoint would be if you put the historical cost at today’s value it would probably be comparable, though a huge of the labor may have been slave labor. Perhaps it’s because everything was done by hand back in the day? It’s like a washer dryer from 1960 lasted a lot longer than one that is made today. But I digress.
But to continue with my digression cause that’s how I roll, I am reminded to travel now each time I travel. I have the energy to do so much more and of course the mobility. I’m at a sweet spot in life. When I was younger, I didn’t have the money, but I had the time and energy. Now I have the money but not so much the time (though I am determined to make it happen), and I have the energy. When I retire, I will have the time and maybe the money (more of a fixed income time period) but maybe not the mobility and energy.
Anyway, the weather has been really good overall. The first few days there was rain (up north), very heavy rains at times. I only got caught in it once. The other times I was asleep or in route to other places. It’s always been warm. But the last few days have been quite warm and sunny. Like yesterday, I had a long-sleeve T-shirt on and was wishing for short sleeves. So this has been awesome. Seville only gets around thirty days of rain per year. I don’t remember what year they last had snow, but it was a long time ago.
Because Seville was a trade port, traders brought back plants from all over the world, so they have plants from Australia, USA, China, South America, etc.
Then over to the Barrio Santa Cruz, which was once a Jewish Quarter. There are orange trees everywhere, which are used to make marmalade and used in perfume and vitamins. This is the area Washington Irving stayed in when he was in Seville. Oh and he also stayed in the Alhambra. But the area is where a lot of artists have lived.
Next stop was the Cathedral, which is where Christopher Columbus is buried. Apparently his body has moved around quite a bit. His tomb is above ground and he is being carried by the four kings of the four kingdoms of Spain. I got to say the churches in Spain are impressive. The Cathedral in Seville may just be the most amazing church I have seen. I mean wow. The details of carving, high ceilings, stain glass windows, and tiles. Amazing. A lot of the places I have seen are being restored. The Cathedral is currently being restored. It was taken 33 years to do 25% of the church. The high altar is something to behold. I have to say, I like burning candles when I travel. The ones here are all electric where you put in your money and a light comes on. Apparently the candles cause the paintings etc. to age quicker. So I can give it up to preserve it for future generations. Just like not using my flash on paintings for preservation.
The next stop was the Royal Palace. The palace was original built for governors of the Moorish state, and today it still functions as a royal palace. It’s pretty cool because over the years Roman, Moorish, and Christian material have been recycled or used in the building of the complex.
Next stop was the General Archives of the Indies, which houses the historical papers related to Spain’s overseas territories. There is a pretty cool 16th century security chest that has a locking mechanism that could only be opened by a series of pushes, pulls, and twists.
Went to the Hospital de la Caridad. The hospital was founded in the 17th century by a nobleman and is a refuge for the poor and homeless. Long story short, the founder was wild in his youth, but then when he got older had a change of heart and dedicated his life to worship and taking care of the poor. There are some paintings in the chapel that celebrate good deeds and charity like feeding the hungry, tending the sick, etc. Funny how I am reminded of these virtues every trip, but then life sucks me back in when I get home. Shameful, I know.
Went to the Alameda do Hercules area, which had a very good vibe. It was a cool neighborhood with a strong pulse. A nice mixture of people were enjoying the main square.
Then to the church Basicilia de la Macarena. The church’s highlight is the Weeping Virgin, which has five crystallized teardrops on her cheeks. Her expression is between laughing and weeping. Some see her as weeping and sad, and they weep. Others see her as the Virgin of Hope that promises better times after sorrow. 2015 has been an off year for me. So I choose to see her as the latter even though this year has caused me to weep many times, even though I am not someone who cries often. The last time I had a season like this was the year I went to Greece, etal. But I am determined the last quarter will be a lot better than the first nine months. It has to be.
So attempted to go to the Museum of Fine Arts. “What had happened was” the guidebook said it closed at 8:30, but when we got there learned it actually closed at 7:30, and we only had ten minutes to look around. What I saw was nice though. One room had a series of oil paintings of different female saints.
Next was an evening paseo (stroll) through the Triana neighborhood, which is across the river from the old town. There were people eating in the square, and it had a neighborhood feel with grocery stores, furniture stores, and other things that come from areas that people actually live in.
The current Seville has been occupied by a lot of people. From the Celts, Iberians, Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, etc. I think they have found seven layers of civilization while excavating. Pretty amazing.
The end of the night was perfect. We went to this place called Mercado Lonja del Barranco. It had a bunch of tapas, desserts, and beverages. Then outside there was sitting area that multiple places were feeding into. There was a band playing live music. So Leslie and I sat for a while as the band played songs from “With or Without You,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Roxanne,” and “Highway to Hell.” Kenna, if you are reading this, I lost my rocker girl status last night because I thought from the opening chords of “Highway to Hell” was “You Shook Me All Night Long.” I am so ashamed. LOL! When we first arrived, they were playing a song from Grease. Fun. The weather was perfect for sitting outside. There was a mixture of families, tourists, and single/dating locals enjoying a very nice evening. Perfect ending to a great day. These are my favorite memories of traveling. People watching, while enjoying a meal with great company, outside, and in this case on a beautiful fall night. And of course a waxing moon and a sky filled with stars did not hurt.