A very long day in Seville (Cathedral, Alcazar, Plaza de España, and a bull fight!)

Sevilla Travel Blog

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A random plaza in Seville
GEEZ... this was a very long day, so it’s going to be a very long entry.

Didn’t get a lot of sleep. Josh snoring should have been the least of my worries with drunk girls stumbling in at all hours of the morning. It was nice to take a shower in a bathroom all to myself in a hostel though. That’s certainly hard to come by. We had breakfast at the hostel, which, as usual was sparse. Toast and tea for me. I tried to make Josh drink tea too, but he hasn’t been living in England for the past eight months, so he isn’t as keen on it as I am. The little kitchen area was cute. We got to sit outside to eat. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten breakfast outside. It was lovely.

In the morning we went back to a store I’d seen the night before that had a very pretty dress in the window.
A knarly tree
I still needed an outfit for my solo performance final. However, it was Sunday, so pretty much all the shops were closed. So we went back towards the Cathedral, taking in the surrounding areas... we looked at all the pretty houses/apartments/villas, I saw a girl outside a church getting ready for her first communion... that was neat. I like wandering... observing... etc.

Arriving back at the Cathedral... The Cathedral of Seville is a VERY large Gothic Catholic church. One of the biggest in the world, I think. Josh and I went inside and looked around. I couldn’t take pictures inside as usual, but it was huge. Apparently this is where Christopher Columbus is buried. We couldn’t see his grave, though, because there was a service going on and half of the church was closed off to the public.
An awesome, albeit blurry, view down the windy Spanish streets


There were all kinds of festivities going on outside and there was a band playing across from the Cathedral. I SWEAR they were playing showtunes. I definitely heard something that sounded just like Mamma Mia and something that sounded very Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was bizarre.

Then we got chocolate ice cream to eat while we waited in line for tickets to the Alcazar. It was nice on a hot day, and we were in line for a while.
 
We took a listening tour since we didn’t know much about the Alcazar. It’s so funny following the lady’s voice like she’s feeding you all these little secrets about this forbidden and forgotten piece of history.

The Alcazar is a big Spanish palace with a vast series of gardens.
A girl preparing for his First Holy Communion outside a church
It is one of the biggest symbols of the Moors’ culture in Spain, and is why there is so much Islamic influence in the architecture. The combination of Spanish Catholic/gothic and Islamic Moor cultures in the art was really interesting...  Some of the etchings in the stonework of the buildings were ridiculously intricate. Also, the gardens were soooo pretty... they were really relaxing and refreshing after all the intense walking and learning all day. 

After spending a few hours exploring the Alcazar, we went to get some food at this extremely crowded tapas bar. When the bartender guy would get tips he would throw the euro change up into some plastic funnel thing on the wall behind him. We were sharing the small standing bar space with about a dozen other people, but it was exciting it be in such a lively place.
A pretty amazing looking house/villa
There were a ton of people hanging out outside as well, and we briefly listened to the musicians playing out there. There seemed to be a lot of random music happening in Spain while I was there.

Then, of course, we walked some more... all around... saw a bunch of different Plazas... Plaza This, Plaza That... there were a lot of them. We went in search of the Plaza de España, which was supposed to be the coolest, biggest plaza. I got mad at Josh for getting confused about the map, so I took over. We had to walk really far to find this thing and got pretty turned around, but I’m much better with maps now that I’ve been navigating myself through Europe for so long.

On the way we found this old Baroque theatre called the Teatro Lope de Vega which was very, very impressive looking from the outside.
A statue that I regrettably have forgotten the name of.
I tried to find a way in, but it seemed pretty closed.

We had to walk through acres of parks, which seemed really out of place here in super hot and dry Spain. The Plaza de España was in the middle of all the parks, but was very large. It was a big crescent of buildings made of bricks and white and blue porcelain in huuuuuuge courtyard, all of which reflected Moorish art, again, apparently. The Plaza mostly contains government buildings. Wikipedia tells me they used it in part of Lawrence of Arabia. That’s awesome.

We were SOOOO beat by the time we got here, I couldn’t even really appreciate the beautiful architecture. We got to have a sit, which was nice. It was really hot out, and we got a lemonade slushy thing from a stand, and it was the BEST thing ever.
The Cathedral of Sevilla


Unfortunately, now we had to walk all the way back over towards the arena for the BULL FIGHT that we’d already bought tickets for! We walked in that direction along the river, saw a bunch of people hanging out on boats, and a cool lizard, picked up the tickets, and went to a souvenir store next door to kill some time.

At 7:00, in we went with crowds of people to find our seats for the fight in the Plaza de Toros de Sevilla. The bull fight was absolutely unlike anything I’d ever experienced. When we’d first bought tickets to the bull fight, I didn’t know that they KILLED the bull. I just thought it might be a cool historical thing to go see, since I knew it was a very old Spanish tradition. However, there’s this whole process of having a procession of horses, bringing out the bull, getting the bull riled up, bringing out the matador, goring the bull with these three spears with colorful ribbons, bringing out a horse in armor to make the bull extra mad, then, finally, the killing of the bull, and the dragging of the bull’s dead body out of the arena.
The band that may have been playing showtunes
It was apparently a big community event. There were people taking their families... I even saw some guys taking their girlfriends. WHAT. Apparently Sunday’s are the big days to go to bull fights, though, so it was packed. There was a cool band with lots of brass playing in-between phases of the fight. It was hard to watch the animals being killed at first, but I got kind of used to it since each guy killed THREE different bulls. It was also weird because the three matadors that came out were all young (and may I mention, attractive) guys, about my age, risking their lives fighting animals, getting all bloody... There is an art to it, though... there are different moves that you do in different sequences and a lot of it is about body angles and foot work.
MMMM chocolate


The bull fight went on for several hours, and we were veeerrrry hungry afterwards. We went to some place back near our hostel (our feet were too tired from walking ALL day to take us much further). For dinner we enjoyed some gazpacho, which is a cold tomato soup (pretty tasty when you dip bread in it) and some kind of fatty meat (maybe beef? I don’t recall) and talked foreeeevvvver. It was good to chill out.

Of course, we were very tired again, and tried to go to bed early. 
londonstudent says:
A really enjoyable entry, as per usual, and you've done a great job with the camera as well, especially the bull-fight pics; thank you!
Posted on: Oct 02, 2007
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A random plaza in Seville
A random plaza in Seville
A knarly tree
A knarly tree
An awesome, albeit blurry, view do…
An awesome, albeit blurry, view d…
A girl preparing for his First Hol…
A girl preparing for his First Ho…
A pretty amazing looking house/vil…
A pretty amazing looking house/vi…
A statue that I regrettably have f…
A statue that I regrettably have …
The Cathedral of Sevilla
The Cathedral of Sevilla
The band that may have been playin…
The band that may have been playi…
MMMM chocolate
MMMM chocolate
The opening gates to the Alcazar
The opening gates to the Alcazar
An entrance to a courtyard
An entrance to a courtyard
A very fancy ceiling
A very fancy ceiling
I believe this is a piece called …
I believe this is a piece called …
Some outside-ness with some pretty…
Some outside-ness with some prett…
The front of the Palacio de Pedro…
The front of the "Palacio de Pedr…
The Courtyard of the Maidens
"The Courtyard of the Maidens"
Gold Islamic star on a ceilling...…
Gold Islamic star on a ceilling..…
A grotto in the gardens beyond the…
A grotto in the gardens beyond th…
Rose gardens
Rose gardens
PRETTY
PRETTY
A big fountain with paintings
A big fountain with paintings
One of my favorite pictures
One of my favorite pictures
Tapas bar in the Santa Cruz area (…
Tapas bar in the Santa Cruz area …
Musicians outside the tapas bar
Musicians outside the tapas bar
Lost? :)
Lost? :)
Yet another plaza
Yet another plaza
Some pretty trees off the motorway
Some pretty trees off the motorway
The Teatro Lobo de Vega (maybe). I…
The Teatro Lobo de Vega (maybe). …
HEY! Macarena! (AYE)
HEY! Macarena! (AYE)
Plaza de España! (After a LOT of …
Plaza de España! (After a LOT of…
A tower in the Plaza... and Joshs…
A tower in the Plaza... and Josh'…
Josh and, resting
Josh and, resting
Yay resting
Yay resting
Brick and porcelain detailing on t…
Brick and porcelain detailing on …
Walking along the river
Walking along the river
This is a museum, I think. Either …
This is a museum, I think. Either…
A lizard! Better yet, a SPANISH li…
A lizard! Better yet, a SPANISH l…
Josh getting ready to be manly at …
Josh getting ready to be manly at…
Me being super manly
Me being super manly
The entrance to the ring
The entrance to the ring
The bull fighting ring
The bull fighting ring
Watching the crowds excitedly fill…
Watching the crowds excitedly fil…
The opening procession
The opening procession
The matadors start to enter the ri…
The matadors start to enter the r…
Here they come...
Here they come...
They are SUPER manly in those pink…
They are SUPER manly in those pin…
Josh is excited about the bull fig…
Josh is excited about the bull fi…
Maureen is... uneasy.
Maureen is... uneasy.
Matador #1 getting ready to approa…
Matador #1 getting ready to appro…
Theyre pink instead of red; isnt…
They're pink instead of red; isn'…
Look at his Come get me stance!
Look at his "Come get me" stance!
See the ribbon things stuck in his…
See the ribbon things stuck in hi…
Look at how close he is!
Look at how close he is!
SO CLOSE!
SO CLOSE!
This guy is so hardcore
This guy is so hardcore
Watch out, dude!
Watch out, dude!
Wide shot, to get the full scope o…
Wide shot, to get the full scope …
Matador #2
Matador #2
This one is red, now... I wonder w…
This one is red, now... I wonder …
Man, they get so close to the bull…
Man, they get so close to the bul…
Reinforcements
Reinforcements
Ballet feet
Ballet feet
This dude REALLY means business
This dude REALLY means business
That poor guys really getting gan…
That poor guy's really getting ga…
At least there was a happy sunset …
At least there was a happy sunset…
Sevilla
photo by: JP-NED