Expo -world on display
Sevilla Travel Blog› entry 13 of 37 › view all entries
Spain on the whole is as ancient as hell and everywhere international guests were due to visit saw the Spaniards working hard to upgrade facilities. Nowhere was this more evident than here in Sevillia.
As we arrived on the superfast train into a sparkling new station in the middle of the night we found we were stuck here for another few hours before sun-up so we felt there was little point in heading out into the night, deciding instead to hang in the station. I thought it was a good chance to hit the floor for 40 winks. I crawled in under the shiny red plastic seats and got as compfy as the marble floor would allow.
I hadn't got to a dozen winks before a very grumpy cop poked me in the ribs with his baton and made it quite clear (even with my limited Spanish) that this was not the place for back-packers to bunk down.
Without sleep I was becoming as grumpy as the cop but I clambered out from my hidy hole and dozed as best I could sitting there beside Darryn and Kate. The two cops kept up their regular patrols and woke us with each pass they made. At one stage I wandered off to the toilet and discovered that the brand new cubicles were being used by druggies to shoot up. I quickly did what I had to do and scurried back to the safety of the seats on the platform wondering why the sleepers seemed to be harrassed more by the police than those shooting up in the bathroom.
Finally the sun came up and it was a reasonable hour for us to go out and find the YHA. As we wandered the lines on our map not much was moving in the city. Even after we'd found a bed the place seemed very quiet.
We found a number of building and parks as we made our way to the Expo site. We knew that the cheap entry was late in the afternoon so it didn't really matter that we made slow progress. We were still pretty sleep deprived anyway and the heat of the Spanish sun didn't make it any more compfortable. Finally we found a nice patch of grass. Darryn wandered off to snooze beneath the shade of a tree and Kate and I sat on a bench and caught up with out journals.
When we got to the Expo we weren't sure where to start.
It wasn't too bad and Kate enjoyed it as much as we did. By the time we came out it was dark and the night festivities had started. As we wandered about I was again struck by the love of music and dance in this country. We were bushed by this time so we made our way back to the YHA and crashed out.
The next morning we arose and set out again to explore Sevilla. Once again we were struck by the fact the place seemed deserted but then we remembered it was a public holiday.
As we wandered through the city we started to hear a distant thundering of drums. It seemed only to sound for a short burst and then stop. We follwed the sound as best we could and then finally we found a street near a gothic cathedral crammed with people. Nothing seemed to be happening except everyone was jammed shoulder to shoulder around a uniformed band standing in the narrow street. Suddenly the band struck up a march and everyone moved about 50 paces along the street and stopped. This whole thing took about 2 minutes and then after a couple more minutes break, was repeated.
We discovered that it was the Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi. I don't know anything about Catholicism but I'm a fan of music and what the band was playing was energetic and rousing so we found a doorway where we watched and waited as the procession inched past.
It wasn't long before I saw why things were happening in short bursts. Away down the street was a huge carved altar being carried by dozens and dozens of worshipers. The thing was beautifully carved and capped by a statue of Jesus. It was obviously very heavy and could only be carried a short way before everyone needed a breather. We had no idea where it was to be carried too but it was going to take all day at the rate it was going so we stayed there until it had got past us and then wandered off to find some lunch and our next train.
That afternoon we made our way to Algerciras.