Stop Making Me Fall In Love With You!

Sevilla Travel Blog

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It’s only 3 days since my last confession . . .. I mean blog!
Now I have spent an entire week on my own in Sevilla. Nothing unusual about that as I am normally spending a lot of my time alone. The difference this time is that I have not really spoken to anyone - in English. I have had a few wayward ‘chats’ in Spanglish, mainly about renting rooms but apart from that I have had a lot of silence. The only part of me which seems to be not-silent is my head. It is doing all sorts of crazy things at the moment.

I even went for a walk last night to the wonderful Sevilla Cathedral (Catedral) and had a silent chat with St James. He is one of a group of Saints, lifesize in relief and forever content to keep watch over their patch of Avenida de la Constitución. Throngs of tourists continually pass by on their way to the now ‘front’ door (actually the southern entry - Puerta de San Ocristóbal) to purchase entry tickets.

The Catedral is one of my favourite places to hang out. In floor area, it is the third largest Church in Europe but in area it is the largest, edging out both St Pauls (UK) and St Peters (IT) due to its awesome 43 meter height. It also boasts the largest and richest altarpiece in the world.
The site was originally an Almohad Moorish mosque in the 12th and 13th centuries and the current Church was built on the same site utilizing the original rectangular base of the mosque, taking 100 years to complete.

During the planning of the Catedral’s construction, a member of the clergy was believed to have said "we shall have a church of such a kind that those who see it built will think we were mad." I think that has been achieved.

Only two parts of the original mosque were preserved; the Moorish entrance court (Patio de los Naranjos) and the Giralda, originally a minaret. The Giralda has since been converted into a bell tower offering amazing views of Sevilla if you can hazard to walk the 35 floors (gently sloping ramps, not stairs - thank goodness) to the top.

SO back to my story. I have been in a dilemma regarding where I am to live in Spain. I felt so at home in Granada and really had to tear myself away. My dream was always to live and set up home in Sevilla so here I came. I have loved it here (no surprise) but with all the problems trying to find somewhere to live, the second, third and even fourth thoughts have been swimming around my head. Thus, a serious conversation was had with St James last night.

Now, maybe it’s because I have spent the week on my own or maybe it’s just the intimate relationship I have with St James after walking 1800km in his name (not one, but two Camino de Santiago`s). I stood in front of the grille gate, feeling a little wobbly and a little more teary, and asked for a big dose of spiritual help. In return I kindly offered to walk around the Catedral three times. I was hoping that during my wanders, I would encounter some kind of synchronistic event (spiritual sign) that might point me in the right direction. Should I stay or should I go?

Well, the circumnavigation was fruitless but I did enjoy a quick pop-in to one of the small side chapels on round two for a quiet prayer. On my third round, I was now a familiar sight to a group of striking miners (stationed on one corner of the Catedral with their banners - day 108!). I think I made their day, we were almost on first name basis.
No luck with synchronicity but I did get some exercise and it filled in half an hour.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of craziness every now and then. I returned to my hotel and reluctantly booked another night allowing me some time to formulate plan B.

I finished a lovely book I had picked up at the op shop before I left Melbourne. The timing could not have been better: it is called ‘A Spanish Lover’ and set in Sevilla in the early nineties.

I have a habit of underlining phrases as I read books. They are usually snippets that appeal to me or move me in some way. I flipped through the yellowed pages this morning and these are some of the phrases I had underlined.

-‘That’s what humans do when we have an inner vacuum, we fill the space with stories’
-‘It’s hard to choose when there is all the choice in the world’
-‘There is a terrible English word, sensible. It has nothing to do with the senses’

I recognized myself in the first phrase - the stories I tell myself when I start to feel alone, always trying to fill the vacuum rather than just sitting and enjoying the space. I need to spend more time in plazas, watching the kids on slides and less time filling the vacuum. And choices; I have so many options right now I am incredibly lucky - I just need to honor that. After all, if a choice does not work out, I can always make another one. As for the last phrase, I am not sure I have actually ever done things that most people would consider sensible so I think I am ahead on that one. But I did like it.

While reading the book I was often on the verge of fat round tears of happiness, realising just how much I have fallen for this city.
Every time I head out to the streets, no matter how I am feeling, this place puts a huge smile on my face. I feel as though I belong in some way. The narrow maze of streets doing their best to baffle my sense of direction (and succeeding), the thousands of balconies crammed with scarlet and cerise geraniums which draw my eyes upward, and the noisy bars filled with collectives of friends and families; these are all the building blocks of my dream.

As I made my way to Plaza Nueva (the main square of the town) this morning, I laughed and declared ‘stop it, stop making me fall in love with you, Sevilla!’
It was the short circuit I needed and in that moment I realised that I could not leave just yet. I now have my own Spanish Lover - named Sevilla.

Things then started to look up. A few emails trickled into my in-box after the plethora I had sent out yesterday. I went to see another possible ‘new home’ and this time I was a little closer. It had (nearly) all the ingredients I am after - internet, double bed, good location, balcony, non smokers, no young rowdy student-types. The only con was that the piso (appt) had no cooling or heating and after my 15 minute visit, I was drenched.
I know that it is only July and August when the hot/humid/hellish temperatures are so bad but even the impressive view of the Giralda out the bedroom door could not trump being either too hot or too cold. Hmmm, maybe St James was at work last night after all - fancy ending up looking at a place only forty meters from the Giralda - maybe it could be ‘the place’ after all.

Good news: I followed that visit with a trip to Marta and Paco’s. They have a renovated home not far from where I am now and they rent out rooms for short and long term stays. It is cool, clean, modern and there is a pool (well, an over-sized bath) on the roof!!
So tomorrow morning, the human luggage rack is off and running. I will stay with them in my own room, with air-com, internet, pool and use of the kitchen for an entire week.

If, by the end of that time I have not yet found a place that I can call home, I am heading back to Granada.
Oh yes, I have also started to put feelers out for work!

In the meantime, I am going to have fun with my Spanish Lover.
nomaden says:
im glad that u know that u have settled for a week. :) this blog inspires me. hope ull find or figure out the signs that will lead to what u are looking for. :)
Posted on: Aug 24, 2009
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photo by: JP-NED