Saturday, January 23, 2010
the next morning, we found the way back to an opened bus station. upon check out of our hotel near the port, the same group of spaniards we saw the night before playing cards smoking, drinking, looking haggard, were still at it. we waited at the station, paced, perused the various pork flavored goods at the mini mart at the station and soon we were on board the bus and en route to seville.
(ham flavored ruffles...)
we reunited with the bentleys in their hometown in the heart of andalusia. it was marvelous to see them again and being in the presence of people so familiar was quite the welcome change to what we found south of spain. we settled into their beautiful apartment and walked about the streets of seville (and was awe struck at the beauty of their street signage. the lettering was amazing. heres only a brief peek into the dozens of photos i took (much to the annoyance of those who were walking with me) of these beauts).
then, we took in the sunset over the guadalquivir, bought some roasted chestnuts and retired to our loft in the bentley household.
our time in seville was truncated by the invasive extra day we spent in morocco, but what we lacked in time we indeed made up for in ground covered and sights seen. we began the first full day in seville as any (or all) good days should start, with churros dipped in chocolate.
we ran through about three double orders of this fried goodness and then made our way to the massive Catedral de Santa María de la Sede . breathtaking in its magnitude and beauty, we took our time examining the organ, altar, graves, orange grove and walking up the thirty five ramps (instead of stairs) that lead you into the bell tower at the top of the giralda.
(walking the ramps)
(crocodiles in the courtyard)
(part of the organ. couldnt capture its girth in one photo)
(the altar, by Pierre Dancart. also quite imposing and impossible to capture via photograph. so incredibly detailed and huge. i could have stared at it for hours and not seen everything)
(this is supposedly the resting place of parts of christopher colombus. there has been some debate as to the validity of the claim of his remains. i dont know what to think)
southern spain and northern morocco were quite striking in their multi cultural/religious histories that intertwine and the architectural/societal impact that history has had and continues to have today. the cathedral in seville is a shining example of this mash up of very strong religious and cultural ties. the giralda began life as a minaret. there were many islamic accents throughout the structure, including the orange grove mentioned above, that was intitially used in the pre worship rites of muslims.
(spanish and arabic collision. the textual equivalent of the cathedral)
(in the grove)
after the cathedral we returned to the bentley estate for tortillas, spanish tortillas. i make the distinction because spanish tortillas are quite distinct from the mexican version that ive known and loved (and still do). this version is akin to the frittata. potatoes and eggs co mingle, smashed up and fried with some onions.
jordan had the flipping technique for the tortilla down to a science. he graciously gave me one and i took about one and a half of this starchy goodness. the culture of spain has not escaped the bentleys, and so when siesta hit, we would wander about, hang out on the roof or join in the siestivities. after the tortilla feed, the bentleys had to get ready for thanksgiving. we parted ways, melissa and i having our sights set on paella as a suitable substitute for the thanksgiving we were missing out on. we made a large circle in search of said paella, and ended up at a restaurant about a block away from the betleys. our thanksgiving paella feed was a bit anticlimactic as paying ten euros for a pre made microwave paella kit should be. we retired back to the apartment, watched a documentary on leonard cohen, and called it a night.
our last day in seville held the most in depth look about the city, walking most of its entirety with jordan at the helm. we learned spanish history, strolled about la plaza espana and surrounding parks and indulged in tapas (or, rip you offas. really, though, its a beautiful and delicious tradition of sampling many many foods really late at night, sippin on red wine and orange fanta) and ended our last night in seville watching flamenco. this gem in the heart of andalucia was quite charming, indeed, and we were bummed the next morning saying our goodbyes to our hosts and their beautiful adopted home.