Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sevilla was absolutely incredible. It was my favorite stop on our trip.
We started our tourist tour in the Cathedral there. This cathedral is absolutely massive. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest general cathedral in the world! It also holds what is believed to be Christopher Columbus's bones. I personally think they are, they match the DNA of his brother, so I choose to believe it's him. As all cathedrals are, it was incredibly ornate and gorgeous--but slightly over the top. I like things that are more simple, so cathedrals are a bit overdecorated in my taste. But it was still absolutely beautiful. They built it saying 'Let those who come after us they we were mad to build such a structure' and they succeeded. The architecture on the thing is crazy. There are flying buttresses everywhere!
So the cathedral itself was cool, as was Columbus's tomb, but my absolute favorite was La Giralda. It was a tower built by the Moors to call the Muslims to prayer. When the Christians took over, they kept the tower as well as the Patio de los Naranjos. We climbed 34 ramps (they'd ride a horse up to the top five times a day) to the top and were greeted by a beautiful breeze. I forgot to mention, but the weather there was absolutely amazing. It was beautiful and I went without my coat for almost the entire trip--I loved it! We could see the entire city from the top. It was a perfect, cloudless, smogless day and we could see everything. Pictures really don't do it justice. I kinda wish I could have spent the remainder of our cathedral time up there, but luckily I didn't.
Because our next discovery was the Patio de los Naranjos. This was also from the Moors, and it was really beautiful. There are orange trees everywhere in Andalucia, and this was a patio full of them. I really liked their irrigation techniques too. They had built the irrigation canals into the patio. You could water the trees without getting in the way of the people walking. It was pretty awesome. To the left is Missy and I in the patio with the cathedral--and the flying buttresses--in the background.
We left soon after the orange trees and moved on to the Alcazar which was right next door. Even though it was winter, the gardens in this palace were amazing--not to mention absolutely massive! There were fountains, and trees, and bushes and flowers everywhere you turned. It was so beautiful--plus warm! I know I mention that a lot, but I really, really liked that I was so warm. I'm definitely an ARizona girl!
After the Alcazar, we had free time to explore the rest of Sevilla. We walked along streets, popped into stores, and found La Plaza de Espana. Of course we took this picture opportunity. We all took some normal pictures, and then decided to have more fun. I had just bought a flamenco apron--which are really common in all the tourist shops--and we definitely used it. Although I have no idea how to dance the flamenco, I definitely tried. It allowed for some pretty funny pictures. We also saw El Torre de Oro, which is where they brought all the gold from the Americas to be counted. Needless to say, a lot of gold was stolen from the tower--apparently they didn't have very good security. Either that or there was so much of it, they didn't notice when some went missing!
But, this same night, we went to a flamenco show! It was pretty awesome. I've never seen flamenco before, and this was definitely a treat. SEvilla was the birthplace of flamenco, and it was awesome to see it done by professionals here.