Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seville was...

Bueno. Seville era....

yes, it just was.

Before beginning Sevilla, let's pick up from the last entry, we spent the last two days with the Cole's going to La Laguna Negra and La Playa Pita. Both were incredible trips and we had SO much fun with the family. The kids are great and it was just so nice to spend time with them all! :) At La Laguna we climbed/hiked around on all of the rocks and boulders, and then at Playa Pita we had a picnic and then got to lay out for about 30 minutes before heading to the bus station. Heading to Playa Pita was hilarious, we had the car packed up like Chevy Chase's family vacation. The trunk was completely full, and we even strapped beach chairs to the top of the car. We got stared at from EVERYONE leaving town, because the chairs were strapped to the bike rack, and apparently, using it for anything else is just completely ludicrous. Go America.

Us with the Cole's at La Laguna Negra.

Packing the car...
Kal, Anjani and I enjoying the sun at Playa Pita!
So, the Cole's dropped us off at the bus station, and after a very tearful goodbye, Kal and I were on our way to Madrid to catch the Ave (train) to Seville. Up until we got to the Madrid train station, we thought that our hostal stopped check-in at 11pm, so we thought we were on a time crunch to get a train that got into Seville before 10:30, so we could make it on time. So- Kal and I were running through the Metro stations. I am fairly certain that I am making up for my infrequent work out schedule with having to drag around a 50lb suitcase and carry it up and down stairs (yes, stairs). It was quite the sight.

After missing two trains and thinking that we were going to have to spend the night in the train station, we looked up the hostal information one more time and realized that we could check-in at any time, not just before 11pm, woo! We were completely prepared to spend the night in the train station and just go with the flow. Seriously, this is the most unplanned that either of us has ever been on a trip- and it's actually very refreshing. :) So, we took the Ave (super fast train) to Seville, then made it to our hostal around midnight and crashed.

So, Seville. What a city. Going into this part of the trip, I had all of these huge expectations- I had never heard a bad thing about Seville and was prepared to see one of the most beautiful cities in Andalusia. Kal and I headed up early on Monday morning to see the Plaza de Espana, the Alcazar and the historic part of town. What we saw was truly beautiful. The Plaza de Espana was (1) HUGE and (2) beautiful. The entire thing was covered in tiles, and along the inside was a section with a huge tiled picture of each of the provinces in Spain (we found and took pictures of the one for Salamanca and Soria!). We really did enjoy the Plaza and spent about an hour just walking around and hanging out in it.

After Plaza de Espana, we went over the the Alcazar. We spent about two hours walking around and could have definitely stayed longer. The Alcazar has a huge Moorish influence, and the architecture is amazing. Rounded entryways and beautiful tiling everywhere. The gardens surround the Alcazar were also insane. There were huge fountains that, according to the information posts, were the only of their kind in the world. Pretty cool. I embarrassed Kalin in the gardens by picking some flowers for our hair (whoops...), but it was totally worth it. Her face was hilarious.

After Alcazar we went to the Catedral de Sevilla. I forgot how ornate and grand the cathedrals are in Spain. The main area was flanked with altars to various saints, and the middle section included a 3 story organ. The cathedral included la torre de Giralda (Giralda Tower), which was 34 ramps (1 ramp = 1 flight of stairs) and then 17 stairs to the top. Kalin and I now both have incredibly defined calf muscles. Just for fun, we raced up the last 15 ramps. Kalin won.

Just kidding, I did.

Just kidding, we definitely did not run up anything.

After the tower race, we spent the next few hours just walking around the city and exploring. Seville really does have pretty areas, but it seemed as if for each nice area of town, there was an equally sucio (dirty) area to go with it. I guess I was just expected every area to be clean and completely gorgeous, but whatevs. The whole day ended with us getting cafe con leche, heading back to the hostal for dinner, me getting sick (no worries, I was better the next day), then going to be around 10pm. Woo, Seville.

On Tuesday, we got up early again and went to explore the Jewish neighborhood. Again, this was a fairly dirty area of town and was not my favorite. We saw some cool things, but got bored after about an hour and a half, so we decided to check out early and take an earlier train to Cadiz.

That was Seville.

Oh- one more thing- on Monday, I was sitting in the common room, and saw a guy with a Texas Longhorns shirt on (what are the chances?), so I asked him if he went to school there. As it turns out, he was Canadian, but was wanting to transfer to UT- hook 'em! AND- he was a Mavs fan! So we got to talk a little about the series. Awesome. :)

Enjoying the gardens at the Alcazar!

A bridge at Plaza de Espana!

Okay- love you all! Updates about Cadiz to come soon!


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