Day Trip for one!
12.12.2005 23 °C
I couldnt leave Andalucia without seeing its biggest and most colorful city, Sevilla. Plus, it was nice to have a travel day to myself. My pace, my sights, my pictures, that whole selfish do what i want while i can thing. Whatever, ill call it a mental health day! So up and off to Sevilla this morning. Got in at 11am and walked past the huge line at the 2nd largest cathedral in Europe and decided i would hit that place up later. I passed by a Starbucks (!!!!) and had to stop before winding my way through the Barrio Santa Cruz and the Judería of Sevilla, through the crowded shopping streets (bummer, i know...hehe!) and on down to the Río Guadalquivir. Córdoba and Sevilla share the same river but in Sevilla its gorgeous and here we refer to it as the cesspool, swamp, marsh, or something of the sort. So, i crossed the bridge and took a stroll on the ribera (riverbank) and took it all in. It was gorgeous and sunny and the reflection on the water and off the buildings was just so "postcard"-esk. I crossed back over to the other side and headed to the ....ooppps sorry gotta run! more later, oh yeah and ill finish berlin too!
ok, i swear ill finish it now!
So i crossed back over the river and went to the Bull Ring. This ring, along with the one in Ronda are the sights of the first bull fighting schools, and have seen some famous Correderos (bull fighters) like Manolette, killed in the ring. You had to take a tour to see the inside so i bought my ticket and we entered the stadium through one of the (not prinicple) doors of the ring and into the stands. There are 4 doors into the actual ring, one for the nobility the only green section in the otherwise yellow ring, one for the bulls, one for the horses, and one to the infirmary where they take the wounded fighters. We didnt actually get to step in the ring but you get a good idea of what it would look like full. There is the sun section (cheap) and the shade section or "sombra" where the more wealthy people could afford to sit. We walked down below the seats into the museum where you could see the head of the bull of the mother of the bull that killed Manolette (talk about superstitions). We saw other garb of the past fighters and some vintage posters of past fights before glancing at the infirmary and its operating table, and the horse stalls. The tour was pretty short, but it was cool to see all the parts of the ring.
Then it was back through the cute neighborhoods and colorful streets, Sevilla is so colorful, and back to the Cathedral. This thing is huge. Second largest in Europe, and you can tell. Its Gothic which means that they tried to build the ceilings as high as they could in stone and arches with the rosette stained glass windows. It took more than a century to construct and has tons of Chapels, a treasury, multiple altars and choir bay, a ginormous organ and tons of people. The most amazing thing is that its huge, there is cool stuff inside but its pretty boring to write about so you can read my travel book when i get back to get all the info. Then if was up the Giralda, the minaret left from when that was the sight of the mosque during Muslim rule of Spain. You can climb up the 35 levels of ramps and get a great view of the city. They build ramps so that the bell ringers could ride thier horses up to ring the bells for prayer (as is the use of the Minaret). Ok, so after a hefty portion of time there, i headed back out into the gorgeous sun and towards the Plaza de España. Unlike most other plazas this one is a semi-circle, with a huge fountain in the middle and ceramic tile fountains around the perimeter with different themes of and about Spain on each on. There wasnt much going on in the Plaza but to imagine it full of people during the Feria (Sevilla's main event that takes place in Spring).
It was time for another Starbucks break, considering i dont have one in Córdoba and have thus been starved of this ridiculous addiction before wandering around a little more. It was almost 4 and about time to catch the train back to reality so i made my way back through the bustling streets of Sevilla and onto the rickety train to Córdoba (really, it was a rocky ride). Made it back safe though and luckily still had some sun to enjoy here in Córdoba. Sevilla is gorgeous. It has all the small town charm of Córdoba but more color, Starbucks, more lively and a gorgeous river! For all those wanting to study in Andalucía or even just visit, Sevilla should be top of your list!