Sevilla is the Spain that Everyone Imagines

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 19, 2012

Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, April 12, 2012

My friend Tara and I went on a whirlwind trip to Sevilla, having found extremely cheap flights! (5 euros each way!). I had been there before but it was 5 years ago and it was like discovering a whole new city!

We got into Sevilla very late at night, and all we had time for was a nice dinner at a little cafe. We tried some of the local seafood dishes, although my favourite was the chicken curry. After that we went to bed early - lots to do in the morning.

On our only full day in Sevilla we did a TON of walking. We walked pretty much everywhere. We started at the Basilica Macarena, which is NOT named after the dance. It is named after the Virgin Macarena who inspired the song as she was celibate her whole life. If you listen to the lyrics they are a little bit derogatory. Then we saw the Andalucian Parliament and walked down to the river. We walked all the way along the river until we reached El Torre de Oro and the Bull Fighting ring. After a quick lunch of Italian food (we are SO sick of tapas), we ventured to Plaza de Espana which is so beautiful! There is a bench for each major city in Spain. 

After all of this walking, we went back to our hostel for... guess what!.. a free walking tour! Our guide was a really nice guy from New Jersey. We saw the Cathedral and the Giralda and the Alcazar (although we didn't go in), and he told us the history of the Moorish occupation of Spain and the impact it had on Sevilla. Sevilla was actually the capital of the Moorish empire at one point! Hence all the Arabic-looking architecture and names. We also went through the Jewish quarter which was very sad as Spain has a history of religious intolerance. We went to Calle de la Muerte (Street of Death) and Calle de la Vida (Street of Life) where the Christian soldiers slaughtered thousands of Jewish people.

Our guide told us about the symbol NODO which is found everywhere in Sevilla, it is a symbol of the people never betraying their King. As the story goes, there was a very good King who was tolerant of all religions and allowed Jews and Muslims to practice as they pleased, however his son and heir did not share these beliefs. When the King realized this he named his Grandson as heir and the son decided to go to war with his father. When he reached the gates of Sevilla he told the townspeople to give up the King or he would burn the city down. But the people didn't move or betray the King. The King was so moved by this that he coined the symbol NODO which means No me ha dejado, (it has not left me). It is found everywhere in the city.

 We also saw the supposed house of Don Pedro, and a house where a beautiful Jewish girl killed herself and made the townspeople put her skull in the window. It was a very interesting tour!

After the tour, we went to a tablao to see a Flamenco show! It lasted about 3 hours, and was amazing! At first the music didn't appeal to me because it was so rough and raw, but it really grew on me as the night went on. Flamenco originated in Sevilla, and has become a symbol of Spain. It is usually danced alone, although we did see some partner dancing. It is extremely passionate and quick, almost violent at parts. I really really loved it! 

The next day we only had the morning to explore, so we headed to the Real Alcazar, the former palace of the Moorish King, which had been converted to a Christian palace later on. It is huge, and very Arabic-looking. There are huge gardens with peacocks roaming around. It was breathtaking! Unfortunately then I had to catch a flight home, but it was a good trip to one of the most iconic Spanish cities.
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