Sevilla is the Spain that Everyone Imagines
Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
21Trip End May 19, 2012
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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
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
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.