Monday, July 29, 2013

Seville Architecture: Streets + Plaza + Cathedral = Sunburn



Here's another photo-packed blog entry.

I arrived in my hostel around 3:00PM. Settled my stuff, got some maps and headed out to the neighborhood to explore the place.

I stepped outside the quaint street of Seville. It was hot.
I know that’s a pretty lame description of the place, but at that time, that’s the most memorable attribute I remembered. 
 
A leaning building
 
I included Seville because I basically followed the itinerary suggested in Why Go Spain (I used the same guide when I planned the Italy leg of my EU I trip). Seville is an architectural delight to the eyes. I knew that immediately when I explored the streets.

 
My main issue now (aside from surviving the scorching weather) is asking someone to take my photo. I’ve had a travel buddy for two weeks so I was able to explicitly direct and review my shots.

 
This wasn't the angle I wanted. But I had limited options.

After a long late lunch and a trip to the groceries for my snack supply, I walked back to the hostel to enjoy some airconditioning before the sunset tour. Do not underestimate the value of airconditioning.

I was the only Filipino in the tour. This wasn’t surprising. I haven’t met any Filipino in any of the walking tours that I’ve joined. I’d be lucky if I meet anyone from South East Asia in the group.  Beware of any “spoilers”. 





The city is built in such a way that the building create shade where you can walk at anytime of the day. That’s why there are weird nooks and alleyways you can slip into. Also, there are two street names. If your map has one streetname, the street will have that that name, and another one. It depends if you can find the street name posted as the same one you see in your map.



This “statue” has bull’s testicles in the “king”. It was rumored that King Ferdinand had a low libido and he ate bull’s testicles as his “Viagra” Queen Isabela has always been depicted as a strong queen and as the stronger partner in their marriage. According to rumor, Magellan “seduced” Queen Isabela in order to gain support to fund his journey. Well he was successful. He found his way to the Philippines.

Bull's testicles hanging from a ship


After the tour, some of the people grabbed some drinks. I don’t normally hang around and mingle but hey, I was travelling solo now and some company would be nice. We ordered beer and swapped stories about travelling. I had a lot to share about Asia, and the Philippines of course, being the “exotic” tourist in the group.

Cheers to travel comapnions

I don’t know what’s the standard rate for tips for free tours. I’d rather not disclose, I fear that I’ll be judged.
The sunset tour was loads of fun - I recommend it!




Twas an uneventful first night in Seville. The extremely hot weather was tiring.

Tiredness gave way to a restful sleep despite the dorm noise. I was ready for the 11AM tour. Oh boy, the sun during the lunch hour is so unforgiving. 



The lunch tour did a different route. In all those spots, the sun beat down on us. It was 42 degrees. A lot of the folks who joined the sunset tour from the previous day also joined this one.

A bullfighting ring. Our guide explains that bullfighting should not be supported.

Spain in embedded in the Philippines’ history. We memorized Magellan’s date of landing, his king, and the lands he conquered conquered. Perhaps there may be a tinge of “frustration” of being conquered for so long by a country – for 333 years. Being conquered for that long, then being conquered by another country again, makes you wonder what was the real Filipino identity before that. There was no concept of Filipino. The Philippines became a country because a bunch of soldiers arrived here, conquered it, and labelled 7,107 islands as one country.



The Philippines was mentioned once during the lunch tour. The Philippines was one of the last three countries that Spain “freed” (because the Philippines was sold to the US for 20 million dollars).

If you want to learn a lot more about the history of the Philippines and you don’t want to read, I highly recommend doing Carlos Celdran’s Intramuros tour (now that’s another blog post, if I ever get around writing it).

I focused on listening about the tales of Seville. The pace was good for walking, chatting and listening to stories but for taking photos. I went back the next day to take my time taking photos and soaking in everything. 
 
Plaza de Espana

 
Thank you fellow solo traveller for this shot
  
The plaza has a spot of each city in Spain



 I managed to get around the city on foot, despite the heat. I had enough powers (the heat took a toll on my powers) after the Cathedral entrance was €8,50.






Intricate design of the ceilings
 







 
The trees offered substandard shade under Seville's sun
 
Temperature: 42 degrees.
I’ve endured 38 degrees, the hot and humid weather in Metro Manila but Seville, even though it is just a couple of degrees higher, takes a toll on the body and the mood.

I went back to the dorm after touring the Cathedral. I was supposed to go the the Alcaraz but the weather was too hot to be enjoyed. I completely understand siesta now. It is too hot to do anything.

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