Saturday, February 19, 2005

My day in Seville

Okay, remember when I said I was going to have a torrid affair with Edinburgh because it’s so gorgeous and amazing, even though I’m committed to Aberdeen? Well, I’ve decided I’m going to marry Spain and start a second family with it and not tell Aberdeen a damn thing. I LOVE IT HERE.

How did I get here? I’ve never even thought about going to Spain. I think I’m really scared of language barriers because Germany is always at the top of my list when I daydream about visiting a European country. (The UK doesn’t count because they don’t like to consider themselves part of Europe for some reason. I’m just going with it.) This year is pretty special because I have several friends studying abroad in different countries and this makes it easier to get out there and visit them with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Anyway, for some reason I never thought I’d go to Spain, but then Jen moved there and we love Jen so we go visit Jen. It’s only February, but it’s absolutely gorgeous here already. It’s not too hot, but the sun is...existent, which is an improvement on Aberdeen. (I shouldn’t say “improvement” because I’m such a fan of cold weather and do snow dances every day, but you know what I mean.) Cádiz is the oldest city in Europe (maybe in the world? I forgot), and has the longest stretch of urban beach in Europe. When I heard “urban beach,” I thought it was one of those fun facts they use in the tourist guides to make you want to go there but when you get there it’s all polluted and unswimmable because it’s an urban beach but the factoid is technically true. But no, IT’S AMAZING.

I didn’t even spend today in Cádiz. Last night Jen took me out to meet some of her friends and we had a really good night out. I didn’t get home until 5 AM, but if you ask any of Jen’s friends they would tell you we went home early because the nightlife in Spain (but especially Cádiz) is notorious for literally going until the break of dawn. Around 3 or 4 in the morning, some of Jen’s friends were just arriving at the club. We were the party poopers for leaving at 4:30 in the morning.

Today we hopped on a bus to Seville and spent the day there. We got kind of a late start due to the intensity with which we got the party started the night before, but Seville is only an hour and a half away by bus. We spent the first part of the afternoon exploring the Reales Alcázares -- Alcazar Palace -- and its courtyards, which were so beautiful it was unreal. This is where I ought to be able to quote some fun facts or history, but all I know is it was built in the 14th century and it’s really, really pretty. I read somewhere that the King and Queen stay there when they come to Seville, but is there still a King and Queen of Spain? Am I really stupid for not knowing that?

Next we visited the Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla), which was also pretty incredible, though in a creepier way than the Alcazar Palace because of all the religious imagery. Cathedrals like that are obviously beautiful and massive and architecturally mind-blowing, but I when I walk through them my amazement is always mixed with a feeling of uneasiness that something like organized religion could result in such an awesome thing. Eek.

The Seville Cathedral is the biggest Gothic structure in Europe, and the third biggest Cathedral in the world. The main hall is really something to see. After taking that in, since we didn’t have that much time before the place closed for the day, Jen and I headed for La Giralda (the tower adjoining the Cathedral) for a spectacularly panoramic view of Seville. We spent the last half hour in a room Jen had heard about which is supposed to have great acoustics, and kept waiting for people to leave us alone in there so she could sing. After a few rounds of “Amazing Grace,” she asked me for some suggestions of what else she could sing, but she rudely rejected my request that she belt out “Respect” or “Dirrty.” I submit that Jesus is probably tired of “Amazing Grace” and wouldn’t mind a little respect when you come home, or perhaps sweating until his clothes come off.

Our last three hours in Seville were spent exploring the city on foot and going out for Mexican food, an experience which was enhanced by the realization that we had no idea how to get back to the bus station and the last bus to Cádiz was in half an hour. Luckily, we made it on time by taking a taxi. That story was so much more thrilling when it was happening in real life.

Now I’m back home with my host family having a rest before we embark on another night out. I don’t know if that’s going to work out, though, because Jen and I are both exhausted and I still haven’t had a proper night of sleep since before I left Aberdeen. But I guess I didn’t come here to sleep, did I?


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?