Well, I am back from my last API Excursion. Natalie and I took a trip to Sevilla on Saturday with Carmen to explore the city a little bit. Once again, we ended up having a bit of bad luck!
Our plan on Saturday was to eat lunch and then tour the Catedral – which is not only one of the largest in Europe, but one of the most impressive. As it turned out, the Catedral had special hours posted for the Christmas holiday and unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to visit on Saturday. So, we decided to walk around the city and shop. I have never in my life seen any place filled with that many people. Granted, it was a Saturday, it is the holidays, and all of the shops were having sales. I still was not expecting to see such a crowd. I think that literally every person who lives in Sevilla was out that day. In addition, I also saw a very large number of twins, more specifically, twin boys. Everyone was dressed to the nines and really enjoying their afternoon out.
|One of the many Nativity scenes that can be found throughout the city. This was one was located inside a hallway of the Catedral|
|Horsedrawn carriages everywhere.|
|Outside the Catedral.|
After shopping, we went back to the hotel to do homework. Around 8:30 we met up with Carmen to walk to the theater where her brother Juan was waiting to join us. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to see one of the best comedic-theatrical performances there is in Spain put on by a group known as Tricicle. The theme of the show was laughter and it was fantastic because there was almost no dialogue during the performance. It didn’t matter. We literally did not stop laughing the entire time. It’s amazing how universal laughter is – we didn’t need to understand any language in particular in order to me amused. After the show, the 3 performers were waiting by the exits to greet the audience. We got lucky and were able to take a photo with one of them. Check it out!
|Starbucks in Sevilla! Just for you MB!|
The next morning, we went to tour the alcazar, another impressive site there in Sevilla. Although, I must say, there are alzacars everywhere in southern Spain, and there comes a point in time, where they all start to look the same. This particular one served a different function. It was used as a place for royalty and religious figures to stay and hold meetings. Although it appeared to have Arabic influence, all of the writing pertained to the Catholic religion.
|Outside the Alcazar|
|Notice the beautiful, detailed work on the walls and ceiling|
|The highlight was the Peacock! Actually...several of them...about a dozen that walk the gardens freely|
|We got lucky and one of the males opened his feathers.|
After, we decided to try the Catedral once again. No luck. Carmen went and spoke to one of the workers about the schedule. I had to keep reminding myself that we were in Spain – and schedules here (if you can even find one) are basically worthless. The woman said that we could enter at 4:30 and that at 5:30 there was a special mass and dance that we could attend. So…we decided to take the later train and hang around for a bit. Carmen took us to this great tapas bar to kill some time. On the walk back to the hotel, we overheard a chorus in the street. I was so excited! Here in Spain, they have their own version Christmas carols. Not exactly Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was still pretty cool to hear in person and I bought a copy of their CD to take the music back to the States with me.
|Singing in the streets!|
We reunited again at 4:30 but guess what…? We couldn’t get into the Catedral! What a surprise!!! But we would still be able to get into the mass/dance, so we really couldn’t complain. I guess I should probably tell you a bit about this “dance.” Evidently, in the 16th century, the religious figurehead at the time permitted a group of boys to perform a short dance on the actual altar of the Catedral during a mass. This was something incredible and very rare. Well, the only way that the tradition could be carried on was for the boys to wear literally the EXACT same outfits each year. Surprisingly, these costumes have endured centuries of use (only to be repaired a few times) and the tradition lives on. Now, when I first heard about the “dance” I was excited. I was expecting an actual, well, dance of some kind. It turned out to be something entirely different. The event began with an abbreviated version of a Catholic mass. After the homily, a small orchestra and a children’s choir walked down the aisle and situated themselves on the altar. Next thing I know, 2 rows of little boys in costumes come down the aisle and form 2 lines in front of the altar. The music starts playing; the choir starts singing, and the little boys start “dancing.” In reality, they were just doing calf-raises and turning around in circles. There were 4 songs that lasted a total of about 10 minutes and that was it. Then the boys left and the priest continued with mass where he had left off. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed in the performance and the weekend in general. I thought we would have been able to have better use of our time. I still had the opportunity to see some things that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen, so I guess it was worth it.
|Those boys looked so miserable the entire time!|
I can’t believe I’ve got 9 days left – into single digits now! I just have to make it through the last of my school work and then its smooth sailing! I can’t wait for Christmas!!!!!!!