Published: June 22nd 2012June 22nd 2012
Spanish American Exhibition
The fourth largest city in Spain behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia is absolutely beautiful. It is also hot! Today the temperature approached 100 but fortunately it was very dry with low humidity. It felt warm in the sun but in the shade it was tolerable.
Our first stop was the city center area which was essentially the historic city of old Seville. We visited the Jewish quarter, there are less than 2000 living in Seville. We also visited a park that was gifted to the people by the ruling family in the 1800’s; the family actually could not afford the upkeep so they turned it over to the city as long as the city kept it a park. Pretty smart eh?
We saw memorials to Spain’s favorite son Cristobel Colon (aka Christopher Columbus). It was here Cristobel left to discover the West Indies in 1492. Other great sailors also came from Seville among then Americus Vespucci, and the pirate Barbarossa aka Red Beard. Cristobel was neither Spanish nor Italian. He was from Genoa, now a part of Italy, but Italy did not exist in Christopher’s time so he could not be Italian. Sorry Folks!
Cathy and Me!
the optional tour of the Seville Cathedral the burial place of Christopher Columbus. We learned that several places lay claim to the body of Columbus. He did die in Spain and his body lay there for about 36 years. His family later agreed to send his body and that of his son (who also sailed to America on three other voyages with Chris) to Hispaniola. Christopher loved Hispaniola so it seemed appropriate a resting place. He lay here for a period of time then was moved to Havana Cuba. Eventually after nearly 200 years his bones were sent back to Spain. Or maybe not.
Unfortunately there is much contention as to who is buried in Seville. Each previous place swears that the body is still in their town. In 2002 the tomb was open and it was discovered that there was less than ½ pound of bones and dust remaining. Testing done by the FBI, The German University and the special labs set up in the US for identification of the World Trade victims could not find enough DNA to test.
Finally the University in Rome was successful and the DNA was tested against known brothers and a
Seville Cathedral where Chris Columbus went to church
son of Columbus which proved that with 99.9% certainty that someone was indeed buried in the tomb. Only kidding, they proved it was indeed Columbus. In 2007 they opened the tomb in Havana Cuba and there also found bones and remains, but the government refused to allow testing so the Cuban remains are unconfirmed. So at least a part of Chris lays at rest in Seville completing his journey from the new world.
We then visited the site of the Spanish/American Exposition held also in 1929. As you may recall there was a world’s fair in Barcelona in 1929. Not to be outdone Seville and the US agreed to build another exhibition site dedicated to the arts of Spain and America. A huge plaza was built and the result was a beautiful location now used by the Spanish Government as local and national offices. There is also a museum and restaurants in the area making this a pleasant place to stop and view the beauty that was 1929. The buildings are beautiful today and must have been something when they were new.
After this came free time and lunch. We asked our local guide where she suggested we
Tomb of Columbus
eat and she directed us to a local restaurant called the Golden Bull an off the tourist path and a place frequented by locals. An excellent suggestion!
We dined on an assortment of meats, grilled of course; a Caesar Salad, Paella of fish and shrimp in a butter sauce. All delicious and all huge portions. We did however finish most of the meal. Then back to the bus for the short drive to the hotel and a much needed shower and a nap! The temperature was over 100 degrees at this time.
We slept for 2.5 hours and awakened refreshed and ready for the evening entertainment…Flamenco Dance and dinner. This is the same location Cathy, Chris and I visited 5 years ago, but this time we ate dinner at the show. Dinner was OK nothing really special. Appetizer of 3 different Tapas, a nice goat cheese salad, a main course of Salmon or Pork (we all had the pork) and of course flan for dessert. The wine and sangria was free flowing as was the dancing.
Flamenco is highly choreographed and involves specific movement and expression. The music comes from a Spanish Guitar and is accompanied by
King Ferdinand was short and apparently gay
clapping and mush foot slapping. It was an experience. The costumes were colorful and the dancers were entertaining. All too soon it was time to go back to the hotel. It was still 95 degrees at 9:30 PM!
Tomorrow we head to Portugal.
There are more photos below