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Published: April 9th 2016
Today, we headed out to explore the great Andalusian city of Seville. Our first stop was the Plaza de Espana.
The Plaza de Espana, a semicircular plaza with a large central fountain was built as the central office for the Ibero-American Exposition, a world fair held in Seville in 1929. Designed by the Spanish architect Anibal Gonzalez, the complex is decorated with azulejos, painted ceramic tiles that are popular in Seville. The most interesting artwork is the series of fifty-eight benches that line the façade of the main structure. The benches represent each of the provinces of Spain
The plaza is surrounded by a canal and beautiful bridges decorated with ceramic tiles.
It was used as an important film location, including scenes from Lawrence of Arabia, and Star Wars Episode II –Attack of the Clones as the city of Theed on the Plant Naboo
After the plaza, the majority of the group headed to the bullring. I found the bullring to be very similar to the one that Renata and I visited in Ronda. Nevertheless, it was interesting to learn about Spanish bullfighting history and seeing the small bullfighting museum.
We ate lunch at a nearby restaurant off the main square and then headed off to the Seville Cathedral. The enormous Cathedral is the third largest church in the world. It houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus held aloft by four allegorical figures representing the four kingdoms of Spain: Castille, Aragon, Navara and Leon. There is debate on whether his remains are in Spain or in the Dominican Republic. Both countries claim to hold the remains of Christopher Columbus, however, only Spain has obtained a DNA test.
By the time we finished visiting the Cathedral at around 3:00pm the Contiki bus was arriving to take people back to the hotel, to freshen up and get ready for the night out. Renata and I decided to stay in the city a little longer and visit the Alcazar.
The Alcazar is a royal palace, developed by the Moorish kings. It has the same mudejar architecture that is found in the Alhambra in Granada. It is also used as a set location for the 5th
season of Game of Thrones and in the film Lawrence of Arabia. It was great to take our time to see
the gardens and admire the beauty of the place. It did not feel as rushed as the Alhambra in Granada.
When the Alcazar was near its closing time, we headed to a nearby café where we met Regina and Patty and various Manchester City soccer fans. Apparently, Manchester City was playing Seville FC for a Championship League football game that day. It was great listening to the drunk Manchester City fans sing and party in the streets before the big game. However, the Seville FC fans were nowhere to be seen. Maybe, they were hiding from the overwhelming Manchester City crowds.
After relaxing at the café, we met up with the rest of the Contiki group at a nearby restaurant for dinner and a flamenco show.
Flamenco, an artform native to Andalusia, includes singing, guitar playing, and dancing. Many of the flamenco dancers try to express their deepest emotions through quick body movements and facial expressions. It was definitely one of the best experiences we had in Spain and I highly recommend seeing a flamenco show, if you are in Spain.
After the show, some of
the group headed out for a night out. I was not feeling well so I headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow, we say goodbye to Spain and head on our way to Lisbon, Portugal. I feel sad to leave Seville. It would have been nice to spend a bit more time in this great city, but I am excited to explore Lisbon, Portugal.
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