Woke up to rain and wind. Here we thought it was going to be hot!
Breakfast. We are so far into the old city that the bus is about a 15 minute walk away...so we opted for a cab. Cobblestones and downhill didn't seem like a good idea in the rain. Cab drivers are totally amazing! Many sharp corners and narrow streets...we missed scraping by inches...really inches! He had to do an extra back up/go forward on one of the corners.
Couple of hours on the bus including our potty stop. Then Seville...Spain's third largest city.
Had a guided tour of the Basilica de la Macarena. Lots of information about the traditions and customs surrounding their devotion to Mary.
Had a guided tour of the cathedral...third largest in Europe and the largest gothic church anywhere.
Early wine and tapas.
Flamenco dance performance at 7:30. Not what I had expected but supposedly authentic. Black costumes, no castinettes, no staging. Amazing dancing and guitar playing, though. The singing was not good at all...kind of a chanted wail. It would have helped had we known the language!
Room smells like sewer. Desk said to cover toilet, plug sink and bathtub!! Not an ideal hotel to end our trip. Can you tell I am tired?!
Lots more notes but I am too tired.
Seville did all kinds of construction and beautifications for their 1929 world's Fair...stock market crash and nobody came!
1992. World's Fair and Olympics...put Spain on the map for tourism.
Seville was very wealthy from the Years of Discovery. It was the port for all the new products.
Traditional colors for the buildings....white and yellow ochre (color of the land).
People in Seville and surrounding areas are very religious church goers. They have many, many religious traditions. The faithful are iconoclastic...they need to see representations of the saints and Jesus and Mary. They have an obsessive devotion to Mary!
Holy Week is huge. They prepare for a whole month before...washing their homes inside and out! They have a huge Holy Week parade. The statues from their neighborhood churches are paraded. Up to the cathedral and back on huge floats...huge floats. The floats depict the passion and death of Christ. The special float for the Macarena (Mary) is 4000 pounds of gold and silver. It takes 48 men to carry it. Teams switch off every 1.5 hours. It is a huge honor to carry a float...a lifetime position. Must pass a physical each year to participate. It involves anywhere from 4 - 14 hours of carrying the float depending on how far the local church is from the cathedral. (We actually so a group of young men and boys practicing one afternoon). It is a big deal. Bars (eateries that serve alcohol) make as much during this week as they do the whole rest of the year. They were hurt this year because of the rain...unusual. Up north they do not like this...too flamboyant. But the people of Seville do. They are a baroque city and love excess...really an understatement!
Agriculture in this area: cotton, rice, Valencia oranges, olives, olive oil, potatoes, berries, corn