Mi Viaje a EspaƱa y Portugal 2005 travel blog

Tavira, Portugal on the Algarve coast

Cathedral in Sevilla, biggest Gothic church in the world

front of the cathedral in Sevilla

gate into the old part of the city, Sevilla

Torre del Oro on the riverfront in Sevilla

Walter busted drinking a Starbucks latte

enjoying a little bit o' Seattle right here in Sevilla

The last few days have been a blur. We left Salema, Portugal on Saturday morning, stopping in Tavira, also on the Algarve, just long enough for a stroll through the town center, taking pictures and stretching our legs. It was very cool little town and we contemplated spending the night, but we have been doing too many 'one night stands' so to speak, which can be exhausting, and we wanted at least 2 days in Sevilla. We ended up arriving in Sevilla around 2:00, without a good map of the city, and let's just say it was an "adventure". I am sure that anyone who has ever driven in a European city can relate to that. Having travelled through many European cities, I have often been very greatful for the great public transportion system, and thankful I don't need to drive in one, espcially if I don't know where I am going. We drove around for over an hour, getting stuck in traffic and feeling pretty frustrated. Thank god for the Lonely Planet map I had, but it didin't help much when many of the streets didn't have names posted. It was sheer mayhem I tell ya. There were however many signposts listing at least 20 hotels, but none showing which direction the tourist information office or train station were. Finally we stopped at a hotel and I asked the clerk for directions. As it turned out, we were pretty close. By the time we dropped off the car, we were ready for a stiff drink or two.

Our htoel in Sevilla was in a good location, but very dark and gloomy. The one window faced an interior, enclosed courtyard, so you couldn't tell if it was day or night, but the price was right and it was pretty quiet. In fact, the whole city seemed pretty quiet. A lot of restaurants and shops were closed, and we walked around for quite a while just to find a place to eat. We saw the main tourist sites, but both of us were feeling a bit burned out on churches. One can only see so much morbid, Catholic art. I remember seeing a replica of the severed head of John the Baptist, literally laying on a silver platter. It was very life-like, the tortured look on his dead face, even down to the windpipe, vertebrae and tendons at the bottom of the neck.

And for those of you who are wondering about the latest European fashion trends, it seems that the mullet is back in full force. Everywhere you look in Spain, you see guys sporting this haircuit from the glorious 80's. Short on the sides, spiked on top and long in back, hanging over the collar like a beautful mudflap. Yes, everything really does come around again. And I thought we had seen the last of them with the end of the 80's (except for soccer players and some lesbians that is). Most of these mullet-wearing Spaniards are also often seen carrying what can only be descbribed as a 'man purse'. They come in all shapes and sizes, from sporty little colored, vinyl models to big leather versions resembling your grannies handbag. I guess they really aren't much different than a large fanny pack or small backpack, except that they are basically, well, purses.

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