Monday, June 20, 2011

Nothing to worry about. Obviously when they build a bridge like this they take into account that elephants will be crossing here.

Ah Monday, why must you always ruin a perfectly good weekend? Time marches on, I guess. At any rate, I did have an excellent weekend. Most of my friends went to Portugal this weekend. I thought about meeting up with them in Lagos for Saturday and Sunday but ultimately decided to stay and chill in Seville. After seeing their photos, I kind of wish I had gone with them to Portugal... but alas, I did not. And honestly, it was a great weekend. I got to discover Seville a bit and see the major tourist destinations here, so it was good.

Thursday night I went to the Archeological museum with Dean Mirrow and some of the other kids in class. It was pretty cool. They have the second largest collection of Roman law in the world, like actual bronze tablets from the Roman era. I'm such a nerd, but I thought that was pretty damn cool. Stephanie, Jeff, and I wondered around town for a bit after that. We had some amazing pizza, and then almost got run over by some bulls. This Thursday is the Corpus Christi holiday in Spain. The Spaniards take their religious holidays very seriously, and they've already begun processions, apparently. I don't know, maybe it was like a practice run. But they're building some big thing in the middle of town for Corpus Christi.I'm not really sure what it's going to be. I guess I'll find out on Thursday. Anyway, last Thursday, Stephanie, Jeff, and I saw a procession going down the street. Well, it wasn't so much a procession as a really fancy cart. At any rate, here's a picture.Yes, those are bulls pulling the cart. Bulls are kind of a big deal in Spain. There's a bull fighting ring in Seville, but I'm not sure I could watch that, so I haven't gone. I saw the outside of the ring; I think that may be close enough for me. And I got to see these bulls pull a fancy cart across the street, so I'm good I think.

Anyway, Friday I slept through breakfast, so I went to a Cafe by the Cathedral that a friend had suggested had the best chocolate croissants. She may have been right. That was the best damn chocolate croissant I've ever had.Doesn't that look amazing? It was!

My goal for this weekend was to hit El Catedral, El Real Alcazar, and El Torre del Oro. So Friday, after I ate my delicious chocolate croissant, I headed out to the Cathedral. As expected, I got distracted. There's this guy that plays the blues across the street from the Cathedral. He's there almost every day, so when we walk home from school we always pass him. I've wanted to go sit and listen for a while; when I saw that he was out there on Friday, I headed over to enjoy the music. I chilled there for a while. It was wonderful. He's actually quite good, so it was extraordinarily enjoyable. I took a video, but for some reason my blog won't post videos. I'll put it on facebook if you care to look it up.

Anyway, I did a bit of shopping on Friday too. I finally went to the souvenir shops in town. Of course they had all kinds of collectibles, so I finally got me a Spain spoon. Anyway, eventually I meandered my way over to the Cathedral. They actually give student discounts, but I forgot to bring my ID, so I had to pay the full price which made my little heart (and my little pocketbook) sad, but all was made well again when I walked into the building. The outside of the Cathedral is amazing, but the inside is . . . I don't even know. Incredible. Apparently it's the 3rd largest church in the world. It was definitely humongous. And the artwork, the architecture, everything. It was just extraordinary. I took a bunch of pictures (and by "a bunch" I mean like 160. Seriously.). They're all on facebook if you care to view them, but here are a few so you can get a general feel for what it looked like.This is the entrance, or the tourist entrance, anyway. The entrance I went in on Sunday was a different door (I went to mass. More on that lil adventure later.)Apparently that is Christopher Columbus' tomb.That's the main alter. Anyway, isn't it incredible? That's just a few shots of the Cathedral. It was huge. I needed 160 pictures just to get everything. Well, almost everything.

After the Cathedral I went home and took a siesta. Wonderful Spanish tradition that I think Americans should adopt. A lot of the shops in Seville close from about 2:30 - 4:00 for siesta. Everything's closed, might as well take a nap, right? Anyway, after my glorious little siesta, I wondered around Seville for a bit, checked out some of the local boutiques. It was good. I really enjoy wondering around big cities. It's so much fun to see all the different people. Apparently tourist season has started in Seville; there were so many people here this weekend. It was insane, and it was weird to suddenly here English everywhere I went.

Anyway, on Saturday I went to the Alcazar which is the palace here in Seville. It was pretty cool. The best part about it was the gardens where, of course, my camera batteries died. Aarg! I'm going to steal copies of my friends pictures though. The garden was incredible. For one thing, it was huge. We spent at least an hour and a half wondering around the garden and we didn't see the whole thing. For another thing, it was absolutely beautiful. There were so many different kinds of flowers and so many different colors. There were little fountains everywhere (and a few big ones). There were some random peacocks hanging out. We also saw a parakeet and two turtle doves. The garden made the entire thing worth it. I think there is going to be an outside concert there at the end of this month. I want to go; I bet it's beautiful at night with the garden all lit up and everything.

Saturday night I had great ambitions of actually getting some homework done, so I stayed in. Of course, I didn't get any homework done. Oh well. I discovered these ridiculously delicious cookies... I'm pretty sure when I get back to the States I'm going to be 30 pounds heavier. So no one say anything, ok! Anyway, it'll be totally worth it. The gelato is amazing; I eat this delicious toast with marmalade for breakfast everyday. I have a ridiculous amount of carbs everyday (in my defense, that's just how the Spanish eat. Lots of bread, pasta, potatoes, that sort of thing.) And now I have discovered these cookies. I'm definitely bringing this shit home with me. So good! If no one tells me how fat I got in Spain, I might share them with you.

Anyway, Sunday I again slept through breakfast. Big surprise. There's this little donut shop down the street. It looks like a Dunkin Donuts, but it's called Duffin Dagels. I have no idea what a dagel is or what it means for a dagel to be duffin, but anyway. They have these donuts that are like kit kat or cookie hybrid. That's what I decided to have for breakfast. I had a kit kat donut and a cookie donut.So good! It was an awful idea, but they tasted pretty damn good. Anyway, after my sugary-death-guaranteed breakfast, I went on the hunt for camera batteries. I swear I checked every freaking store in this town. When I finally found some, I was so happy I could've kissed the clerk. I didn't though. Anyway, as luck would have it, the shop with the batteries was right across the street from my favorite Spanish blues player. So I went and chilled there for a while again.

I decided to head back to the apt, but when I passed the Cathedral, I noticed the doors were open. In all of my genius I thought "Maybe it's free on Sundays." Anyway, I was all for going in again, so I went through the doors and wandered. I realized quickly though, that the doors were open because it's Sunday, and they still use the Cathedral for worship and they were having mass. I've never been to Mass before, so I thought, why not? They had it roped off and there was a lady there making sure tourists didn't interrupt the service. I asked her if I could go in for Mass and she said of course. So she let me in, and I went to Mass. It was all in Spanish, so I really have no idea what was going on, but it was cool. I missed the beginning of the services, but I was there for the Sacrament. The sacramental prayer was really long, but after the Priest or Father or whatever prays, the priest or father or whatever and some deacons or whatever come down from the main alter to where the pews are. If you want to partake of the sacrament, you go up there. It was interesting. I rather enjoyed it. Not like I feel the need to go again, but I'm glad I went. There was something wonderfully peculiar about worshipping God in a Cathedral that large and that old. I felt a certain solidarity with the other worshippers. You know, even though we don't believe the same things, we were all there to worship the same God. I don't know. I enjoyed it, and I'm glad I went.

It was a good thing, though, that mass isn't very long. Shortly thereafter my body let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I am too old to have donuts for breakfast. Bleh. It was unpleasant and definitely unpretty, but I survived. I was supposed to be meeting Alejandros friend from Paris and showing her around until they all got back from Portugal, so I was getting a little nervous, but I survived the sugary-death-guarantee and was able to meet up with Clara as arranged.

It was fun to get to meet someone new. Clara is very nice, and we had a good time wandering around the city. We initially were following some googlemaps directions to the Golden Tower, but I quickly realized googlemaps is retarded. So we threw out the directions and headed out on our own. To my great surprise, I actually managed to steer us in the right direction and we found the tower. Then we headed to Plaza de Espana. When we first got there, I was a little confused as to why there were so many bloody people there. I quickly realized though, upon remembering that Sunday was the 19th of June, that this was the starting place of the Toma la Calle protest (Take the street). They've been advertising it for weeks now, and it was finally happening, and I was there! Clara is also into the power to the people and peaceful protests, so we had a good time hanging out with the protesters. We even marched with them for a bit, but we had to get back to meet Alejandro.

Anyway, so we returned and met up with our friends and the weekend came to a close. My friends showed me there pictures from Portugal, and I was a little jealous. I'm glad I stayed here though. I had a blast in Seville and had a few adventures of my own. All things considered, it was a damn fine weekend.

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