An American family's three month adventure in Spain.
Video #2-Catedrales y Caminatas (walks)
Sunday January 22.
First things first: Here is the video the girls put together of today's adventures. I love that they are making these! These are totally created and edited by the girls. My only job is to hold the camera and nag occasionally that they finish editing so I can have my phone back.
Pathway in our courtyard toward the street.
Our Apartment in Triana Seville: Our AirBnB apartment rocks. It is in the Triana neighborhood across the river from (but still easily walkable to) the main touristy section of Seville. The apartment complex has its own gated courtyard so it is quiet and feels very safe; a good thing for this valedictorian of the school for worriers. I have to say the whole city feels very safe, really. The only noise we have at all is from the neighbors but we are getting used to that.
View from our living room to the courtyard below.
The famous Seville orange trees are full of ripe fruit. We haven't plucked any of them off the trees to try yet. Not sure if it is frowned upon or not. Eventually I will probably cave and grab one. I'll report the results if I do (I am guessing the oranges we have from the stores here are even better, and they are dirt cheap).
After yesterday's long walk we took it easier on our feet today. We visited two churches, the opulent Iglesia El Salvador followed by the enormous Cathedral de Seville and finally ate the famous churros con chocolate.
Iglesia El Salvador: We visited the Iglesia El Salvador first, partly because it is a beautiful church, but also (mostly) because it saves at least an hour waiting in line to get into the Cathedral. One combined ticket purchased at El Salvador gets you into both churches. Sweet! We were able to walk past the huge line at the cathedral -- worth it even if we got some confused/dirty looks as we strolled past the many bored folks in the line).
Light passing through a stained glass window makes for a colorful display at El Salvador.
The opulent altar at Iglesia El Salvador.
The church was definitely impressive. Not being a religious person the experience is definitely one of appreciation of the labor and artistry rather than spiritual awe. I assume it must have a layer of experience for Catholics that just doesn't exist for me. But intricately inlaid marble columns and painted ceilings certainly impressed this heathen.
The walk between the two churches was one of my favorite parts of the day. Typical tiny pedestrian-only streets and decorated balconies, and (gasp) less complaining than the day before about the interminable walking walking WALKING! Most stores were closed (because it was Sunday) but the bars and tapas restaurants were hopping. We didn't stop though since we were on a mission to get to the Cathedral.
A. was the chief photographer today and had a great time taking pictures of N. They were playing something called "stock photo challenge" where they try to take as many photos as possible in ten minutes that look like they could be stock photos. I think they mostly just turned out to be cool pics. And having something fun to do made the walks less tedious for them.
Cathedral of Seville: On to the Cathedral! We strolled past the unhappy hoard of line-waiters and walked straight in to the entry way of the Cathedral. It is hard to describe the sensation that entering the immense nave of the cathedral creates. Its enormous volume is cavernous in the truest sense. The height and width of the ceilings feels otherworldly. And although there are stained glass windows, and ridiculously high ceilings, it does not exude lightness or a feeling of soaring (to me), but rather weight and heaviness.
A small sense of the vastness of the cathedral.
Christopher Columbus' Tomb
The Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world and the third largest church in the world (after St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and Brazil's Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida). Also Christopher Columbus's tomb (and, allegedly part of his body) are here.
I remember seeing the Seville Cathedral for the first time when I was in college and I was shocked by its size and grandeur and the intricacy of the silver and wood and marble artistry. The girls' reaction was a bit more . . . tepid. Words like "creepy" and "strange" and "can we leave now" were used. I think it made an impression anyway and even if they don't think it now, they will remember it as being pretty damn cool, even if in an imposing, cold, kind of overwhelming way.
Ceiling of smaller chapel.
The orange trees in the patio garden at the cathedral. The oranges were tempting.
Churros con Chocolate: We finally ate one of Spain's famous treats: churros con chocolate. They are freshly fried plain doughnut strips (kind of) dipped into thick hot chocolate (more like melted chocolate). They are not at all like the cinnamon and sugar covered churros at home. We are fans.
That was it for today. Tomorrow we are headed for Seville's Alcazar. Maybe another overwhelming building will get a different reaction. We shall see.
We visited the Alhambra on a slightly chilly but pleasant late January day. We decided to separate the Alhambra from the rest of our Granada post since it is a bit of a photogenic blog hog and really can't share with anything else. We have been looking forward to the girls' reaction to it for our whole Spain trip, and the extra build up of seeing it lit up for two nights before we went added some drama and mystery to the whole affair. The girls were impressed. It takes a lot for buildings to impress kids, since structures are way down on the list of things kids care about, but they were not in a rush to leave and were perfectly content to wander around seeing what amazing thing was around each corner. It helped that there were feral cats everywhere in the Alhambra. It is unclear if they have tried in the past to control the population, but if so they clearly have thrown up their hands in defeat. The visitors and especially the kids were thrilled with their pr
Our second mini-trip from Sevilla was to Cordoba, famous for its flower-filled patios and the Mosque (turned) Cathedral - the Mezquita. We took the high speed AVE train that got us to Cordoba in about 40 minutes. It reached about 300 km/hr at its fastest and it was beautiful seeing the orange groves zipping past. It was our first train trip in Spain. My previous trips to Europe were done almost completely by train, but with a family of four, and being over-25 year old drivers, it is usually more efficient to rent a car than to buy four train tickets. Cordoba was an exception. Our visit to Cordoba was short, two nights, so we only had time for a quick walk and dinner the evening we arrived, one full day of exploring, then we left around noon the following day. Since it is February, flowering patios are not at their height of splendor, but they are still present and its easy to imagine what an explosion of color they are in a couple of months from now. The Mezquita (C
¡Gracias por otro blog encantador! ¡Joy y yo lo disfrutamos mucho!ReplyDelete
Pero ahora, ¡todo lo que podemos pensar es en el chocolate de churro!