Sevilla 2013 has been in the Campbell family plan since I decided to not have any other options but to return to Spain last year.
It’s one of the cities in Spain that I had heard only great things about from friends that had studied abroad, or other Spaniards that have gone on holiday (ha ha, vacation).
And because of Granada’s close (by U.S standards) proximity, the Alhambra was a must since the Moors are my dad’s “second favorite people, after the Romans.”
My stays in any given city are no more than a quick weekend…2-3 days max. I run around, look at all the sites and only enter if they are free or cheap, eat everything, especially if it’s “typical”, and then return home dazed, happy, poorer, fatter, and maybe even more open minded….?
Well I was ready to have a slow paseo kind of a week in Sevilla. We didn’t have to run to 2-3 museums a day. We didn’t have to run at all! We could do one cultural touristy experience a day, and then live our lives normally since we rented a flat (aparment haha) where we could go home and read or nap in our own areas and not all be in the same hotel room like caged animals.
Our place was ideally located, in the Santa Cruz neighborhood….narrow streets, near the Cathedral and pretty much all the great toursity things.
Photos from the Alcazar. An excellent wannabe of the Alhambra.
Being with my parents was so great, but my aunt really said it best….it was like my practice for having children. (on vacation).
Lesson 1: Walk slow. I’m so used to running from class to class knocking over old people, and people that smoke (aka EVERYONE), and I only occasionally remember to slow down. My parents helped me remember that.
Lesson 2: Order everyone’s food: Pretty straightforward. My parents don’t speak Spanish, and I consider myself pretty good until it comes to menus. If you’re not sure, your default is that it’s part of a pig.
Lesson 3: naps. Yes i’m in Spain, but I don’t actually take a siesta. The time just exists for me to be incapable of doing anything except eat for 2 hours until I go teach again.
Lesson 4: Crazy questions: Hey, why is that woman wearing an ugly shirt? Why is this TV show so bad? What are they eating? What’s this Latin scrawl mean? How come the sun is shining?
The sun sure did shine in Sevilla, and we had a steady temperature of 18 Celcius. The adjustment for my parents was with the fact that the sun doesn’t really start working until about 1 p.m. It’s similar in Logrono I guess, but I’m usually trapped indoors and it’s cold anyways so I don’t pay attention. And while those southern Spain dwellers could not have been more genius in their design for keeping things cool, I didn’t want to feel quite so cool in January. We took every opportunity to eat in a sunny plaza, or find a bench that wasn’t tucked in a cool narrow street corner. We had a sunny day in Granada. Even though it was about as cold as Logrono, it was still nice for walking around the beautiful Alhambra gardens.
Since my only experience with Granada was the Alhambra, I can’t critique it too well as a city although it did seem like a nice size with good shopping and some interesting hippie dippy kind of people.
Sevilla showed me all the things that people think of when they think of Spain without having ever been. After studying abroad one summer in San Sebastian, and living for 8 months in Logrono and mainly keeping to the north, I didn’t understand why the top associations with Spain were always bulls, sangria, Flamenco, beaches….
It seems bogus (explain that in another language) to say that Sevilla confirmed many of the stereotypes about Spain, but it goes beyond all of those things. I got a special feeling being there that the city motto was further ingrained in me.
NO8DO. “No me ha dejado” “It (Sevilla) has not left me/abandoned me” It was those rather slow moments of walking around with my parents that I enjoyed just being there and looking at all the well dressed people and wondering why there was a crisis when I could barely enter the Corte Ingles without getting stampeded.
Now that It’s been 2013 for three weeks I could officially say my resolutions but I have to make sure they are really all possible and make sense first.
Friday I’m off to Palma-Mallorca for the weekend to gather some pearls and celebrate San Sebastian and chase away the devil with fireworks. I’m pretty sure both of those statements are real, but we’ll all know 100% next week.