Day 14: Sevilla, Spain
Posted on in Transatlantic Cruise and Europe • 1529 words • 8 minute read
Today we started early, went to breakfast and then got out in Cadiz (cad-ese; with an emphasis on the s), our port for the day. We had a simi-private tour to Sevilla (seh-vil is the English pronunciation but if you want to be more proper and use the Spanish version it goes like seh-v-ee-yuh) today and it started in Cadiz. As we drove out of Cadiz the guide, Francisco, talked over the intercom about the city. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and was settled by the phonetians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths (I think), the moors and now the Spanish. Cadiz was the starting point for Columbus’s journey to discover the new world. It used to be an island and Sevilla was on the coast of th sea. It has a long history of being a sea oriented city as well as an aerospace center. It was an hour and fourty-five minutes drive to Sevilla. I slept a good deal of the way. The countryside that I did get to see was beutiful, nothing like anything at I have seen in the States. Anyway when we got to Seville we drove down the main avenue and saw all of the beautiful buildings. Then we stopped at one of the squares in the city. American square I believe was the name. This park was made for the world exhibition that was held in nineteen twenty-nine. In this park was a nice fountain and a lot of pigeons. The pigeons were a gift from someone, maybe the king of Spain or something like that. On one side of the square was a renaissance style building made by Seville’s equivalent to Gaudi. There was also a moorish style building on he opposite side. The next thing that we did is get back on the bus and go to the old Jewish and Muslim quarters. The first quarter that we went to was he Jewish quarter. This area was very nice with lots of small streets and alleys with hole-in-a-wall shops and buildings that were built in very tight spaces. We went all over going down streets and through small squares. It was nice because the whole area is pedestrian only. So we didn’t have to worry about being run over by cars or motorcycles like we did in Vietnam. We went to a palace called the Alcazar. This palace was built b the moors (the Muslims in Spain) and hen taken over by the Christians in the reconquest of Spain for Christianity. Inside there was much moorish influence in the architecture and in the decoration but in some places the Christians had Christianized the buildings. One such place was a courtyard that was moorish on the bottom but on the top they had put a renaissance style floor. It didn’t look good. It was really hot, 44 degrees centigrade, 112 degrees Fahrenheit and though it was really neat it was always just where’s the next shady spot! I need shade! Etc. After going to the Alcazar we went to a square in between the Alcazar and the cathedral. This square was called Plaza del Something I forgot the name of the square but it had a statue of someone (descriptive, eh?). This was to be our meeting place after a little free time in which we could go and do whatever we wanted. We decided to go walking looking for an ice cream place that we had seen. We didn’t find it but we found a different ice cream shop and we went inside. We used our Español (Spanish) to order our ice cream. You should have seen us trying to communicate, there was lots of pointing and attempts at using the other persons language. The main language that we communicated in was Español though. We made our way winding through the streets back to the square where we were supposed to meet to go to the bus. Like I said it was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees centigrade) and some of the peoples tempers were as hot as the weather. I will back up just a little and tell you that there were two groups of people going on the tour with two tour guides. One group had organized themselves through Cruise Critic and the other didn’t we don’t know where they organized themselves. Regardless of where they did, they obviously didn’t get the memo that there was a lot of walking involved. There was one person with a cane and another with a walker in their group which held everything up for them. When we were about a block from he bus the husband of the woman with the walker came up to the guide and had a mild explosion “You have to slow down and wait for the people who can’t keep up!!! La de da de da…” anyway this went on for a while because some other people got involved as well. One of the people from our group said that he was going to go tell the guide that we were going to walk to the bus by ourselves. That made the caravan get moving. When we got on the bus it felt like a sauna it was like a greenhouse! Some people were complaining about how hot it was and it resounded like these seventy and sixty year old people had just gotten out of preschool! On the way back I do not know if the complained any more but I do know that the back of my eyelids are very black.
We Woke up at 7:30 and had an early breakfast this morning. We are now in Cadiz, Spain and we had a little trouble getting OFF the boat, but made it! We did not want to be late, so we made sure we were early on the bus (just to let you know, we booked a tour with other people. But it is not through the boat) it Ended up that these other people made us be 30-40 min late getting started. Had a VERY long drive to Savilla. American Way'; Savilla (Suh-vill)Spanish Way; Savilla (suh-vee-uh)I kind of dozed off in the van. Plus the drive was an hour and a half to two hours. When we got there we saw garden. Next we saw a pretty cathedral. Next we went to a square bought another postcard. When tour over at 2:45 we got to have some free time until 4:00. (4:00 is when the van would pick us up)During our free time, we ate a bite of lunch, went to go look for a dessert. We found a gelato place. The gelato was REALLY good. we also got lost trying to look for a bathroom, and to find our way back to the meeting spot, got to practice my Spanish when trying to ask for a bathroom, when the guide took us to the bus, he said it would not be a long way, I felt so bad for him because all of the old-ish or disabled-ish people were complaining and basically being mean to him because he said it would not be a long walk. (It actually was around 5-7 blocks) When we finally got in the bus, everyone was hot and tired, the air-conditioning was as high as it would go, but it still was not very powerful. We thought we were running late to get back to the boat, so people were fussing, then a guy wanted his beer bottle opened, so the bus driver had to find a bottle opener. Finally we got on the road. After 30 minutes of so. Made it with no problem at all. I dozed off again. Our guides’ names were Francisco and Oscar. They were brothers. Oscar is being trained by Francisco. After the tour, we went and had dinner at the Lido. Tonight was a special night apparently. It was called the Spanish Fiesta. It was good. Did you know they can make REALLY good rice? Anyhow, I went straight from dinner to Club HAL. It was pirate night. We first made parrots, then we went to the kids’ room (kids meaning the 3-7 yr. olds) and played a game of four corners. Four corners is where music is played for about 20 sec. the caller closes their eyes and everybody else runs to a corner. The caller still has their eyes closed and they call out a corner (1, 2, 3, 4 or a name or letter) if someone is in that corner they are out. But if no one is in that corner, they have to start over. If you are standing in the corner that gets called, you are out. You play until there is only one person, and that one person is out. After four corners, we went for our pirates’ treasure hunt. Oh, I forgot, we also made pirate hats. I had to leave at 9:00 so I did not get to do the whole thing, but I did find a paper flower. I then went to bed
Buenas Noche! (Bu-way-nahs No-chey! good night in Spanish