Seville (Sevilla), Spain

March 5-8, 2000

Seville, perhaps a city of the perfect size. Thereīs history, character and enough modernness to make you not feel so bad about mounting a satellite dish on the roof. I wouldnīt say this is a fantastic place, but there is some style, comprehend-ability and a feeling that it would be comfortable living here.

A walk down a side street or two and you will get lost on your first stroll. Many of the older streets are so narrow that cars donīt even try to go down them. Well, thatīs not true, it has been more than once that Iīve seen wheels squeezing up the streets, tires squealing up against the curb. Between the wall of the building and the street is the curb and sidewalk totaling about 8 inches.

The narrow streets is probably one contributing attribute to the popularity of motorscooters in cities like Seville. They take the liberties of a pedestrian when beneficial, such as at street crossings and the parking spaces of bicycles (which I donīt see any of).

Peeking into the apartment complexes, I see the traditional Spanish architecture. The house has a private garden/courtyard in the center and so do the apartments here. I catch views of rock gardens, ferns and statues with missing heads.

At dusk I wonder off into a garden where children play kick-the-orange. With little imagination, the gardenīs trees become animated towers from the Wizard of Oz. Bulging roots start high above as wide thick veins and flow downward into spreading feet along the ground.

I decided to check out the Ļbusy, loud musicĻ places in my guidebook. They were quite dead on Monday night. I meet some loco Spanish girls who drink like fish, but am more captivated by the MTV like documentary on the Police.

The next night, I find some Americans who invite me to join them to a night of drinking. I pass, but will be meeting up with one of them for the carnival in Cadíz (which is supposed to make Mardi Gra look like church bingo) and then the start of Morocco in a week.

I wonder off and discover little America as I would call it. On the other side of the river there is a row between two bridges where thereīs more Americanīs than Spaniards. Not set for the night life (camera and bag around my neck), I bookmark this place if I ever return to Seville and a taste of homesickness develops.

Today I took a look at the Plaza de Espaņa again and then toured the inside of the church, reported to be the largest in the world (larger than a city block) and probably the most impressive structure in the city. There was a time when religion was in power. I ponder the potential good, as well as the potential abuse, of such a period.

Christopher Columbusī tomb is in here along with a bunch of saints statued in the walls. If it were Sunday, Iīd definite return. The humungous organ must rock the house.

Iīve settled down here. By that I mean that Iīve spent almost three full days in this city. Last night I guy recognized me from a café and stopped to say hi. Today I put my hand on a map in my pocket to pull it out to find my way, but realized where I was before my thumb took grasp, a sign that Iīve explored this place and itīs time to move on.

Away from the Japanese tourist group, the mood is both positive and mellow. Iīm on my way to the bus station to find the next town of interest, continuing South through Espaņa. ĄAdios Sevilla!

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