Saturday, March 5, 2011

Beauty and the (Ugly American) Beast - Sevilla

Day 6  

I love the smell of swap meet in the morning. Blankets and tables clogged the streets with new junk and lost gems, but we struck (pastry) gold at the bakery where we stopped for breakfast.

Not being a big fan of sweets, especially in the morning, I clutched my mini dough-purse of goat cheese and jamon like it was a new Channel bag. Sweet teeth were also satisfied here with chocolate-filled flakiness.

Ghetto speak - History hung like strange fruit as we treaded through the Jewish Ghetto, but past turmoil had been churned into manicured gardens and a peaceful serenity that echoed on the cobbled steps within its tall-walled maze of avenues.

Shops and simple eateries had sprouted up, while romantic rudiments remained in the silent, tiled splendor of the Agencia Andaluza para el Desarrollo del flamenco, celebrating flamenco dancing and a nook known for necking, the Kissing Corner.


Turret syndrome - More popular than its belligerent barber, Sevilla’s Cathedral was the city’s central landmark, towering above all and busting at the seams with Scrooge McDuck mounds of  treasure.

Swimming in Citizen Kane ostentation – stained glass windows, elaborate tombs (including Columbus’), paintings, statues, goblets, jewels (did they really need solid gold keys with diamonds?), gilded ceilings and alters - everything was bedazzled and contemporary concepts like irrigation ditches (in the still active, orange orchard) made it seem impossible that this was all created centuries ago. But it was about to get primitive.

So Inclined - 34 floors to the top. We were half-dead by the time we reached the Quasi-Motto-sized bells and I assumed that the poor guys who had to lug these concrete slabs bigger than Andre the Giant's body, with nothing but tools resembling giant, ice-block prongs, probably had a few hunchbacks of their own. But their blood and sweat brought tears...what a view, the entire city in one panoramic eyeful. 

Hungry like the wolf- Like a werewolf, my ugly American was coming out and I felt the need to feed, so we stopped at P. Flahrety’s, an Irish Pub behind the Cathedral, for a burger. Burgers were blah (of course – American fare abroad is never a good idea), but were easily forgotten when washed down with draft beer calibrated with nitrogen – the winning element.

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