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After I loaded all of my stuff into storage, I had no more stresses and officially considered myself on vacation! To start it off, I flew into Palm Springs for less than 1 day and dropped 200 in blackjack at the casino. I was bummed but it was fun for the 1/2 hour it took me to lose it haha. I helped my mom prepare for the trip and the next day we took off to LA. We got into LA in the late afternoon and went to bed early as we had to be at LAX at 5 AM for our flight. We spent a long long 24 hours traveling, long lines at LAX, delayed flights at JFK, and what seemed to be Gaseous Airplanes (see pic), but we finally made it to Seville, Spain.
Day 1 was pretty uneventful as we were still jet-lagged and unfamiliar with the city so far. We found our hotel and explored around it in El Centro Histórico. We finally found a nice tapas bar to eat and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of Spanish I could pull up to communicate with. We spent the evening walking around town, getting our bearings.
We had still not fully recovered from jet-lag and both woke around 4-5 AM. Since Spain is a late-rising country, we had nothing to do for about 6 hours! We did the continental breakfast thing around 8 then took off to explore more of the town. At 10, we rode around in a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Seville. We stopped at an old guard tower along Rio Gudalquivir, El Torre del Oro, but did not go inside as it is now just a naval museum. At the next stop, we walked around the city's huge public park, El Parque de María. Here we saw wonderful fountains and great pathways, greenery, statues, wildlife (including wild kitty's) and structures. Next we visited the Plaza de España, a huge complex once used for the king and queen but now used for government use such as state offices etc... Next the Bus took us around the town counter-clockwise, through the local areas and through the more religious areas. We saw part of the old muslim wall that used to surround the city as well as the new modern area of Seville, known for its tech-companies. I guess Seville is the Silicon Valley of Spain, but with nicer buildings and bridges. Next, Mom and I went to the Plaza de Toros, the famous bullfighting arena and museum. We were not able to see a fight but was able to get in to take some pics of the historical landmark.
After the bus-tour, we went on a walking tour through Santa Cruz, one of the more famous parts of town. We were taken through the winding streets and landmarks that we would never have seen walking around by ourselves. We also spent some time talking about the history of the Cathedral and the Alcázar, which we went to on Day 3. In the evening, Mom and I went to an Authentic Flamenco Show. It was fantastic for the first 3 or 4 acts, but after that it was just more of the same. Great guitarists and great dancers though and I am glad we went.
Day 3 had us back on a normal sleeping schedule (for Spain) and we woke around 10AM. We went back to Seville Cathedral, the third largest in the world, to explore. It was truly Magnificent inside. It was very, very gothic and incredibly ornate, much more so than any of the other cathedrals I have been to, including Notre Dame. We spent the morning touring the cathedral and went up to the top of the Campanile, La Giralda, which used to be one of the tallest structures in the world. It was unique in that it had no steps to get up the 40 floors, but series of ramps. In the afternoon, we went to the Historical Royal Palace, the Alcázar. The Alcázar was a great mix of Muslim and Christian art and design, dating back several hundred years. There were grand hallways, detailed tiling, decorated arches and expansive gardens. After the Palace, in the early evening, we decided to go explore another part of town and visit the Plaza de Museo and the Museum of Fine Arts, El Museo de Bellas Artes. A famous artist from Seville, Mujillo, contributed a great part of the collection, but they had many other Spanish artists displayed as well. It was nice but it was not the Louvre. I still had energy but after walking 10 miles, my Mom was dead for the night. So I spent the evening writing this post and getting pictures up online. I felt bad "wasting" a night, but it was Tuesday night and I couldn't find much going on around town anyway. Next up: Madrid!