SEVILLE: WHERE’S THE BARBER? (as in “where’s the beef?”)

590_barber_intro

After our enchanting visit to Cordoba, we headed south to Seville, still under the spell of Cordoba magic.   We were tentatively planning the spend the night in Seville. But that was not to be…where-is-the-beef

Like the disappointment embodies in the “where’s the beef?” catchphrase from Wendy’s 1984 TV commercials (right), “where’s the barber?” became our joke about our Seville experience.

Spain 2014 map

Why?Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.41.00 PM

First, we could not find any parking. [only a slight exaggeration. We did eventually, but only after a great effort and a lot of wasted time] 🙂

Second, we could not find any barbers.  [total jesting] 🙂

Barbers?

Indeed.

You see, the only thing I knew about Seville before we read our tour guide enroute from Cordoba was the “Barber of Seville,” the popular Rossini opera.  Elizabeth and I had a chance to hear its even more famous overture at the Royal Albert Hall in Oct 2010 (see “An Unforgettable Evening“). It was another omen about our Tour of Spain, though we did not know it at the time.

Albert-Bob3 Albert-2 Albert-Eliz1

Road to Seville

Before we got to Seville, however, we passed another one of many giant Toros (bulls) that grace the hillsides of Spain along the major highway routes.

I don’t know why we assumed they were bulls rather than cows. 🙂 We just did. Guess it’s because of the Spanish corridas.

IMG_3890 IMG_3891

We also saw a very unusual light along the way. Shining extremely brightly even in the middle of a sunny afternoon, this extraordinary tower resembled a giant lighthouse. Except it was on dryland, in the middle of Andalusia (above right).

We never did figure out what it was. Maybe an alien creation?  Remember “beam me up, Scotty?”  🙂 [from Star Trek]

Seville Traffic Snarl

When we eventually got to Seville just before 5PM on May 26, we ended up ensnared in its traffic, narrow one-way streets, and enormous crowds.  We even ended up at a pedestrian mall at one point. I have no idea how we got there.

We did not know it at the time, but there was a very special reason for all these crowds on that particular day.

In frustration, we had almost given up on Seville completely.  Elizabeth actually suggested at one point that we just leave the city and go on.

“I am not ready to give up just yet,” I said.

Within minutes, we were finally able to find a parking spot. It was right next to what seems to have been Seville’s former train station. Not it is an indoor mall.

Seville train station mall IMG_3894

We took off on foot from there in the direction of the famous cathedral and the city center. We had to ask for directions several times. It was a long walk.

Seville walk 1 Seville walk 2 IMG_3897     IMG_3903 IMG_3902 IMG_3904 IMG_3912 Seville cathedral 1 IMG_3910

When we finally got to the cathedral, we found out what all the kerfuffle and the crowds were about. There were some relics on display at the cathedral. Which would be there only for a few days. The line of people waiting to get in stretched all around the block around this giant cathedral.

IMG_3906 Seville Cathedral 5-26-14 IMG_3911

In the end, despite the warm temperatures, Seville left us cold. Kind of like Toledo the previous day. So we decided on a spur of the moment to drive on to Cadiz (see Improvisation in How to Ensure Every Trip Is a Great Experience).

Cadiz was never on our original itinerary. But we had a marvelous time there. Back on a beach for the first time in over three months. Except it was the Atlantic not the Pacific.

Reading about the Cadiz history along the way, we also learned that it is actually Europe’s oldest city (more on that later). And we were lucky enough to catch a most beautiful sunset.

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But more on that, in our next travelogue…

 

2 Replies to “SEVILLE: WHERE’S THE BARBER? (as in “where’s the beef?”)”

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