Day 56: Monday December 5th, 2011
I was up at 10, and had eggs and cheese and some bread. I learned I couldn’t function in the kitchen because I couldn’t even make that myself. It was sad.
Raquel needed coffee so we stopped at a cafe, and because I hadn’t had it yet and it’s apparently a thing (though Raquel made it clear that I was ordering it at the wrong time of day), I had chocolate con churros. Basically, it’s a really, really thick hot chocolate served with churros, and you dip baby. Yes please.
We went to Reales Alcazar de Sevilla, the King’s Palace with three separate palaces that come together, amazing gardens, artwork, ceramics, etc. An extremely old building (built in the 14th century) representative of the Mudejar architecture (a Moorish and Gothic fusion), it’s still in use today. Juan Carlos stays there whenever he’s in town, and he was actually in town the day before, when it was all closed up.
The gardens, and really, all of Sevilla, featured orange trees galore, with more fountains and lots of pretty wildlife. Because Spain was still warm and sunny, it was one of the better gardens I had been able to see on my journey, because usually they were all dead and barren for winter like at Versailles. Due to the orange trees, I figured homeless people had it easy in Spain, because they would never starve, but Raquel explained that these oranges weren’t very edible. I would find this out in Rome.
Later we met Gerald, Sylvia, Jordan and John for a picnic. Had beer (it’s awesome to be able to drink in public parks), bread, cheese and chips galore, with more tortilla (basically an omelette pie), cookies, salami, and of course, Smurf marshmallows (yes, I bought these. No one else liked them.) That picnic was one of my favorite parts of Sevilla, and I was SO full.
We walked the park and bid adieu to the rest of them. John was off for home, and Sylvia and Gerald were off to Grenada. So Raquel and I went to check out the main river in Spain, the Guadalquivir, saw the bull arena (I wish I had been to Spain during the bullfighting season. Next time.) and checked out Ceramic Street. Sevilla is known for its beautiful ceramics ever since the Moors decorated their ish with it in the 12th century. This was one of the first times I had really wished I could have bought something for Mom and company without it breaking in my bag. Very cool and beautiful stuff.
Later that night, Raquel made a shit ton of turkey spaghetti, which came in handy for leftovers the next day. God, I feel like all my posts in Sevilla are about food. Okay, so all of my posts are about food.
After eats, we went out to the Alameda, the hippy bar district and met four Spanish guys (that were Raquel’s friends) that spoke little to no English. After a shot of tequila, we played card games that were easy (I could understand the rules after all) and tons of fun because I won. At the end, we played Juega de Oca (the Duck Game) which was basically a Spanish version of Chutes and Ladders only even more childlike and awesome, if it’s possible.
At times in Sevilla, I felt out of place because I couldn’t speak Spanish (my three years of Spanish in high school amounted to little to nothing in the way of help) and everyone I encountered spoke Spanish fluently, and even if they did speak English to me, I felt pandered to (even when they spoke English as a first language). But that’s my fault. I need to learn another language so I don’t feel like an asshole in situations like these. But that night playing card and board games I had a blast regardless. Most places in Europe you can hardly escape English if you tried, but Sevilla was one of the few places where it didn’t feel like that, which is maybe why I liked it.