I flew back to Seville in early January 2008, to continue my journey around South-West Europe. I wanted to visit Portugal and also enter into Morocco, just across the Strait of Gibraltar. I returned to Seville, because I liked the city’s medieval atmosphere and I wanted to see friends I had made previously. Marco, the crazy Mexican I had shared a dorm with in late December, met me at the airport and we got the bus back into the city.
The weather was hot and the city was busy. Marco and I were both in good spirits. It had been a long time since anyone had met me at any airport, I always did things alone! At the hostel, I made my entrance noisily and was re-acquainted with other friends. Andrea was on reception and the German boss Daniel, also said hello. I was given Room 1, and settled in immediately. Marco and I went up to the kitchen and sat on the balcony, he strumming his guitar and I chatting. Mark from California was also there along with several new backpackers. I stripped down to just my shorts, kicked off my shoes, got a cup of tea from Marco and relaxed.
I saw Loretta after about an hour. She was her infectious self and her hands were as smoove as glass! She said she had spent the day moisturising them for me!! I grinned delightedly, telling her once again she was beautiful. The best complement a girl can get from a blind man!
The hostel was in a state of chaos as usual, Marco and Loretta were working exhaustingly, Marco still unsure which days he was working! I just laughed at the confusion and went in search of food. I saw Will, the bar tender that evening, the bar was open from 2.00 PM until 2.00 AM, each afternoon-night. Will offered to visit the Bull ring museum with me the Plaza de Toros. I concurred and the next morning we met up and went exploring. We walked to the museum and paid for a one hour guided tour. The Plaza de Toros was massive both from the exterior and interior. I paid for Will, since I was given a discount. It cost 5 Euros. We passed through several underground passages then ascended several steps to the outdoor arena. Positioned on marble steps, we listened to a talk in both Spanish and English. The lady’s thick accent made it hard to understand. We were informed that bull fights, which still occurred today, ran from May until October. The bulls were kept elsewhere and brought into the city on fight day. Horses were once used and there were six bulls and four bull fighters including the Matador – the bull killer.
It was sport entertainment for the Spanish public. At one point, it was banned and other sports presented instead. However, the Spanish wanted the masochistic, exciting spectacle of the bull fight.
I got to touch several models of bulls an fighters in various stages of the fight. It was fascinating. Probably not a pretty spectical, but interesting as part of Spanish history and culture. We heard about several Masadors, names unknown to me and who I do not remember. The history was interesting. I got to touch a ring that the bulls were tethered too and saw inside the former stables. The bulls were attacked on horseback at first and later on foot. The bull was stabbed repeatedly before finally being slaughtered. The tail and horns being the Masador’s trophies after a successful kill.
Once the tour was over, Will and I went to the river and admired the famus Alamillo bridge that was lighted at night. We walked across to the island town of Santiago Calatrava and had a quick explore around the old backstreets and buildings, before returning to the Seville side.
Next stop was at the famous cathedral. I again got us in for free and Will described the monstrosity as we searched for the main entrance. Will said there were orange trees everywhere, I could smell their fragrent. We explored the cathedral’s main chamber, briefly stopping at a marble tomb, supposedly containing Christopher Columbus’s bones. I circumferenced it and felt the inscriptions, it was as smoove as silk, as cold as ice. We then found the entrance to the tower, la Giralda and began the climb. There was a series of small concrete ramps which helexed continuously taking one to the tower’s summit. These had been installed so that horses could transport goods to the top of the cathedral, probibly for storage. I trudged up the slopes, holding Will’s arm for guidance. We stopped half way for a breather and I felt the narrowness of the sloping tunnel. Once at the top, after climbing a short flight of stairs, we emerged into bright, warm sunlight. We were high up and could see right across the city. We were basically in a large square enclosed by four walls, topped with railings. I stood on a large concrete step and looked to different parts of the city, Will describing the view from each direction. It was peaceful up there with the hot sun and gentle breeze. We stayed for about an hour before descending to ground level and exiting. Will and I eventually returned to the hostel after an interesting days exploring. Will was fascinated in the way I used my hands and other senses to explore and discover. He noted how I used the sun and wind for direction and listened to all the surrounding sounds. He found it an educational experience.
Later that night, I said fairwell to my friends and left for Portugal.