A few pictures from the long weekend in Spain:
¡TeamSevilla! members Stella and Matt in front of the Giralda, one of Seville's most famous landmarks. The lower two-thirds of this tower was once a minaret. When Seville came under Christian control, the attached mosque was torn down and Seville's Cathedral built over it, but the minaret was incorporated-- over Muslim protests-- into the new structure. The omnipresence of the Giralda in the skyline became sort of a running gag during the trip; we even spotted it from the Roman ruins in Santiponce (see below) and from the window of the plane as we took off on our flight back to England.
Me in the Alcázar. I'm facing into the room where Pedro El Cruel/Pedro El Justiciero threw that dinner party for the rival of his ally Sultan Mohammed V, which ended in the dinner guest's beheading.
More Alcázar awesomeness. I warned you, I took lots of pictures of this place.
Yet more Alcázar awesomeness.
¡TeamSevilla! at the Plaza España.
Seville's bullfighting ring. We were out of season for el toreo, so we had to settle for a tour of the ring. This lady had a very endearing Spanish lisp and equally endearing bad English. I came away understanding a little better why bullfighting is a target of the animal rights crowd--whatever you can say about its cultural value, it's a pretty cruel practice. At some point I should probably also mention that we enjoyed some lovely flamenco dancing, though the venue was a little too dark so my pictures didn't come out.
Tile work at the Roman ruins in Santiponce, 8 km northwest of Seville. It's amazing to contemplate all of the layers of history that can exist in one place. It reminded me a little bit of what it felt like to be in Jerusalem, though unlike Jerusalem the major currents of history no longer pass through Seville in the 21st century.
Another running gag: my alleged obsession with Cruzcampo beer. I will admit, it's not bad and very drinkable, but somehow my love for Cruzcampo became a recurring theme that took on a life of its own.