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Post Eight - Life in Spain

Domingo en SevillaDomingo en Sevilla

Here is another shot of Sevilla's famous cathedral. Built on the site of a mosque, it has the classic flying buttresses of the gothic style. I liked this church a lot and visited it just about every Sunday (when it was free to get in). It had soaring ceilings inside and was a great place to wander around and contemplate theology. -- Scott


Many catholic churches proudly display their treasures. Often these are elaborate, gem encrusted containers for holy relics (like splinters of the true cross). Holy relics brought pilgrims seeking miracles, the pilgrims brought tributes, and the tributes helped to fund the church.

When I look at these treasures, I try to imagine how the pilgrims must have felt, having traveled hundreds or thousands of miles often at great cost and peril just to gaze upon the relic they hoped would change their lives. In a way, I was doing the same thing. -- Scott

Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi

On Corpus Christi (a religious holiday having nothing to do with Texas), the people parade various statues and treasures from the cathedral around the city. Everyone dresses in their finest and comes out to watch as the statues go by, the litter carriers walking on rosemary branches laid down by the first in the procession. There are bands, singing and general merriment. Eventually the treasures are carried back into the cathedral where the bishop blesses them and they are put back in place for another year. To me, this seemed a little like the idol worship that Moses forbade after he came down from the mountaintop with the Ten Commandments. Regardless, it was quite a party and fun to watch. -- Scott

Moorish RoomMoorish Room

This is a nice close-up shot of the delicacy of the Moorish architectural style. -- Karen

The GossipsThe Gossips

While waiting for Karen outside of a store one day, I watched this old man and his dog take in the view from their balcony. The man was talking to the dog about the people walking by and the dog seemed to be in mute agreement. They must be out here often because the man took the effort to pad his iron railing.

I took this photo without attracting the attention of the pair using the 'stealth' mode of my camera. With the camera on I simply point it at my subject while holding it waist high, frame the shot in the preview screen, and click away all while pretending to fiddle with the controls. People don't suspect you are taking a photo unless you hold the camera up to your eye... -- Scott

Moorish DetailsMoorish Details

One day we went into the Alcazar (the former Moorish castle) and I shot many photos of the details of the interior. From our time in Mexico, we were used to the Spanish architecture, but the Moorish art and architecture styles were completely foreign to us. They are almost like fractals with their increasing complexity the closer you look. It certainly whetted our appetite for Northern Africa. -- Scott

Street on the AlcazarStreet on the Alcazar

This shot of the Alcazar reminds me of late-morning walks, before we retreated to the inviting coolness of our ground-floor apartment with its concrete walls and tiled floors. The streets remained uncrowded until the last week of our stay in Sevilla, when hordes of tourists seemed to drop out of the sky. I guess mid-June is really the time when the summer season heats up.

We each spent a fair amount of time alone, working on our own projects. Scott walked around town to visit churches (a passion of his) and take photos. I took long walks for exercise, practiced orienting myself on the winding medieval streets of the city center, or hunted down the freshest ingredients for the latest Spanish recipe I wanted to try.

But despite that, Sevilla was sometimes a lonely place. We didn't stay long enough to make friends with local people, and our Spanish certainly wasn't good enough to engage in complex conversations, anyways. Fortunately, some of our friends came to us. -- Karen

Next Up: Visitors

Copyright 2001
Scott & Karen Semyan