The second day in a place is always more relaxing. You know there’s a little supermarket just up the road and you know where everything is in it, you know what facilities are at the hostel, and when you turn a corner in the late afternoon and realise you’re right where the bus dropped you off yesterday, you feel quite at home.
Today, the first day without a plane trip, had as its main focus some housekeeping. Find an Orange store and sort out a phone issue. Find the Camino Association and get our credentials. Find a place to photocopy our passports. This would mean venturing a little farther afield from the little area we have wandered in son far, and eventually we would head for the Plaza de Espana as well.
Work may have been the objective, but we enjoyed the journey as we went. We marveled at orange trees (and ginormous buildings)…
What an unexpected shock. The whole front altar from floor to ceiling, which incidentally seemed pretty high once you were inside, was gold on gold on gold. The walls were covered with paintings all framed with thick gold. Welcome to extreme Baroque! We had things to do, but we had time to stop, so we stayed for the Lord’s Prayer, the passing of the peace, the Eucharist….and then we slipped out the heavy wooden door, noting that it is unusual in our experience that at 10:20 on a Wednesday morning a church should have a couple of dozen people in it celebrating their faith.
On the way to get our credentials we saw our first arrow. It’s starting to feel like we’re going to do a walk!
Rafael in the office was so welcoming. He filled us with excitement for what is ahead. He made us speak Spanish. He questioned everyone, making no exception for the kids. He urged them to fill out their own Spanish forms. He had a special word for each child. I was reminded that I LOVE this about the Camino – the kids get treated as PEOPLE.
But we have more time in Sevilla before we start to walk, so we headed for Plaza de Espana. Micaiah had researched Sevilla before we came and so along the way he gave a running commentary, “Dear friends to our left we have the famous Bull ring, and coming up on our right is the Torro del Oro, which you can go up, but we’re going to save our money and go up the Giralda Tower, which is higher, another day.”
We spent a few hours at the Plaza. It’s an impressive massive semi-circular brick and tiled affair. It is an experience to be devoured. On this particular day the sun blazed down at 33 degrees, a gentle breeze provided welcome cooling, as did the spray from the central fountain. Roses in all shades of pink provided visual interest to supplement the pictures of Iberian cities and patterns in the tiles. Sounds were layered on top of each other – maracas, horses clip-clopping on the cobblestones, birds tweeting, the fountain swooshing, drums beating. Later in the afternoon a number of music styles competed with each other as various performers danced and trumpeted and spun in an oversized hula hoop and acrobated on a high frame. There was a sophisticated carnival atmosphere.
More mundane activities rounded out the day. Hand washing, making dinner, checking budget…and the favourites – icecream eating, journaling and blogging (one of which, I pointed out today, will NOT become a daily event!)
Dinner: tomato and onion salad on a bed of lettuce, red cabbage and carrot, topped with flaked fish, olives and peppers. Olive oil drizzled over all. Cheese and bread on the side. Baked cheesecake for dessert.