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We arrived by bus in Seville about 5:00 p.m. and checked into the the Colon Hotel. I had a delicious salmon dinner with fellow travelers in the hotel, after which we attended a wonderful flamingo show. As I got a seat on the front row, I used up a whole roll of film on the dancers and it was worth it. It is not often one is lucky enough to be in a tour group and be seated on the front row.
Expo '93 had been held in Seville a year earlier and had resulted in the city building seven new bridges, a couple of new and radical design, one of which I include here. They were awesome as I had never seen anything like it, not even in pictures. In fact, all of us were duely impressed and said so.
The last Expo to be held in Seville before 1993 was in 1927 and Alphonso XIII had built the most awesome and marvelous square, with fifty panels, each representing one of the provinces of Spain. Each picture panel [see picture] was done in tiny blue ceramic tiles, inset in a retaining wall, beyond which was an esplantrade and rooms which have now been turned into city and military offices. On the lower level, parallel to the retaining wall is a walkway and canal, over which is an
exquisite arched bridge also done in little blue ceramic tiles. The over-all impression is
Also on our morning tour was Maria Luisa Park with its pools and fountains, the Gold
Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the fine Baroque building which is now the
university but used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. We also visited the
Cathedral with the tomb of Columbus, and took a walking tour through the charming
Santa Cruz quarter.
The afternoon was free and our hotel was within walking distance of our hotel, so I set out on my usual quest for a gold bangle to commemorate my trip to Spain. After wandering through the shopping district for a couple hours and finding that bangle, I started back to the hotel, but I only knew the general direction and I realized I would need a little assistance. My mind turned back to my college days when I
barely squeaked by two years of Spanish.
My memory did not fail me and I remembered one essential word, "donde", which means "where". So all the way back to the hotel, I would go a block, stop someone and ask "Pardone me. Habla usted el Englase?" (Excuse me, do you speak English?) They would say "no" and then I would say "Donde es Hotel Colon?" (Where is the Colon Hotel?) Now, I had absolutely NO idea what a single person replied, but along with their directions they would always point and I would say "Gracios" and go up to the next block and ask again. I felt so proud of myself, even through I was only faking it. And, by the way, I DID get back to my hotel.
Spain - January 1994