Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday in Seville: Flamenco galore!

Friday started off with a very short time at work before I had to leave for the airport. This was the first time I've ever traveled anywhere by myself, where I didn't know anyone in the city. I'm used to flying by myself, so it wasn't weird yet.

When I got to Seville, I took the bus from the airport into the city. Even though Seville is much smaller than Barcelona, the bus still took 25 minutes. I got off the bus and walked in the wrong direction trying to find my hostel. I stopped and asked directions from a French family who was leaving, and in addition to pointing me in the right direction, they also gave me a ticket for one of those tourist buses that you can hop on and hop off that was valid for Friday and Saturday. I didn't end up using it, but it was very nice of them. I found my hostel without much trouble after that.

The hostel was pretty nice. I was staying in a room of 8 people, unfortunately one of whom snored. The hostel was really nice overall, though, and they gave me a free map. There was also free internet, which was a plus. Here's a picture of my room:

That's my bed on the bottom right. On the second night, I was trying to get up to poke the snoring girl above me to make her stop snoring and I whacked my chin against that ladder. Not the best feeling.

Anyway, once I checked in and dropped my stuff off, I decided to head to the flamenco museum, called the Museo del Baile Flamenco. Seville, especially the center, is very hard to navigate. The streets are very twisty and small and disorganized and even worse about being labeled than the streets in Boston. Eventually I found it, though. The museum was really cool, and it used a lot of different multimedia. There were photo exhibits, video exhibits, computers with options to learn about the different types of flamenco, costumes from history through today, and more. Here are some historical flamenco costumes:

They're not all neon, though. After the museum, I figured it was time to see about getting tickets for a show for that evening. I took the long way, as it were, to Plaza Santa Cruz, where the tablao called Los Gallos is located. I bought my ticket and asked the guy there what I should do for the hour or so while I waited for the show to start. He recommended that I go to the Plaza de España and pointed me in the right direction. On the way there, I walked through some gardens called the Jardines de Murillo. Murillo was a famous painter from Seville. The gardens were really pretty:

And so was Plaza de España:

After wandering around there a little, I started back towards Los Gallos. The show was good, but probably not worth as much as I paid for it. There were 10 performers, of which 4 were dancers, 2 were guitarrists, and the rest were singers. Here's a picture of the show:

After the show, I was pretty hungry, so I decided to get some dinner. On Rick Steves' recommendation, I went to Pizzeria San Marco. It turns out that going to dinner by yourself, especially at the sort of restaurant that has tablecloths, is pretty weird. And it's made even more so when the waiter asks you out for a drink after he's done with his shift. Probably best not to go on that date, since his shift doesn't end till 1 am. Instead, I went to check out the cathedral, and then back to the hostel. Here's the cathedral at night:

Oh, and one other thing about dinner: I got a three cheese pizza, and I decided I had to finish it before I could leave. Here's the before:

It was a good pizza, but it was quite a challenge. At this point, it was between me and the pizza. One of us was going to come out on top:

And it was me. I conquered the pizza. And then I went back to the hostel by way of looking at the cathedral. Back at the hostel, I met two girls from another school in Boston who are going to be living very close to me this fall! We ended up going to the cathedral and the Alcazar together the next day, but I'll write about that tomorrow. I also met a couple of guys from Australia and South Africa. The moral of this story is that staying in hostels is fun.

And now I'm exhausted, so I'm going to go to sleep. I'll write about Saturday (and maybe even Sunday) tomorrow so stay tuned.

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