Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday in Seville: Torre del Oro and the bullring (plus catch-up)

I didn't have much time in Seville on Sunday because I had an early afternoon flight that I hadn't checked in for ahead of time, and I was a little worried about getting to the airport. Still, I managed to pack in a good amount before I left.

I woke up pretty early (for me) and packed up all my stuff. My time-saving plan was to take everything with me so that I wouldn't have to go back to the hostel. It worked out well enough, but it was annoying to carry my stuff around. Then I checked out of the hostel and headed for the Torre del Oro. I stopped by the statue of Don Juan, who, in case you don't know, is a fictional character. Here he is:

I stopped to get some breakfast on the way, and I was ignored by the (not particularly busy) servers for a while before I got my food. Oh, Spain. Then I passed the University of Seville:

With breakfast taken care of, I walked the rest of the way to the Torre del Oro. For those who don't understand Spanish, that means Tower of Gold, also translated as Golden Tower. Golden Tower is a bit misleading, though, because the tower is not and was never made of or covered with gold. There are a couple of possible explanations for the name, depending on who you ask. It definitely has something to do with the time when Seville was a major trading port. Some say that it was called the Tower of Gold because it collected a lot of money from traders wanting to use the port. Some even say that there was a chain across the river connecting to another tower to prevent non-payers from entering the city. Others say that the tower across the river was called the Tower of Silver, and if you wanted to get into the main part of Seville, you had to pay gold to the gold tower, and if you were willing to downgrade to the other side of the river, you could pay silver. Either way, here's the tower:

There's not really that much to see there. Apparently there's a naval museum inside, but it's closed for all of August, so I couldn't go inside. A little farther up the river is the bullring. I was running out of time and I had been ambivalent about it to begin with, so I just looked around from the outside and didn't go in. Here's the outside:

Then I went to go catch the bus to the airport. I got there with plenty of time to spare (uncharacteristically) because everything went right even though I had allowed cushion time in case something went wrong. On the flight I shared a row with two girls from Houston. They were really nice and we talked for a lot of the flight.

When I got back, I went to the beach for a little while and then went out to dinner with my friend.

Monday was a really long day at work trying to finish up the draft version of my report so that my supervisors could review it. After work, I went to the library to try to renew my book, but they were closing and wouldn't let me explain my situation. Thus I made the irresponsible decision to keep my library book out past its due date so that I can finish it. It's going to be 4 days overdue. I guess I'm a moral failure.

Tuesday was another long day at work because I had to add figures to my report and prepare my final presentation and go over it with my supervisor. It was kind of frustrating because they had told me I would have 15 minutes to present, but my supervisor kept asking why I hadn't put this piece or that piece of information in the presentation. I wanted to tell him that I would love to put that information in the presentation, but if I did, there was no way it was going to be anywhere close to 15 minutes. In the end, I guessed that it wouldn't be a problem if my presentation was closer to an hour, so I just put in all the information he (and I) wanted. And it turned out fine. I gave the presentation this morning (Wednesday), and unsurprisingly for me, it did take an hour, including people stopping me to ask questions. Everyone said I did a good job, so I hope that means they weren't bored during my presentation. There were only 8 people there, which was all but one person in the office today. August is a slow month in Europe because everyone goes on vacation, and this company is no exception. Even my boss is on vacation!

Anyway, yesterday my roommate left to go on vacation, so now it's just me and her boyfriend and his friend who is staying here for a few days. My roommate is going to come to the US in September (she's American), so we're going to try to see each other then.

Today was a more reasonable day at work. I gave my presentation in the morning and in the afternoon worked on making revisions to my report based on feedback from my supervisor. I'm hoping to wrap that up tomorrow so that I can just go in on Friday to tie up any loose ends. Then I can leave early to go to the beach for the last time!

Tonight I went out to dinner with my friend and some other people from school and a few of their friends. We went to a pizzeria and then I went with a couple of them to get some ice cream. It was a fun night!

I'm mostly packed at this point, except the stuff I'm using this week. I'm going to be sad to leave Barcelona, but I'm also looking forward to going home and seeing my friends and boyfriend and family (hopefully) and being able to drink the tap water. I'm sure I'll be back here sometime in the near future, though probably not for such an extended period of time. It will probably feel really different to be here as a tourist than as a (temporary) resident.

It's been a great summer. I'm definitely going to post over the next few days, and I haven't yet decided if I'll keep this up once I get back and school starts. If I do, it will probably be less frequent, and the URL carolineinbarcelona won't make sense. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on giving a good presentation Caroline! I'm sure all of those reviews in 83x were good practice. ;) I'm excited that I get to see you soon too! Also, I think you should keep up your blog (carolineinboston?) once the summer is over because I'd be sad if you stopped giving me something to read every morning at work. :)