Friday, January 28, 2011

The Plaza de España

We strolled out Thursday morning under gray clouds and dismal skies.  By the time we walked the five minutes to our favorite place for cafe con leche, we actually saw some spots of blue between the clouds and laughed about the blue sky — assuming that that was as much of it as we were going to see.  While we sat inside at the window and had our coffee, we watched the clouds break up and more and more blue sky appear.  Jerry put on his sunglasses and I had to turn my face away from the window.  Too much sunlight!!!

We finished our cafes con leche -- cafe con leches? -- (and our fresh-squeezed orange juices... fresh squeezed oranges juice?) and headed back outside.  The sky got brighter and brighter as we walked.  We actually took off our multi-pocketed jackets and carried them.

Our spirits began to soar.


Our intention was to visit the Plaza de España.  Before reaching the Plaza, we walked through the first section of Maria Luisa Park, Sevilla´s largest park that adjoins the Plaza de España. These gardens were charming and spilled from water garden to fountain.  I had no idea that the gardens were only a very tiny part of the park.  We came out on the street and had to cross to a large austere building with a curved facade.  We walked up the steps into the building and that´s when the magic began.

A NICE-LOOKING BUILDING.
Once I entered and turned up some more steps, I saw I was not really inside a building but simply walking through a shallow curve out into a magnificent plaza. (It is in fact a building, but the center section was open and merely led me out to the plaza.) 

I WASN'T EXPECTING THIS.

The curve is lined with beautiful mosaics of each of the regions of Spain, with a ceramic map of the region on the pavement in front of each mosaic.  The Plaza de España was built as the Spanish Pavillion, part of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, a world´s fair that opened in Sevilla in March of that year.

A GLIMPSE OF THE MAGIC TO COME.

Their timing was not unlike mine.  Start a business.  The stock market crashes.

SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT.

Many of the other pavillions are now part of Seville´s university.  Others are embassies and consulates (such as the U.S. Pavillion).  Still others are museums (such as the Museum of Archaeology, which we passed during our meander through Maria Luisa Park).

THE REGIONAL MOSAICS

BARCELONA.

Jerry had the idea that we should rent a two-person pedal cart to take ourselves around Maria Luisa Park.  It turns out Jerry wanted to rent one of the cycles because he was tired of walking.  What he didn´t realize was that most of the ride was uphill (I can´t quite figure out how that worked, but we were only able to coast once and only very briefly at that; the rest felt like a low-grade climb).

A GLORIOUS DAY.  YOU CAN RENT A BOAT AND PADDLE A BIT.

So Jerry had to do some work, using muscles he hadn´t used for a while.  The bench seat was not comfortable (forward facing horns that we each straddled, which put some unpleasant pressure on the nether regions).  There could be only one driver; my steering wheel was just for pretend.  Too bad my pedals weren´t just for pretend as well.  That would have been entertaining.  We both pedaled.  There was a handbreak within Jerry´s reach.  He would use it without warning me of his intention, so I would continue to attempt to pedal a few strokes.  Smart ass.  It was a great leg workout.
DETAIL OF ONE OF THE "CERAMIC" BRIDGES!

The park was magical with statues, sculptures, mosaics, and unusual gardens throughout.  We pedaled for 20 minutes of our half hour and then limped off to lunch.  Well, Jerry limped.  I strutted my stuff.

A SIMPLE END POST AT THE FOOT OF A BRIDGE.

After lunch, Jerry had another great idea.  Ice cream (helado).  Like the pedal cart, it wasn´t something I would have chosen.  But I went along with Jerry because I like to be cooperative.  I´m selfless.  I thought we´d each have a scoop.  Jerry decided on two (chocolate and dulce de leche).  So, again, I went along.  I told you... I´m selfless.  I had pistachio and dulce de leche.  It was all Jerry´s fault.

JUST AFTER JERRY RAN OVER THE WOMAN WHO RENTED US THIS THING. (NOTE: HIS HAND IS NOW ON THE BRAKE.)

2 comments:

  1. Great pics. Thanks for sharing. Envy here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, at least you didn't have to face backwards in the peddle cart.

    ReplyDelete

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