Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Possibly Passing on the Pink Palacio

All is not going well in the land of apartment negotiations.  We thought everything was settled regarding the rental of the rose-colored palacio on Calle Cuna, but we haven't been thrilled with the unwanted surprises being thrown our way by the owner — surprises that give us headaches and would cost us a lot more money.  So, it looks like we're going to pass this one up.

WE WALK BY THIS SIGN ALMOST EVERY DAY.
IT'S A HOSTEL CALLED "THE GARDEN."
YES, "THE HOSTILE GARDEN."


EMPOWERMENT
We may not be as settled as we thought, but it opens up the opportunity to explore some more.  It also gives me the opportunity to use my Spanish with rental agents.  I just phoned and made an appointment for this evening so we can see a supposedly grand apartment near the Museum of Bellas Artes.  The woman on the phone was warm, friendly, helpful, and charming.  And, although my Spanish is bad (it's especially difficult on the phone when I can't use or watch body language), I was pleased to learn that my accent is clearly not American (or that of an English speaker).  After speaking in Spanish on the phone for 10 minutes, she heard me ask Jerry a question in English and she excitedly said, "Ah. You speak English!"  For the rest of the conversation, she mostly spoke beautiful English with Spanish thrown in when she got stuck. I then spoke a combination of the two languages and even learned some new words.  We're meeting on a street near the department store, El Corte Inglés. When she told me the name of the street, I understood everything but the first word and asked her to repeat it twice before finally asking her to spell it for me.  V-I-R-G-E-N (you know, like virgin).  Should anything be read into the fact that I couldn't understand the word "virgin"?  Anyway, we're meeting this evening on Calle Virgen de los Buenos Libros (literally, Virgin of the Good Books Street).


OUR FIRST VIRGIN IN SEVILLA.  OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, SANTA ANGELA DE LA CRUZ.


THE PARADES PASSING BY
We are in the midst of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or, as she's known in Sevilla, The Virgen (there's that word again) del Carmen.  Most nights, we simply stumble upon pasos, spectacularly mounted statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus being carried through the streets.

ANOTHER NIGHT.  ANOTHER VIRGIN.  ANOTHER PROCESSION.

The ornamentation is spectacular.  The pomp — the escorts, followers, spectators, marching bands, and music — vary from average to exceptional.

CREATED FROM THE TREASURES (LOOTING) OF THE AMERICAS.



 
It is considered a great honor, a life-altering honor, to carry the virgin through the streets.  Depending on the size of the paso and the heat of the night, the job can be simply cumbersome to completely exhausting.  But the men who perform the service are extremely proud to be allowed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

THE SNEAKERED FEET OF THE CARRIERS.  IT REMINDED ME OF THE FLINTSTONES.

COOLING OFF FOR A MINUTE BEFORE CONTINUING THEIR MARCH.

AN ICE COLD BEER AFTER THE WORK IS DONE.

25 comments:

  1. Beware of meeting strange women in the streets. And are those people in the last photo, Spanish nuns?
    m.

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  2. I'd love to live on Good Books Street, even with that Virgin thrown in!

    Good luck in the search.

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  3. Mark: We're actually meeting a strange man. We only meet strange women on the phone. I'm pretty sure those weren't nuns, but I didn't ask.

    Bob: It's a beautiful place, with or without the virgin. Thanks!

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  4. Hello Mitch:
    What a marvellous spectacle the parades of the Virgins must be. The ones you show look absolutely beautiful.

    Well, if the pink palace was not to be, we are sure that something equally lovely will come your way. And, who knows, the next one may come with a library by the sound of it!

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  5. best of luck on the apartment....your photos are amazing

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  6. "but it opens up the opportunity to explore some more" What a great attitude, I can tell I'm going to learn a lot from you as I'm new at this 'moving' thing. Blogger isn't letting me 'follow' you but I'm out here. Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures!

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  7. Good luck on the search. If this one didn't work out, well it just wasn't meant to be. The right one will find you.

    Scott
    www.travelwithscott.com

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  8. As Spain becomes increasingly secular (good thing, in my view!) it'll still be a shame if spectacular processions like this were to die. If they have to look for another virgin to carry through the streets I'm not sure it'll be as easy to find one as this is.
    Wishing you very best of luck with the apartment. Sounds like it might be promising.

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  9. Great pics of the festival Mitch. What a shame about the apartment. What shall we do about our tickets to visit next week? :)
    And as for the virgin thing, I'm not touching that with a very, very long pole (that didn't come out right did it)?

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  10. J&L:
    The pasos really are beautiful and I look forward to seeing more. We saw two apartments this afternoon. The first was definitely grand but in very sad shape. The second had some charm but was small and exposed. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. (Do I sound like Scarlett O'Hara?)

    David:
    Thanks. It will come. Thanks for enjoying the photos!

    Linda:
    Too bad about blogger. It's quirky sometimes. Hope you have success soon. Thanks for making that extra effort to check in!

    Scott:
    And by the time the right one finds us, I will have perfected all my Spanish-language apartment-hunting skills (but by then they will be of no use)!

    Raybeard:
    I agree that secular is a good thing. And Spain as a country already is secular (hence legal gay marriage). And I also agree that these traditions can be really important to hold onto for cultural identity. (And it sure doesn't hurt tourism.) The apartment hunt is exhausting in this heat, but we'll find one.

    Craig:
    So sorry the Hotel Sevilla is unavailable! I had several responses to your virgin comment, but I think I'll just keep them to myself. :)

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  11. Quite a contrast to the gay pride parade.

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  12. Just a humble advice Mitchell, be 100% secure before renting or buying in Spain ,that the area is not a "party zone".
    Even if you think that a "nigth life area" could be charming, it could turn in a hell if you try to sleep, when people is partiying just below your window.
    Avoid apartaments with a tapas bar at street level, remember... this is Andalucia and why are you gonna enjoy your drinks and tapas quietly when you can do it singing Flamenco and making your neighborgs´s life miserable???.
    It´s better select a place that allow you rest well and sleep when you want, that another one in the best spot in Sevilla that keep you "cornered" in a botellón.

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  13. Once all those guys carry the virgin through the streets is she no longer a virgin?

    Sorry about the apt. Best of luck for the next one.

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  14. FDeF: Definitely and I especially look forward to my first Spanish pride parade. Will have to compare the opulence.

    Walt the Fourth: LOL. Still looking at apts. But, who knows? The pink palace may still happen.

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  15. Man...I've got so much to catch up on...reading time very soon...this looks like a great blog Mitch...keep it coming! Ron

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  16. Ron: Thanks a million. I really enjoy the company.

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  17. Good Books Street sounds amazing. I've seen virgins carried through cities before but I assumed they were on some Egyptian-style carrier, not the backs of handful of guys underneath. LOL

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  18. Writer: Hmmm... I had never before seen a virgin carried through the streets. Do they do that in Kentucky?

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  19. hey great post. sorry things aren't working out with the apartment. hang in there :)
    oh yeah, it was David who sent me hehe

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  20. Island Guy: No worries with the apartment. Found something even better and I'm about to post about it. (Thanks to David!)

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  21. Love the pictures. Looking forward to reading your entire blog. David recommended your blog and he always has such great recommendations.

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  22. Ah, Nubian, thank yo so much for visiting. And more thanks to David! I look forward to getting to know you via the blog!

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  23. Visiting from davids blog and after looking at these pics I may be in love!

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  24. kisatrtle: Aw. David sure has introduced me to kind people! Thanks so much for visiting.

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