Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points... Does Not Exist in Sevilla

There really are very few straight lines in Sevilla.  Well, that's not entirely true.  There are many straight lines in Sevilla.  Each one, however, is brief and connects with another straight line going in an entirely different direction.

PUERTA DE CARMONA.  ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR HOTEL.

STATUE OF THE ARTIST FRANCISCO DE ZURBARAN.  PLAZA DE LOS PILATOS.
IT TOOK US 25 MINUTES TO FIND IT IN JANUARY.  WE WERE ALWAYS 5 MINUTES AWAY.


Adding to the confusion of the crooked streets is the fact that streets change their names constantly.  It's no wonder we keep ending up at the Metropol Parasol when we think we're heading to the river

PASSING THE HOSTAL ATENAS.  CARS AND PEDESTRIANS TAKE TURNS.

AFTER DODGING THE CARS, FOLLOWING THAT ALLEY ON THE RIGHT.


I finally, four days ago, figured out a shortcut when walking between our hotel and our apartment.  It's only taken me the better part of a month.  It's a much more pleasant walk and cuts out quite a bit of ground.

AT THE ENTRY TO THE ALLEY.  IGLESIA SAN ILDEFONSO.  BEGUN IN 1794.

ONLY PEDESTRIANS DOWN THIS ALLEY.   CHURCH OF SAN PEDRO BECKONS. 
BUILT BY THE MOORS AND MODERNIZED IN THE LATE 1300s.


I thought I had it all figured out a few times in recent weeks by studying the map before leaving  the hotel. But those shortcuts always doubled my travel time. The photos taken on my walk today clearly illustrate why it takes so long to get somewhere.

I WAS HOPING THAT THIS STREET MIGHT TAKE ME SOMEWHERE.

Four days ago I decided to head down the tiny pedestrian alley that I always knew for certain would not take me where I needed to go.  And there I was!

SO NARROW AT ONE POINT, MY SHOULDERS NEARLY TOUCH BOTH WALLS.
AT THE END OF THIS SHORT "STREET" IS THE METROPOL PARASOL.
AFTER THAT, IT ALL MAKES SENSE... TO ME AT LEAST.

16 comments:

  1. straight line or crooked, it looks to me like getting lost in such a beautiful city wouldnt be all bad :)

    amazing pics

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  2. Amazing how there's not even any trash in the alley like in American cities.

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  3. David:
    You're right. It's a wonderful place to get lost... except on those 106-degree days!

    Stan:
    Well, they're not ALL like that. And that first pedestrian street seems to be a regular potty stop for some dogs in the neighborhood. But, for the most part, much better than you'd expect.

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  4. Victor:
    Exactly! Can you imagine?

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  5. I know that feeling, like you're getting nowhere.

    Went twice a year, for 25 years, to Cologne for tradeshows. Getting into the city wasn't a problem, but getting out was.

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  6. Yeah, same thing exists here in Málaga and I also saw it in Palma de Mallorca. I read somewhere that the buildings are that close so that part of the next building is in the shade, or to create shaded walkways(?). A Saudi once told me ¨we drive in the shade¨. LOL And they do!

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  7. Peter:
    It can be very comical... when we're not melting in the heat.

    Ron:
    I've also heard that about the shade. It makes sense.

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  8. OMG! I would get sooo lost there! It looks very 'maze'-like.But i would soon get over that and be smitten with all that beauty! And history!
    Thanks for dropping by today Mitch.
    Jim

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  9. I see why people hire tour guides but it would be so lovely to get lost if one didn't need to be somewhere at a specific time

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  10. Mitch,

    I have been overwhelmed with sympathy for lab rats… but yet I am taken by the beauty, which seems to have a slight tinting of mystery and a glint of the provocative nature of a sultry Latin stranger. – gary

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  11. Jim:
    It is hilarious to see all the people wandering the alleys while scratching their heads and turning their maps over and over. I actually gave directions the other day!

    Linda:
    I love getting lost here. It's happening less often, but that will change since we're about to expand our explorations.

    Gary:
    The maze of streets is definitely more satisfying than the rat's maze and I love the idea of Sevilla as a sultry Latin stranger.

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  12. I rather like back alleys, especially when they are as beautiful as the ones you have discovered. The shade theory makes perfect sense. Almost September so it should start to cool down a tad for you.

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  13. Craig:
    It has already started to cool down. I'm hoping we've seen the last of the 40-degree heat this year.

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  14. I'd find those narrow alleyways spooky in the night-time. One would imagine being a sitting target - well, a walking target - for muggers. Even during daylight they must be hellish for claustrophobes. Certainly quaint, though.
    And isn't that church so garishly camp? I love it!!!

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  15. Raybeard:
    Amazingly, we have never yet felt unsafe here. Also, Jerry can tend to be claustrophobic and yet he finds these alleys charming. They're never very long. IKEA, on the other hand, does us both in every time.

    The combinations here of Moorish, baroque, gothic, rococo, and who-knows-what-else architecture can sure be surprising, over the top, and beautiful.

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