Saturday, January 28, 2012

La Pepa — The First Spanish Constitution

I dragged Jerry on a very long walk today. He doesn't know it yet, but we walked more than 3 km (around 2 miles) to reach our destination. (I can just imagine the groan I'll hear when he reads this post.) I walked roundtrip. He took a bus home. Jerry needs new gym/walking shoes; his current shoes are worn out and not very comfortable. Finding size 14 (Spanish size 49) is not easy. People in Spain don't have big feet like Americans.

SHOOTING INTO THE SUN.

Miguel told us last night that a replica of a Spanish galeon was here in Sevilla until Sunday, and I really wanted to see it. The galeon was built in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus's so-called "voyage of discovery."

LOOKING SOUTH FROM ABOARD LA PEPA.

The ship was originally called the Galeon de Andalucía, but has been renamed to commemorate the 200th anniversary, 19 May 2012, of the first Spanish constitution. The Constitution of 1812 was one of the most liberal of its time, establishing universal male suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy, and freedom of the press. It also supported land reform and free enterprise. It lasted all of two years. Ferdinand VII returned to Spain in 1814 and abolished it. But it was reestablished a couple of times in the 1820s and the 1830s.

LOOKING NORTH, BACK TOWARD OUR HOUSE.
YOU CAN JUST BARELY SEE THE ANCIENT TOWER OF GOLD IN THE CENTER DISTANCE.

The Constitution was written on the Dia de San José (Saint Joseph's Day). The nickname for José is Pepe. In Spanish, the word for constitution is feminine. So, the Constitution was nicknamed La Pepa. Ships are female. So the galeon is also called La Pepa. It all makes perfect sense.

I THINK THE WHOLE THING WAS "RIGGED." (GROAN)

The galeon is making its way around the country. It's already traveled to Spanish cities on the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean, such as Bilbao, Santander, La Coruña, Huelva, and Cádiz.  It still has to travel up the east coast of the country on the Mediterranean Sea to Valencia, Barcelona, and other places along the way. It will return to the Atlantic to be back in Cádiz (where the constitution was produced) for the commemorative festivities mid-March. As we approached the greeter at La Pepa's gang plank, I thought, "OK. Let's see how much THIS is going to cost." Well, it was free! And there were docents (the crew) onboard available to answer questions. And a little brochure, also free, along with free postcards (so I can write to my brother).

ONE LAST LOOK BEFORE WE WENT FOR A SNACK.

It was another glorious day, very warm in the sunshine. And there was an abundance of sunshine. After our long walk and (free) tour of the ship, we stopped at one of the two restaurants on the port. I assumed it would be absurdly expensive, being a tourist restaurant. I had a beer. Jerry had a soda. And we each had a delicious, large, and fresh pastry. All for 7 Euros (around $9)! And, as is the norm in Spain, my beer was 60 centimos (around 80 cents) less than Jerry's Coke. I drink beer and wine to be fiscally responsible.

ONE OF TWO RESTAURANTS PORTSIDE. IN BACKGROUND IS SEVILLA'S DANCE CONSERVATORY.

22 comments:

  1. Interesting nickname "La Pepa" since in Spanish it also means the clit. lol

    you're having a grand old time aren't you?

    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      This is hilarious. But, it must not have the same meaning in "Spain Spanish"!

      Delete
  2. Great pictures! Thanks for the tour. And, I must add how very swell of you to settle for wine and beer to keep expenses to a minimum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      I've always been selfless.

      Delete
  3. Our wine costs less than water. We also do our bit to economize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      We're saints, aren't we?

      Delete
  4. Mitch that galleon is beautiful! I feel warmed by seeing Spanish sunshine - so different to cold, wet England. I hope poor Jerry's feet have recovered. Because I am incurably nosey I had a quick look at the conversion charts for shoe sizes... All I will say is wow! I honestly didn't know they made them that large!

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    Replies
    1. Elaine:
      I don't do well for very long in the cold and wet, but it sure is beautiful where you are.

      Jerry got big feet and hands from his Norwegian ancestry. His wedding ring is too big for my thumb. And, at least in Sevilla, they DON'T make shoes that large.

      Delete
  5. The pics (especially the latter ones) look as if it's the height of Summer - but I bet you didn't have the corresponding temps. Most impressive in any case.

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    1. Raybeard:
      It was a really beautiful day. Temperature was around 65F (18C), but the brilliant sunshine made it feel much warmer. We sat out on the terrace without our jackets for our drinks and pastries (and carried our jackets during much of our walk). Not bad for late January.

      Delete
  6. I love to walk. And the things you see on your walks are incredible.
    I find those ships so fascinating. I would have all that rope and rigging tangled like a string of christmas lights faster than you could imagine.

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  7. Stew:
    So much more walking to do. (And we saw so much more than just La Pepa yesterday; more photos to come.) As for the ropes, I would love to know the first guy who figured all that out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would have loved touring that ship. Not walking to it, mind you, but yes....touring it.

    And boy howdy, I just don't think I could eat a pastry whilst drinking a beer....

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    Replies
    1. Maria:
      I used to think the idea of beer and cake was weird. I've grown to enjoy it. Chocolate Neopolitan and beer was a great combination.

      Delete
  9. The history of the Spanish Empire is a fascinating yarn, and their sea voyages and battles are some of the more brilliant stories. what a treat therefore, to see such an old ship.

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    Replies
    1. Ur-spo:
      The ship was built in 1992, but it is an exact replica, so was wonderful to see.

      Delete
  10. A beautiful ship on a glorious day. Being fiscal and drinking beer instead of cola sounds a good way to deal with life.

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    1. the cuby poet:
      I am always very responsible...

      Delete
  11. Mitchell! You are a riot! I think I recognized all of your attempts at humour!!! lol
    What an interesting place Sevilla is! Walking is so good! For heavens sake get Jerry a new pair of shoes.....somewhere! No fun walking alone all the time.
    Exact replicas are a marvel in shipbuilding. We saw the replica of the Mayflower in Plymouth Mass. this summer, and were properly impressed!
    Keep walkin'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Wow, a replica of the Mayflower. That would be fun to see. Four of Jerry's ancestors came over (went over?) on it.

      Jerry, right now, is enjoying his "shoe excuse."

      Delete
  12. Mitch,
    That is a beautiful Ship. Are you able to ride aboard it? Or is it strictly for show n tell purposes? It looks like you had a glorious day there, I am a bit jealous.

    Scott
    www.travelwithscott.com

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    Replies
    1. Scott:
      La Pepa doesn't take passengers but it does have a crew making the voyage around Spain. There was, I'm told, a larger European voyage in 1992.

      Delete

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