Friday, October 23, 2015

The Clash

Allow me to begin with a screenshot of the neighborhood.

The blue dot is our hotel, the one that smells like sewage and has tiny single beds with mattresses that are probably less comfortable than the cardboard they came in, but I digress. Again.

Back to the map. I've been in cities that were confusing, with narrow streets but this spaghetti drop of a place is just crazy. People have been living in Seville for a couple of millennia and cars are simply an after thought. The streets can accommodate a compact car, often with sidewalks of only about 18 inches and the layout in totally without logic.  We are going everywhere on foot but without a smart phone, we would still be trying to get home from dinner. I mean last night's dinner.

Today was the palace and gardens of Alcazar, it's hodgepodge of styles and materials reflecting the fact that it was begun in the 8th century and frequently changed, added to, expanded, and altered, but amazing all the same. 

We then strolled over to the Cathedral - the third largest in Europe - and it was astonishing in it's opulence, but I found that, like cotton candy, it's fun at first but soon grows cloying. I simply have no appreciation for the Spanish church asthetic. Like Versailles, I couldn't wrap my head around the nauseating gaudiness. And in this case, it simply served to remind me how the Spainish had murdered and enslaved the people they found in the New World for the so called glory of God. 

But it was the beginning of the end for them. All that unearned wealth that came back to Spain caused horrible inflation and economic chaos, plus Queen Isabella's insistence that Jews and Muslims leave the kingdom, taking those many skills with them, led to the decline of Spain as the world's richest and  most powerful nation to just another small, struggling country. 

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