On our last full day in Seville we got a bit of a late start. But it was Sunday after all. As we stumbled out of our apartment over to the Plaza del Salvador we could hear the crowd before we actually saw it.
Good lord, all these young people, many having beers, at 830 in the morning! On a Sunday! I guess Saturday night just wasn't enough.
We decided on something a bit more suitable for breakfast. I mentioned my growing fondness for the simple tostada de aciete (toast with olive oil) in a previous post.
As we passed the very humble exterior Capilla de San José (Chapel of San José), which was open as we passed. The interior however, was a whole 'nother story. As you can see by the elaborate Baroque altarpiece.
From here we headed back in the direction of La Alameda where we had passed the night before.
This park was originally built in 1574 and was once the oldest public garden in Europe. I really like the Roman Columns. Hercules stands on the left and Julius Caesar on the right.
We saw tents set-up. Apparently there's a Sunday Market in the Plaza. So we decided to check things out.
It was a charming little "Mercadillo", full of locals.......
We even bought a very nice bottle of olive oil from one of the vendors. Then had a seat at one of the cafes to enjoy some espresso and watch the world pass for a while We even saw a character from the previous night; the "Smug Pug" making his way around; as smug and oblivious to all who gave attention as the night before. As we strutted from tree to tree, I again automatically started Overture to the Barber of Seville. I should have taken a photo, but we were just having too much fun.
Hard to believe that in the late 80's and 90's this area was a drug infested neighborhood that was once home to 35 brothels. Yes, gentrification, now it's one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Seville.
We headed North to the Macarena District.
The main reason for walking up here was to visit the Basilica de la Macarena.
It's quite a beautiful church.
But there was one thing we both wanted to see. During Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Seville, there are processions of floats (pasos). On Good Friday, the most popular and beloved is La Macarena - the Virgin of Hope of Macarena.
The "Weeping Virgin" has tears made of crystal, real human hair, looks down upon you with a handkerchief in her right hand and a rosary in her left. She wears five emerald brooches donated by The famous Bullfighter "El Gallo". In fact, I read that after Joselito El Gallo was gored to death, La Macarena was dressed in black for the only time in history.
And she moves many. I saw a couple of women start weeping at the sight of her. We saw women give up their babies to the staff to be brought in front of the statue.
You can actually walk in back of the statue as well. I gotta say; for some reason I really felt kind of spooked.
Still, this is pretty impressive. So impressive that many babies in Seville are named Macarena. Which does of course have ties to this song.
So yes, we've come from the Virgin Mary and Semana Santa to Human Hair to El Gallo the Bullfighter to Los del Río in a few sentences.
Seville does that to you.