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  • Writer's pictureTuananh

Seville

November 12, 2019 – November 15, 2019

Flamenco, often believed to be derived from the Arabic “fellah mengu” or “expelled peasant”. The Andalusia region of Sevilla lies a small city of Triana across the Canal of Alfonso XIII, where the Gypsies and oppressed minorities of the region took refuge. Through their suffering and pain, these “expelled peasants” passed down their culture, traditions, and beliefs through the art we now know as Flamenco. A guitarist accompanied by the soulful Spanish songs in the melody of an Arabic prayer, while a beautiful couple in their traditional clothing lightens up the dance floor with their tapping footwork, sexy yet soulful dance movements, and purposefully melancholic facial expressions. You don’t just listen and see Flamenco, you must be there in that moment and feel what everyone in that room felt...one of the most emotional and brilliant form of dance I have ever seen...so much so that we couldn’t resist to go to a few in Sevilla, the proposed origin of Flamenco.

My wife and I thought it would be a treat on our honeymoon to go get all fancied up at a local Flamenco photoshoot. We got glammed up, dressed up, and practiced for our shoot. She was a natural and as you can clearly see, I was more Flamingo than Flamenco!?!? Still, it was a great experience to get a closer glimpse into this unique culture and a charming group of people built on their creative spirit. Olé!!

Walking back to our hotel the other night, after an evening of Flamenco, tapas, and a late night cortado, we turned the corner to our hotel which was next to the church of Magdalena where a massive procession was taking place. A brilliant gold statue of the Virgin Mary under the ambiance of a few street lamps, the live throbbing hymns from the French horns, trombones, and flutes echoed down the alleyway, and a crowd of believers and onlookers that humbly said their prayers in silence...it was only the beginning. As the 68 men that carried the golden float on their shoulders, symbolizing Christ carrying his cross, started their walk into the church and towards the alter, the brilliance of the golden Virgin and the magnificent columns, sanctuary, and chancel all lined with gold and candles. The awaiting dignitaries from all over the region came to welcome Her as they lead a prayer for all of Sevilla and Triana to follow.

As Catholics, we both felt blessed to be in not just a city, but a country, that is so in love with their faith. What a special way to end our evening by sharing a very unique procession with our new Spanish friends. Magdalena Del Amparo.

Starting our day at the Torre el Oro, the Golden Tower, that once was lined by gold panels along the river, we ventured across the Puente de San Telmo bridge to Triana, home of the Gypsies and ethnic minorities...of past and present. The blue-collar city looked much more muted than Sevilla with much more humble beginnings. Here you can see the massive influences of Christianity, Muslim Moors, Gypsies and Jewish cultures, architecture, and flavors. Beyond what we saw and heard, the street food in Triana was very refined and felt like fine-dining on pennies, which wasn’t something we’re going to complain about.

Stumbling back to Sevilla and following our Flamenco photoshoot, we headed up a few floors of the Setas de Sevilla, the Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, below laid ancient Roman ruins. Up top, the view of the entire city was captivating as we strolled along a twisted walkway to watch the sunset.

We woke up to the grandiose gardens of the Real Alcazar. The palace where the royals of Spain still come to stay, but more interestingly was also known worldwide as where several scenes of Game of Thrones was filmed; it was used for the Water Gardens in the fictional city of Sunspear, seat of the House Martell and capital of Dorne. Afterwards, we hopped on a ferry for an hour that strolled up and down the Canal de Alfonso XIII, where we could see all of the iconic structures of Sevilla and Triana on both sides. Before we said our goodbyes to this beautiful city and catch our flight to the capitol of Madrid, we had to make a final stop at the Plaza de España. Wow! We were blown away by the size, beauty, and elegance of this square. It had a glorious fountain and a small water path that circumambulated the whole plaza, with people enjoying the bridges, romantic boat rides, and a little street performances of what else but Flamenco. Grabbing paella (slow to cook...patience cuts thin in Spanish time) was a perfect ending to the many great experiences here in Sevilla, Arcos de Fronteres, Cádiz, and Triana. Madrid here we come!!





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