Oranges, sunshine and flamenco
WE took the opportunity of half-term for a long family weekend in Seville. Exchanging the February gloom of London for warmth, sunshine and orange trees was an unmitigated delight, but it wasn’t just the weather that amazed. Seville felt such a calm and friendly city and its cultural riches are astonishing. In pursuit of them, we ruthlessly trudged our way around the Alcázar, numerous palaces, churches and the cavernous cathedral, the largest medieval church in the world. All clearly reflect the New World wealth that poured into the city.
The children finally mutinied at the Hospital de la Caridad, which one of them—unjustly, considering the ravishing Baroque chapel with its paintings (several of the Murillos are copies, the originals having been looted by Marshal Soult during the Napoleonic occupation)—declared to be ‘so boring that I would rather have visited a museum’. Their reward came in ice cream and an electrifying performance of flamenco. They were uncertain as to whether this last was a treat or a trick, but their response was enthusiastic. Ever since, it has been impossible to move without the accompaniment of stamping, clapping, slapping and finger snapping. It certainly enlivened the journey back, but I’m inwardly hoping the enthusiasm is short-lived. JG