Its sizzling hot at 6.10pm here in the Southern capital of Seville and though the siesta is still on I am writing here in my room while the mad Judy makes her way down the winding alleys to get a sim card for the iPad. She dropped it this morning and it has little cracks across the screen but it is still working fine. We are dreaming up ways of getting photos to you. This place is crammed with fantastic images and places and it’s just wonderful to be here, even though I’m sweating as I write in my hotel room with the sound of trickling water in the courtyard below. The cathedral tower and the cloisters were built by the moors (Muslims) in about 1100 when they controlled the place. The Christians took over in about 1200 and built the hugest cathedral in Spain, it’s wonderful, just to show the Muslims what they could do. The great thing was they were willing to keep all the best bits of what the Muslims had done. I thought that was very tolerant of them. The Christians of the time thought the Muslim construction style was all the rage and built the most beautiful palace (The original Alcazar) in the Muslim style. Still following?
Two nights ago we spent in Elvas, a Portuguese fortified city built to defend itself against the Spaniards in the middle ages. To make it hard for the Spaniards, they built fortifications like Cape Town Castle multiplied by ten (no exaggeration) We stayed in a hotel converted from the military hospital built in 1640. Its now 6.26pm. Jude is probably by now dancing Flamenco with a red rose in her mouth. We have plans to go to a Flamenco show tonight. Tomorrow we are planning to go to the Alhambra palace in Granada.
Sorry about the blog. We never quite got round to it. Internet is a bit suspect in Portugal and Spain. The World Champs were an absolute hoot. We had such fun. I have to report however that I came in 9th out of 12 paddlers in the 60 to 64 age group. That puts me 9th in the world. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done better. [Tim sells himself short – the results online show he was 8th in the world in his division].
It became clear that the South Africans are top dogs in the surfski business. They had this huge team, but we had the best uniforms. That didn’t seem to make us go faster. A Saffer won the champs followed by two Aussies in the open. The Aussie team had a whale of a time and some of our kids turned out to be absolutely hilarious in what they got up to.
On the last night we all went to a bull fight. More accurately a bull taunt. But they don’t kill the bull in Portugal and the horsemanship the picadors or whatever display is astonishing. What I really liked is the unique feature of Portuguese bullfighting. About 10 amateurs line up in front of the bull (500kg) and as it charges the front bloke grabs the bull by the horns and then the rest of them see if they can overpower it! Sounds crazy? You’re right. Absolutely petrifying! But the first bloke has to take the big thrust and he comes out of it with the seams of his clothes exploding, etc.
It’s now 6.50. I better go and see if I can find Jude out in the streets of Seville.