Spain 2015,  Travel

Explore and You Will Grow

I’ve almost been here for a full month now and I feel like I’m beginning to hit my stride. I’m exploring the museums, getting to know the different neighborhoods, and trying new things. So a brief update on what I’ve been up too (pictures of these places will follow shortly):

Noches En Alcazar

Honestly, Alcazar might be one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen. I have yet to go back during the day but for the hour that I was here it just all lined up perfectly. I couldn’t take a video  even though I really wanted to. But just try to imagine what I was blessed enough to experience. A cool summer evening, in the gardens of the Palace (where the King and Queen of Spain still stay when they’re in Sevilla), under some stars, listening to Spanish Guitar. Even when I write it out; it still sounds like I’m setting the stage for some kind of romantic novel. It was a beautiful evening — I’m just sad that because it only runs Spring through Summer I won’t be able to go again unless I come back to Sevilla. (So looks like a perfect reason for a return trip.)

Museo de Bellas Artes 

I’m usually not a very big art museum person (I feel bad that Philadelphia has so many that I have yet to visit) but I really enjoyed myself here. I easily spent 2 hours wondering around and even that feels like it was rushed. Though I did take advantage of the fact that art can be hilarious and sent some (in my opinion) hilarious snapchats. I was awed by the amount of details in the paintings, the emotion, and just the beauty of the building itself. Meanwhile, I struggle to draw a circle. Also, little fun fact it was only 1.50Euro to get in. So….if you’re ever in Sevilla I highly highly recommend it. I’m debating on going back if I have the time to. But there’s so many museums here that I don’t know if I’ll have time.

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo 

The museum of contemporary art is located in an Old Monastery, which add a layer of depth to the 3 exhibits I was able to see. First was their permanent exhibit: The Past in the Present — which was very apropos to the setting; as it was exhibited in the old church. Once I got over the grandness of the arches, the artifacts themselves were impressive in how well kept they were.

However, the other two exhibits were far more modern and contemporary focusing more on current problems. Now, I do not claim to fully understand contemporary art — in fact most of it tends to allude me — but these were very striking exhibits in my opinion. One, by Oliver Ressler was called “No reivindicaremos nada, no pediremos nada. Tomaremos, ocuparemos” [Translation: We will beg for nothing. We will ask for nothing. We will take, we will occupy”] So after being focused so much on old artifacts I was thrown into the memory of the Occupy movements that happened around the world and the continued fight against the disparity of economic wealth in the world. Mostly an audio visual exhibit there were many video installations of the different occupy movements as well as videos of workers in Latin American / South America talking about the exploitation of labor. Very powerful, yet strangely juxtaposed against artifacts in the previous exhibit that were made through the same exploitation of labor of lower class persons.

Lastly, the exhibit I enjoyed the most was by María Cañas called “Risas en la oscuridad”. [Translation: Laughter in the Dark.] This exhibit focused heavily on the use of media especially social media in contemporary society. The exhibit rails against the overwhelming presences of technology today and every installation seemed to mock in some way how media presence has begun to overshadow actual face-to-face presence. I might not agree to the degree of the artist but I have to say the exhibit definitely made me rethink the amount of time I spend looking at my phone instead of the world around me.

In all, I left with a very confused complex trail. The 3 exhibits in conjunction with the location and its historical value made for one of the most interesting museum experiences I’ve ever had. While, I’m not sure I’ve done and adequate job of explaining it — all together it definitely made you think of how all the pieces fit together.

Salsa Class & Bachata Class

Maybe it was the María Cañas exhibit that got me to thinking about actual experience over virtual experience or maybe it was just bound to happen but I have signed up for dance classes: salsa and bachata to be exact and I am definitely happy so far. I can’t say I’m winning the next title on Dancing with the Stars but I did get a compliment from the instructor in my first lesson saying I danced well so…. Plus the most fun part is having to use Spanish, I think trying to communicate to the various dancing partners is way more uncomfortable and harder than any of the dancing. I have 15 more classes…so no there’s no video yet, maybe in the future though we’ll see if I progress and deem it acceptable for others to see.

If you’ve read this far congrats! As you can see I’ve been up to a lot. I apologize about not being better at putting up pictures, I’ll try to put some up soon. The good things is: I’m taking tons of pictures so even if they don’t get up now; I’ll have plenty to show when I get home!

Hope all is well with all of you! With how fast the past month is moving, it won’t be long until I see you all.