That is the number of steps I have taken today and it is only 4 pm!
Last night, Variations held a concert in the chapel of Hospital de la Caridad, which is an assisted living facility for men. The chapel was lovely and the acoustics fantastic. I always enjoy seeing the faces of the choir when they first sing in spaces like this because is a treat for the ears of both the choir and the audience.
Since it was a lovely location, we took our final group photo of the tour there as well.
Today, we visited the Seville Cathedral (also called Catedral de Santa María de la Sede). It is the largest gothic cathedral in the world and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is also the burial site for Christopher Columbus. The tomb is an impressive work with four figures (representing the four kingdoms of Aragon, Leon, Castile and Navarra) carrying Columbus’s casket on their shoulders. Visiting this tomb was an interesting closing of a Variations loop as we visited the castle in Segovia on the first Variations tour of Spain back in 2011. The castle in Segovia is where Columbus requested the funding to explore the new world. And, Seville is his final resting place.
The cathedral also has a very tall bell tower, called Giralda, that is the symbol of Seville. It was built in the 11th century by the Moors as part of the mosque in the town. After the “Reconquest” of Spain in 1248, the mosque was consecrated as a Cathedral. Fortunately for us, part of our tour included climbing the 37 inclines (they used to be stairs – whew!) to the top which houses 24 large bells and provides wonderful view of the city.
After the tour and a quick lunch, we walked to Colegio de San Francisco de Paula for our last concert of the tour. The school audience gave the group much applause and, like the other school audiences, seemed to most enjoy the perennial favorites on the program this year: the contemporary a cappella and the spirituals.
Now, we are are working on repacking those suitcases and making final souvenir purchases before our VERY early ride to the airport tomorrow morning.