Carmen (the opera) was set in a tobacco factory here, as
was the Barber of Seville. We took a whirlwind tour of
the city, then stopped at some of the high points. We wandered through
a palace-like house still owned by the same family
who has lived there for hundreds of years. It seemed every surface
was covered in incredible detail. Most was done in tile, the upper
parts of the wall in molded plaster, and the ceilings were mostly
painted woodwork. All of it is in the process of being restored
by a full staff of local art students.
On the way to the cathedral, we passed through a square and encountered
a friendly old woman who greeted us and talked with the guide a
bit. As she was leaving, she noticed Jessica trying to get her new
set of castanets on correctly. The old woman took them from her
and, at 80 years old, proceeded to dance around for us in the middle
of the square.
We walked around the corner into the next square and immediately
encountered two singing guitarists. Dr. Bitensky and Laura Hellebuch
both started dancing around like flamenco dancers. It was hysterical!
The two musicians followed us a bit longer and ended their set with
We strolled along the old wall to the city toward the cathedral.
The streets encircling the church are lined with both horse-drawn
carriages and pigeons (of course). I'm terribly afraid