Midnight fireworks marking the end of Feria 2018 in Sevilla.
Well, that’s it for another year. Semana Santa was quite a different experience for me this year as it was the first one since moving to the new Casa Azahar. From this location other processions were closer to me, so I found myself seeing a few I had never seen before. And my mission – to get a few pics of at least one or two processions each day – was accomplished. In retrospect I should have edited and filed the photos every evening because going through them all now was a bit overwhelming. Anyhow, here are some of them (unlabelled and not in chronological order)…
Along with the azahar blossoming this week it was also my first time wearing sandals this year (!!!). Which required a quick paint job on the ol’ toes – very slapdash as you can see, but it was okay for an evening out. So now I am thinking of getting a professional pedicure to fix this mess and also to prep my feet for the hardships of a long hot summer. If anyone local can recommend a good place to go that would be great. I’ve never done this before!
It is sooooooooooo great having the sun back! And while there are still a few rainy days in our future it seems our reservoirs are well topped up now, so there is no danger of water shortages this summer. All I want now is that we have enough sunny days to enjoy the AZAHAR… buds are all out and just need a bit of sunshine to coax them to open up. My favourite time of year.
This year’s Feria de Abril portada commemorates the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Expo and, imho, really couldn’t be uglier. This year there are two notable firsts. The Alumbrao (turning on of the lights and official opening) has been moved ahead to Saturday midnight, instead of the traditional Monday, in order to pack another weekend into the festivities. And there will be a Tourist Tent (caseta) for visitors, which will hopefully help them feel more welcome. A third possible first remains to be seen… whether my friend Cinta will be able to turn me into a Sevilla feria lover. She thinks she can. Game on! 😉
The Tío Pepe tram is back in town. A harbinger of the famous Feria de Abril, even though this year the annual presentation of Tío Pepe en Rama was moved to Madrid… so, you know, wtf?
Another big change this year is that the feria is starting on Saturday night instead of the usual Monday midnight to Sunday midnight. And Monday will be a local holiday. Hey, all the better to milk this whole deal for all it’s worth by throwing in an extra weekend. Olé!
You may recognize this as one of the many signs of spring in Sevilla, this one specifically heralding the arrival of Easter Week (Semana Santa). After an entire week of processions with thousands of dripping candles along the various routes, you can imagine that things do get quite slippery. This also means that for weeks after Easter Sunday both shoes and car tires tend to squeak as they accumulate wax, until both heat and daily traffic gets rid of most of the waxy residue.
This year I saw two things I had never seen before. One was the use of sawdust on some of the main procession routes, which at first only seemed be making matters worse. But then…
… a couple of nights later I came across this curious machine on my way home from a tapas tour. The usual cleaners were there hosing down the streets with water, along with this thing that basically was pummelling the heckity out of the wax. I haven’t been back yet to check out the results. Will let you know.
It seems like this year the annual orange harvest is taking a lot longer than usual. It’s rare to see trees full of fruit – especially in the centre of town – at the end of February. Not only are the oranges somewhat past their prime, but they become a hazard for people walking below.
I came across this group picking oranges in Plaza Santa Cruz at midnight, on my way home from a tapas tour. No sign of The Dude of course, with all this going on. It was also the first time I recall seeing people harvesting so late at night. Budget cuts perhaps? Who knows?