|Henry & Dianne Ford
"Seeing the world not as it is, but as it can be"
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18
Your Success Newsletter - May-June, 2007 - Published Bi-Monthly
News From Seville
Thanks to Maya Edwards & Gwen Edwards
for keeping us informed
of Maya’s work in Spain:
March 22, 2007 - Cosas de Sevilla 8
Dear Family and Friends of The Texas Tech Center in Seville,
Things have been quite busy here lately! You probably missed not receiving last
week's edition of Cosas de Sevilla. That's because we had the week off for our
group trip to Madrid and surrounding towns, which you are going to hear all about
The group set off early Tuesday morning. We were lucky to be joined by many
friends and family members who took advantage of the spring break holiday to take
a Spanish vacation. Our first destination (after a routine breakfast stop of course)
was a little town called Almagro. The big attraction in Almagro was the 16th century
Theater. Famous Spanish playwrights such as Lope de Vega (comparable to
Shakespeare) put on plays here. We were unexpectedly not able to go inside the
theatre due to a special engagement they had for that day, but we enjoyed a bit of
free time wandering around the main town plaza, buying things such as pickled
eggplant and hand-made embroidery items.
Our next stop was to see a castle at Calatrava. The castle was constructed in the
beginning of the 13th century and the military order of Calatrava was founded
there. It is in the middle of nowhere, perched atop a steep hill, and offers incredible
views of the countryside. Those who were with us can attest to the unforgettable
ride up the hill! Unbeknownst to us, they had recently put Spanish hours, complete
with siesta, on the castle, and since we arrived about a minute after two o'clock, we
weren't able to go in the castle. Since it is not a furnished castle, we did get pretty
close to the full effect from being up at the entrance and wandering around the
Our last stop of the day was Toledo. We had free time in the evening to wander
through the streets of the enchanting town, famous for being a place where the
Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures lived side by side for centuries in relative
harmony. Wednesday morning we visited the famous El Greco painting entitled The
Burial of Count Orgaz. Then we were free to visit some of the many attractions
Toledo has to offer, such as the Cathedral, the Sephardic Museum, the El Greco
Museum, etc. And the biggie for many of our students was sword shopping. Toledo
has been well-known for its sword craftsmanship for hundreds of years.
We left Toledo around lunchtime and headed to the Palace of La Granja de San
Ildefonso. It is a luxurious 18th century palace of Phillip the Fifth. This palace was
lush and luxurious, and complete with extensive gardens, which we were also able to
visit. After finishing at the palace, we went into Madrid and checked into the hotel.
Thursday morning we went to a town in the mountains outside Madrid to visit San
Lorenzo de El Escorial, the palace of Phillip the Second. We toured the huge,
austere palace which housed a large variety of items ranging from tools used during
construction of the palace in the 16th century, Phillip the Second's personal art
collection, the royal chambers and the crypt where most of the Spanish royalty is
buried. This palace demonstrated a sharp contrast between its austerity and the
extravagance of La Granja the previous day.
After El Escorial we went to the town of Segovia. Segovia's most emblematic
monument is its Roman aqueduct. It was built in the first century and is in
remarkably good condition. There are many other sights to see in Segovia, one of
them being the castle that inspired Walt Disney's version of a castle, which most of
the group visited. Many people remarked that Segovia was their favorite place we
visited on the trip.
Friday morning we went to the Prado Museum for an art tour. The Prado houses
many of the most famous paintings by Spanish artists and is one of the best art
museums in the world. We saw works of art by El Greco, Velazquez, Goya,
Ruebens, Bosch, etc.
The end of the Prado tour marked the beginning of our free time in Madrid. Some
chose to go to the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art, the Thyssen Museum, the
Retiro Park, Sol and Gran Via shopping areas, the Plaza Mayor, and the newly
inaugurated Fashion Museum. I am sure I have left some things out, as there is so
much to see and do in Madrid. At least this will give you an idea of how we spent the
We've had a busy week at The Center. Students have had to get back into the
groove of classes. Most students have been preparing for some of the many exams
going on this week at The Center. Students in the dance classes are getting quite
good at sevillanas. I predict that we will have a pretty strong showing at the
Wednesday evening we had a special event here at The Center. We had a poetry
reading in which local sevillana poet María Jesús Soler read some of her poetry.
Our instructor Curtis Bauer has translated her work into English, and he read the
English version of her poems. He then finished up the reading with some of his own
poetry from his book Fence Line and some of his more recent poems. Students
enjoyed the chance to be part of a cultural event on site, and of course a good time
was had by all at the reception following the poetry reading.
That's it for this week's edition. ¡Hasta la próxima!
|Maya Edwards with
Student in Spain