Seville claims to be the hottest large city in the world. Based on today, I’m in no hurry to argue with them. It’s 7:30pm and the temperature remains around 30 degrees centigrade.
We arrived here at four this afternoon after a comfortable train trip down from Madrid. The train passes some spectacular rocky scenery and mile after mile of olive tree plantations. The late arrival means we’ve only really had time to settle in to our apartment for the week and make a speedy excursion down the road to a supermarket for essential cereal and dinner supplies.
One little burst of excitement though. As we ate our meal at the ridiculously early hour of 6:30, we started hearing the sound of deep drumbeats. My first thought was to sigh, thinking we’d scored an apartment on top of a heavy metal venue. The drumbeats continued and then were joined by the slightly discordant, but still melodious, sound of brass instruments. It’s a sound we recognised from Easter in Sorrento – a religious procession was underway. We dashed out hoping to again see scary men in black robes and hoods carrying whips and assorted objects.
Nothing so dramatic though. Instead there was a group of children carrying candles and banners leading a float and followed by a huge band. You could feel the band as much as hear it with each beat reverberating through your bones. Every now and again they would stop, the moment of silence stunning after the crashing sound.
The float was a rectangular table surmounted by a cross and two ladders and surrounded by some photos of the Virgin Mary. The sides of the table were draped with thick blue cloth and peeking out from underneath you could see the shoes of the young people carrying the whole contraption. There were also a couple of people keeping the float on track, obviously there are no eye-holes in the thing.
Oh but it must be hot under there!