In the morning, we arrived at the center of the city. There the Cathedral and the Alcazar stood facing towards each other, creating a space full of historical and cultural depth. From there we embarked on a tour in the Cathedral, viewing the inside of the biggest Gothic Catholic Church in the world. Inside, the ceilings seemed far from our reach embellished with carvings from different centuries. The Cathedral contained an impressive amount of sacred artwork by numerous artists famous at the time. After a tiring journey of walking up 35 ramps, we reached our final destination, the top of the bell tower. From there the whole city of Sevilla was within our view, colorful buildings gleaming under the sun and towers that seemed impressive on the ground now nothing but a little speck. We felt like the kings of the world.
After a brief but refreshing lunch break, we continued our trip to the Alcazar, a leisure palace for ancient royalties. Delicate ceramics pattern on the walls and complex decorations on the ceilings marked the prosperity of a distant age. Various elegant courtyards provided the palace gleams of sunlight and fresh breeze. We entered the Alcazar right after noon, which is the hottest hour in Spain. The soothing coolness of shades and ceramics inside the palace not only offered us a shelter from the overwhelming heat (108 degrees Fahrenheit!), but also showed the crafty intelligence of ancient Spanish people (mostly of Arabic descent), as they figured out how to prevent burning up without the presence of air conditioner! To our surprise, the Alcazar is one of the shooting scenes of the well-known TV series Game of Thrones. As we entered its lively central garden, the exotic and mysterious kingdom of Done appeared before our eyes.

In the evening we prepared for our final concert of the trip at the Conservatorio Superior de Sevilla. For our graduated seniors, this was their last concert with the Groton Orchestra. Although we played the same repertoire, it was somewhat different from the other two times. In the outside forum, during the “golden hour” we played alongside with the gentle breeze in the heat of summer accompanied by chirping birds. As Señor Fernadez said, “Music is a universal language”, the audiences took the words to heart. Although we did not speak the same language, we connected with the audience through the music we played and the energy we put forth. With the last concert of the tour, the seniors and us performed our best completing the tour on a high note. The end of the concert was filled with tender moments as the seniors creating their final memories with their friends and the orchestra.

Darkness gradually covered the city of Sevilla and the sizzling night life had just started. With alleys lighted up and echoed with loud laughter, we made a relaxing excursion in search of a filling meal. Chatting with joy, we walked pass crowded plazas full of young people swing dancing to upbeat folk music, old men singing dated tunes with mild guitar strokes and thriving tabernas filled with clanking of bottles. The orchestra dispersed into various local restaurants in the area, and we ordered ourselves a delicious treat after the busy day.