Category Archives: Sevilla

What do Sevilla and rhubarb have in common?


Sevilla and rhubarb have nothing in common.  But since it’s spring, the earliest spring in the upper midwest that I have experienced these twenty years here, I had to share this pic of hubby in his “No Do” shirt holding our first rhubarb crisp(it’s not quite done yet in this pic) of the season.  A fun thing happened in the last week that I felt compelled to share.

Earlier this same day that he wore the shirt, we were at an art show in a local mall where our daughter’s artwork was being displayed. A few of her friends’ works were also on display.  While we really enjoyed the fun drawings, we never did find her artwork nor that of one of her friends.  Kinda goofy, I wonder if they ever turned up?

Along comes a gentleman who, upon seeing my husband’s shirt, accosts him asking what his shirt meant.  That he had recently lived in Sevilla for a few months, saw the motto everywhere and wondered what it meant. His wife is a professor at a local university here in Minnesota and they lived in Sevilla due to her job. They also spent some months in Madrid.

Hubby told him, as best he could, the meaning of “No 8 Do”.  And then I went looking on the internet to refresh my memory.  We looked it up when we returned from our trip to Spain almost two years ago but I had forgotten the details.  The meaning that I recall was something along the lines of “It has not abandoned me” (no me ha dejado).

I found this website that shares one story of how the motto came to be everywhere in Sevilla.  Please don’t read the English translation, it is awful. Of course you can if you want, but you’ve been warned.  Here is my brief, rough translation.  King Alfonso X  was not very good at governing. So the town of Sevilla, where he lived, was divided into two camps, those that supported the king and those that supported his son, Don Sancho. This site says the king and his son were at war.  In any case, the son conquered Spain but he did not attack Sevilla and left his father and his loyal subjects alone. At the end of the king’s life, he gave the city a gift as appreciation for their loyalty and for not abandoning him.  The motto NO 8 DO, is made up of two syllables, No and Do with a skein of yarn in the middle. Skein in Spanish is madeja which can be a shortened version of No me ha dejado or No madeja do. There are other versions of what the motto means(this site has a couple more versions, towards the bottom of the page), but I like this one the best.  I am a sentimentalist and want to believe this is the correct story.

And then Wikipedia states(about a third of the way down the page) that the motto is even on Columbus’ tomb.  Below is a bad pic of the tomb but it’s the best one I’ve got. And I am not seeing the motto.  I will just have to go back and find it :)

Here is the motto:


Filed under Gardening, Minnesota, Sevilla, Spain

Real Alcázar – Sevilla

I have to start this with a story from when I was a college student in Spain.  I was part of the Cal State group that spent an entire academic year (most of us were juniors) in Madrid and Granada.  A handful of the group were to study in Granada.  One of our group trips was to the south of Spain to drop off the Granada students. On our way we stopped to see the mezquita in Córdoba and my memory told me that we stayed the night in Sevilla. I remember going to the cathedral and Plaza de España but I couldn’t figure out why we didn’t go to the alcázar. While doing the research for our trip in May 2010 I read about the alcázar and knew I had to see it. But it was buggin’ me why we didn’t go there all those years ago (it was 1980).  After we returned from our trip in May 2010 I was looking at the scrapbook I put together from my year in Madrid and I came upon a receipt for the place we stayed overnight in……in Granada!! All these years I had pictured that we stayed the night in Sevilla!! No wonder we didn’t go to the alcázar, we did not have time!! I think we saw the mezquita in the morning, then Sevilla’s cathedral and Plaza de España in the afternoon and then made our way to Granada, spending the night there then went all the way back to Madrid the next day after what must have been a short trip to the Alhambra. Whew! What a weekend that was!  and I barely remember it.

I absolutely loved the alcázar and was so glad we were able to see it on this trip. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights of our trip to the alcázar in Sevilla.

Entrance - Real Alcázar - Sevilla

Real Alcázar - Sevilla - Almohad wall from the 12th century

Patio de las Doncellas

Room after room of sheer beauty

Interesting window grates

Excellent tilework

Did I mention the bougainvillea?

The gardens were full of all kinds of things blooming, not the least of which was the bougainvillea. It was in full bloom everywhere we went.  I created a separate post just to display some of those pics. It’s here: ah….the bougainvillea of España

The jacaranda trees were blooming, alas, it was hard to capture their beauty. This was an attempt.

Coat of arms tiles in the walkway of the gardens

A view of the alcázar from La Giralda


Filed under Sevilla, Spain

ah….the bougainvillea of España

A collection of blooms in Spain.

This is the largest bougainvillea plant I have ever seen in my life:


March 16, 2012 · 9:32 pm