Next Day Daily Entries Home Previous Day

Sunday, February 8th "Expo wasteland; International dining in Torneo"

There are plenty of sites to see in Sevilla and most have stood the test of time. As for the Expo the verdict is out for many on whether it has passed that test. Is it still standing? In many respects it is, but an afternoon on the "island" left me with plenty of questions and a little sadness from another local's point of view. In 1992 it was something to see and there were great plans to convert the grounds to use for office space - a technological park being a prime idea. Some 12 years later you can see that spaces have successfully been changed, others struggle to make it, and some have been abandoned. Isla Magica, a small amusement park along the lines of Six Flags, is perhaps a failure, although the local government keeps rushing in to save it for another year. But there does exist some useful office space and a bus does run through the complex. In many places the grounds are unkempt, with weeds, broken glass and graffiti a common sighting. The areas outside the fences have become a good spot for the botellon, as can be seen from the bottles, broken glass and other litter. It's also a bit dangerous after dark as one person told me, reminding me of a scene from Escape from New York. Inside Antique thrives as an upscale disco where you may spot a local celebrity or two and some construction points to the promise of the planned tech park. El Palenque is a popular spot to catch a night of live music when a decent act is in town. The Pabellon del Futuro, however, could be a telling sign for the future of the Expo grounds if some life is not generated. Still, I did enjoy half a day wandering around this ghost town, and some of the pavilions and other buildings are wonderful examples of modern architecture. I may classify it as one of the often missed sites when people visit Sevilla - it certainly is different from the Cathedral, Barrio Santa Cruz and the Alcazar. Whether or not you make it to the other side of the river, the two bridges will always serve as a reminder of what was the Expo and perhaps what it will be in the future.

Before our tour of the expo grounds on Saturday we made it to El Frijolito, a Mexican cafe on Torneo. A nice place on the side of the main avenue with some good dishes. Ours were tasty but we managed to order three dishes which were much smaller than all the others we saw coming out of the kitchen. We'll have to return. We then made a stop at Doner Kebab, and I had a shoarma, which is what we would call a gyro back home. Very filling and worth the 4€ I paid. We'll try to make it back for falafel the next time.