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Saturdays (Sundays) in Spain


I’ll admit, in all the time I lived in Seville, I never bothered to inquire what NO8DO stood for. This somewhat peculiar grouping of letters and number remained a mystery to me even though it was visible everywhere-on the sides of buildings, at bus stands, on taxis, even manhole covers featured it. It wasn’t until long after I returned home and missed Seville somewhat fierce that I bothered to look it up. I discovered that NO8DO is the official motto of the city (yes, go figure). It’s famously believed to be a rebus (an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words) signifying the Spanish phrase “No me ha dejado” which means “it [Seville] has not abandoned me,” with the eight in the middle representing a madeja, or skein of wool. Legend has it that the title was given by King Alfonso X who lived in the city’s Alcazar (royal palace) and supported by the citizens of Seville when his son tried to take the throne from him (i.e. the people of Seville never abandoned him). Although historians believe the motto is probably an abbreviation of the Latin In Nomine Domini (“in the name of the Lord”), the popularity of the rebus and its accompanying legend has pushed the Latin origin to the back. I think the popular legend behind the motto is a lot cooler, don’t you think?

Saturdays (Sundays) in Spain


When I studied abroad in Seville, Spain I lived in the Triana neighborhood, a historic part of the city situated directly across the river from such famous sites as the Catedral and Giralda. Multiple times a day I would cross the Puente de Isabel II (The Isabel II Bridge) in order to get to classes, meet with friends, or just do your random activity. At the start of the puente on the Triana side there was a tapas bar called El Faro de Triana (faro means lighthouse in Spanish). I lived in Seville for four months and probably passed by this establishment hundreds of times and never once did I go in. I didn’t know much about it-my Spanish intercambio (language exchange partner) said the food was bad but the drinks were decent and a British guidebook mentioned the gambas (prawns) being tasty-but other than that it remained this colorful looking building based at the end of a bridge overlooking a river. I don’t sorely regret never having eaten or drank there yet when I see images of its pleasant rooftop patio I do feel some pangs of traveler’s regret since it offered such a picturesque view of the city. But I think what I loved most about it was that it was so easily visible, especially from atop the Giralda where the second picture was taken. I look at this picture and I can still make out the route I used to take in my everyday life when I once was a sevillana.

Can you spot it?

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