SEVILLA, SPAIN + GIBRALTAR U.K.
SATURDAY, MAY 31ST
On May 31th Craig and I boarded our first plane ride outside of our familiar north American continent and across the Atlantic Ocean to begin the start of our euro-lopement; our elopement, and European holiday rolled into one, a merry moon.
With our bags severely over packed, and our wedding finery in tow the first stop on our grand itinerary was to Sevilla, Spain, where we pictured ourselves eating tapas and drinking sangria into the wee hours of the morning, attending our first flamenco show, taking leisurely walks about the city and nursing wine hangovers. However as luck would have it, our initial flight involved a 4 hour delay in departing Portland, which toppled over into missing our one and only night to explore Miami, Florida, during a planned twenty hour layover. After successfully boarding our cross Atlantic flight we were once again dealing with a delay in reaching our final destination.
Once we disembarked our cross Atlantic flight we found ourselves in queue for customs for almost two hours. As more luck would have it we wound up missing our flight out of Lisbon, Portugal to Sevilla, Spain (who knew customs during the world cup would was the place to be?). There we were excited to start our European holiday and found ourselves stranded at the airport with our excessive luggage, battling our first bout of jet lag, encountering language barriers and the only other flight out to our final destination was 13 hour away. Needless to say this was not how we had envisioned starting out our first big trip abroad.
MONDAY, JUNE 2ND. SEVILLA, SPAIN
The morning following our airport fiasco we officially awoke in Spain with our brains full of excitement and bellies full of hunger, we were finally here. Although we were an entire day behind our schedule, we would just have to squeeze all of the things we had wanted to do into one day, there was no room to work through our jet-lag and little time to be leisurely, however we were finally on the path to start our trip.
With a general idea of where we were going, we excitingly set out on foot in search of our first Spanish meal of the day, where we would also encounter our first language barrier. While ordering breakfast I chose items that were of familiar words. But to my surprise I had ordered an array of Spanish charcuterie and fried potatoes. so we quickly realized I wasn’t as versed in Spanish as I had believed and that Craig’s Spanish was down to two words; yes and thank you. It would turn out I would remain the Spanish speaking interpreter for our entire Spain visit, we were in trouble. It was at that moment that we decided to go all-in Spanish-style. Ordered beers accompanied with our 10am breakfast, and we introduced the Catalonian lisp into our Spanish conversations. We were quickly falling in love with this city.
While in Seville we encountered the first of many cathedrals, including the world’s largest gothic cathedral, the Seville cathedral, which is also the burial site for Christopher Columbus. Among the many other sites the one that truly left us amazed was the Alcazar, a stunning palace rich in Moorish influence and design. It’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe-. The Alcazar also happens to be where a portion of the fifth season of the popular novel turned HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed. We later started to see and learn about the huge Moorish influence that we would later encounter throughout many areas of southern Spain. After a long day of unbelievable beauty we decided to skip naps explore the city by going for an evening run along the waterfront. we ultimately wound up a lost but had fun trying to find our way back, we were able to swiftly explore a lot of the neighborhood that we had missed.
PLAZA DE ESPANA
TUESDAY, JUNE 3RD. DEPARTING SEVILLA, ARRIVING IN GIBRATAR, U.K.
After a day in Seville, we drove our little rental down the southern coast of Spain to a tiny little stretch of UK territory known as the Rock of Gibraltar. We arranged for a small room at the O’Callaghan Elliott Hotel, and were surprised with an upgraded honeymoon suite with sprawling views of Spain across the bay and views of North Africa’s mountain range from across the strait. We were finally in the right location and on time with our itinerary, the following day was to be our wedding ceremony.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4TH. GIBRALTAR, U.K.
our wedding day
The day of our wedding we woke early up with big smiles and our hearts filled with excitement. We rushed around the narrow streets of Gibraltar acquiring signatures, official stamps, and collecting last minute wedding items.
This day was no different than any modern day wedding, except we didn’t have family or friends arriving, in fact we didn’t even invite a single guest. The only person we welcomed was our photographer Andreas Holm.
We were truly eloping, just as John Lennon and Yoko Ono had, on the rock of Gibraltar.
THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS BY ANDREAS HOLM
Craig was the first to get ready in a classic blue suit, he in turn would wait for me downstairs on the grounds of a beautiful 18th century library, this is where we would do our first look. I followed him to the library to reveal my custom made wedding gown. It was all finally happening, our wedding day had started.
With our wedding vows, an extra set of shoes, and our Orox Rucksack we made our way down the busy streets of Gibraltar towards to the Alameda Gardens. Within the serene garden grounds is where we said our vows, laughed, and cried –accompanied only by our photographer. It was an absolutely perfect ceremony –unscripted, and private.
After exchanging our vows we found a taxi and picked up our little wedding cake and had ourselves a celebratory dinner on the waterfront. Were we took turns reading AdLibs wishes from our friends and family members.
We finished our wedding evening with Andres capturing photos on the southern-most point in Europe. Our wedding day was filled with lots of unplanned adventure and it stands out as one of the absolute best of our lives. We were thrilled to be able to start our married life in this way that perfectly suited us.
The day after our commitment ceremony, we ran to the registrar’s office and where we were legally paper married. Complete strangers who we found outside the office were our witnesses.
That day on our way out of Gibraltar we made our way to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar and hung out with the curious thieving Barbary apes. They are the only population of wild monkeys in Europe and certainly not afraid of people as one ran across my back and made a grab at my wedding bouquet.
As wonderful as our actual wedding ceremony was, was also the 11 day honeymoon that followed.
Check back soon to read about the rest of our time in Spain and to find out where else we traveled to.