Curious about Columbus (Huelva, Andalusia, Spain)

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My grandmother is with us now. We were going to stay a few days in Seville but have decided to head to Portugal to see my mum’s sister (and my grandmother’s daughter). Along the way we make our final stop in Spain: Huelva. The town from which Christopher Columbus set sail on his second and fourth voyages to the New World.

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The famous sailor stands watch over the sea. He’s impossible to ignore.

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Unfortunately we’re about half an hour too late to attend the museum. It’s closed for the afternoon so we can’t go in and learn about Christopher Columbus’ life. But we can see the exterior of the monastery where he lived for two years before his voyages to the Americas. It’s incredible to realise that this historic figure who I learned about in school would have walked past this very crucifix on a daily basis.

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We are a little cheeky. The museum is closed but a large gate is open so we let ourselves in. The gate could easily be mistaken for an entry because it is situated before the official entry. Others do the same thing. We take some photos quickly before we are kicked out (rightly of course). These replicas are the same size as the boats that set sail across the seas. The men who sailed them must have been either brave or foolhardy, regardless of what history has taught us about their actions and effects there of.

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Huelva is still very much a port town. Boats and the sea are obviously its lifeblood. I ponder at the identity of the men and women who live here. Do they identify as men and women of the sea? How many have been here for multiple generations?

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How many families of today’s Huelva have called the ports here home since the days when ships were made of wood and powered by wind? It’s an interesting thought on which to end a fascinating time in Spain.

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