Saturday 16th January
Up early again today but today the sky was blue and cloudless so I’m not going to make the same mistake again, it’s t-shirt and shorts weather today and since Seville has a reputation for being the hottest city in Spain, what could possibly go wrong?
Jumping off the bus and here we are at our next destination, the Golden Tower. Constructed in the first third of the 13th century as a military watchtower it served as a prison in the 15th century and possibly as a strong room for the neighbouring mint. The sides were coated with a mix of mortar, lime and hay which gave it a golden colour.
Originally it was one anchoring point for a boat/chain barrier which spanned the river helping to prevent invasion of the city. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1755 and was about to be torn down when the locals demanded that it be restored.
It is now home to a nautical museum with some very good model boats, I need to find some more space in Frankie for my next project.
Climbing to the top of the tower we get a fantastic view of the cathedral.
Seville is nice, it has lots of things to do and see and that comes with a price. Hundreds of horse drawn carriages with the drivers continually asking if you want a tour of the city. We had salesmen for boat trips, bus tours, flamenco dancing, castanets, rosemary and fans.
Mustn’t be too grumpy, the sun is shining and it’s freezing cold. We have to keep out of the shadows so we can warm up.
Next visit on our list is the Casa de Pilates, the house of Pontius Pilate however he never visited this area and certainly never knew about the building. Work started on it’s construction 1500 years after his death.
The whole building is a palace inhabited by the Dukes of Medinacelli and mixes renaissance and Mudejar styles.
It’s all very nice but we have seen similar works in the Alhambra and Alcazars and the audio guide must rate as one of the most boring we have ever heard. Imagine someone writing a short piece about each room, doubling the speech and then doubling it again. Now this person goes through the speech with a thesaurus and changes every simple word into another word with the same meaning but unlikely to be ever used in normal speech. This made it very boring and difficult to understand.
Pretty though. Can you see anyone else here? They’ve all gone to slit their wrists. Actually it was quite nice to have a break from the hordes of Japanese selfie sticks. Why can’t they just take photos and photoshop their heads in afterwards? We saw one guy with a double camera gizmo taking 3D videos of himself walking down a road, what’s that about? Which reminds me of a joke. Japanese guy says to his neighbour “Where did you go on holiday this year”, other chap says “I don’t know, I haven’t looked at the photos yet”.
By now we were shivering so went looking for another face filling place.
We found a little place doing menu del dia and went in ordering a hot potato cheese and ham dish which was delicious and I followed with a gnocchi and shrimp sauce dish (lovely) and Lucy had pork with pepper sauce. Again delicious but it was just pork and pepper sauce, no salad, chips or veg unless you count the side dish of olives. Panacotta for me and mousse for Lucy with drinks came to €23 again, must be the standard price.
Last visit of the day is the Plaza d’Espana. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition and is a landmark example of renaissance revival style in Spanish architecture. (Wikipedia – it knows lots of stuff!!)
The handrails were very interesting, there were ceramic surfaces everywhere, really nice to see.
The building is built in a semicircle with a small lake in the centre. Around the edges are tiled seats which were fantastic sun traps.
We spent a little time in Cadiz trying to get some heat back into the blood. Each section was named after the capital city of each region with murals showing some history of the surrounding area.
Looking back the other way. The buildings were used as local government offices. If you’re a film geek you might recognise parts of the building. Laurence of Arabia (1962), Star Wars Episodes I & II and The Dictator (2012). Forgot to tell you that the Alcazar was used in Game of Thrones, series 5.
On the way home we passed a petrol station selling diesel at 90.9c per litre (About 66p per litre).
The heating is on in Frankie, it’s going at full blast and it may take some time to stop shivering. I have learnt my lesson (until next time) and will take steps to dress accordingly.