Friday 15th January
We were up early, really early. 8.30am is really early for someone who will remain nameless who still thinks she is on Portuguese Summer time.
To be fair it was still dark when I bounced out of bed and so chilly that I decided to wear jeans, socks and a jumper in an attempt to blend in with the locals. The forecast was good so I wasn’t going to go silly with wooly hat and scarf though.
We are in a marina overlooking one of the major branches of the Gaudalquvir in Gelves which was recommended to us by Marc & Sam who are now sunning themselves in Morocco.
It is €12.10 per night plus €2.80 for electric, not the best place we have ever stayed but all the aires in this area charge top dollar and this is conveniently placed for a bus straight into the city.
After paying your €1.55 each this is where the bus dumps you! The Palacio de San Telmo, the seat of local government. We’re not allowed in, armed guards control the entrance.
And this is the lintel over the door.
A little further on and another magnificent building, the Palicio de Yanduri.
The roads are empty. Friday morning and we have some bike riders, a couple of trams and the very occasional car belonging to a resident.
The roads are lined with orange trees although I’ve never seen bunches like this. Fallen oranges are on the pavements but after a previous experience with a Seville orange I really don’t want to try one.
Everywhere we look we see wonderful buildings, this is the Cathedral which is the largest gothic and third largest church in the world. It is on Lucy’s itinerary so we will be calling in there later in the day.
Outside the main entrance to the cathedral is this copy of the wind vane which is mounted at the top of the bell tower.
Can you see the other wind vane? Gives some idea of the scale of this building. This tower used to be a minaret for the attached mosque and work started in 1184 and completed 14 years later. The top part was added later and turned into a bell tower.
This is what Lucy wanted to see first, the Alcazar of Seville.The upper floors are still used by the Spanish Royal family when they are in Seville. It was originally a Moorish fort and is the oldest Royal Palace still in use today. Granted Unesco World Heritage status in 1987 along with the cathedral.
It’s almost like being back in the Alhambra in Granada, at every turn there is something new and interesting to see.
I took so many photos that I liked and had a real problem trying to thin them out but we’ve got fairly decent internet here so you’re getting more than usual.
You’re getting a load of photos of outside as well. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, pomegranates and dates all being grown and in reach.
We spent a good few hours in the Alcazar and really enjoyed ourselves. Next stop is lunch of course.
We had a little debate about lunch and in the end settled for a selection of tapas, sangria, red wine and gazpacho soup. First four courses were delivered up and wolfed down in our usual Simpsons fashion. Not bad we thought, tuna, anchovies, chick peas and spinach and then fritatta. We were just complementing ourselves about being able to finish it all when the next four dishes turned up. Meatballs, Russian Salad, calf cheeks and spanish ratatouille.
By the end of that little lot we were stuffed and beginning to realise why the Spanish have two hours for lunch. €23 all in including the red wine and sangria.
Next stop the cathedral for some more walking exercise. Above is the tomb of Christopher Columbus all cast in bronze. It’s amazing to see the depiction of cloth like this but made in bronze. Lucy had her moneys worth just from being able to look at this tomb.
Lots of gold and silver pots and pans and other treasury stuff. No idea what half of them were, we couldn’t read the labels but you know when you see something that looks pretty good.
Another amazing room with amazing ceiling. The cathedral has 80 chapels, the nave is 42m high, the altar is one of the largest in the world. The whole place is so large it was difficult finding places to take decent photos.
However, climbing up the Giralda tower, 343 feet high the views are amazing. You’ve got a view on each compass point coming.
By the end of the day the clouds had moved on and it was warming up.
Did we enjoy Seville? The answer is of course yes and it didn’t take us long to decide to stay another night and do some more exploring tomorrow.