Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 25 March 2007

Two exhausting but exhilarating days in Seville

First, a comment about going by car into a large city which one has never visited before. Seville is quite a large city - a little less than three-quarters of a million people. It has a complex road network with motorways entering from several directions. My hotel was located pretty close to the centre of town and only a 10 or 15 minute walk from the main places I wanted to visit. A year or so ago I think (indeed I am certain) that I would have become completely lost in the very fast-moving traffic, whilst trying to consult a road map and drive. It is at times like this that the modern wonder of SatNav shows its true worth. The unit I have allows you to key in a street address, and in many cases the name of the hotel, one wants to find. In this case my TomTom, which now costs a lot less than when I bought mine (but no matter!), took me straight to the door of the underground carpark of the hotel, even after I had misunderstood a few of its instructions and the ever-patient 'Tim' (I have the UK English male voice selected) had been obliged to recalculate new routes to get me out of the mess I was creating for myself. Thank you 'Mr Tim'!

I arrived in Seville in the second half of the afternoon after a very pleasant time in Sanlucar de Barrameda (see my previous post) and an enjoyable short drive through at times quite attractive countryside. It was too late to visit any of the places I wanted to, because it takes several hours to make a visit worthwhile. However what I did do on Friday afternoon was to check-out the layout of the Alcazar and the Cathedral so that I wouldn't waste time on Saturday finding my way about. Armed with my trusty Lonely Planet guide for Spain I spent a couple of hours in lovely late-afternoon warmth finding a route through the Jardines de Murillo (rough translation only, I'm afraid) and the Barrio de Santa Cruz, stopping on the way there for a glass of wine and on my return at another place for some coffee. Mission accomplished.

Saturday morning I decided would be best devoted to a tour of Seville's Real Alcazar and I spent roughly three and a half hours happily wandering about with the audioguide I had rented. After that I was ready for a glass of Fino and some cured ham in a little place in the Barrio. Then it was on to the Cathedraland the Giralda.

I took dozens of pictures yesterday, almost 100 in all, but the few below are some of the better ones; the first four are of the Real Alcazar and the following seven are of the Cathedral or are taken from the Giralda.

Real Alcazar and Cathedra, Seville
24 MAR 2007
Patio de las Munecas

Patio de las Dencellas

A map tapestry in the 'Sala de Tapices'

A corner of the Alcazar gardens

The Giralda of Seville Cathedral

One of the two massive Cathedral organs

The gilded Altar in the Main Chapel

Part of the ceiling in the Chapter House

Patio de los Naranjos

The Cathedral and the Bullring in the distance

A close-up of the Giralda

Click here to see larger images.

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