We had the whole of Thursday to explore Sevilla. The lady who met us at the apartment told us that she like La Canista for breakfast which was pretty close by and so we went there and had pastries and coffee for breakfast. It was right next to Seville Cathedral which was open with no queue so we wondered in and took a look around. The main section was closed off and there was some kind of display/altar with what looked like Mary in it. Given we speak no Spanish, it was pretty hard to figure out what was going on. The rest of the Cathedral is also pretty impressive though and includes Christopher Colombus’ grave.
Our plan was to go to the Real Alcazar (royal palace) afterwards but by the time we arrived (again just a short walk from the Cathedral), the line to get in was already very long (I reckon close to 500 people) and probably would have been over an hour to get to the entrance. None of us fancied standing in a line in the scorching sun (it was already in the 30s C). We had read that the number 1 attraction in Sevilla is Plaza de Espana which was a relatively short walk away. On route we stumbled across a university building which was open and so we wandered in. The building was very impressive with statues, marble etc – we just couldn’t figure out what faculty it was (again our lack of Spanish didn’t help)!
The Plaza de Espana was pretty impressive though and what made it more impressive was the fact that it was only built in 1929 (it looks like it couldn’t have been built in 1800s). It was built for a Spanish-American exposition and now houses some government departments. It was also used for various films and TV shows including Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars (if you’re in to that sort of trivia). No photo I took does it justice. The tile work is quite incredible around the plaza and over the bridges. There is a park alongside the Plaza and we spent some time wandering around there as well and then headed back to our apartment walking along the river and past Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza (the Sevilla bullfighting ring). Unfortunately no bullfighting happening at the moment. As the temperature was now up in the mid 30s C, we decided siesta was necessary after lunch. The plan was to head out late afternoon (around 5pm) to see the Real Alcazar (hopefully the queues would be gone by then).
When we got to the Real Alcazar, unfortunately there was still a queue but it only took 20 minutes for us to get to the entrance. That gave us just over an hour 30 minutes to wander around the palace. It is Europe’s oldest palace that it is still used (it is the official residence of the King in Seville). Each room is tiled from floor to ceiling. It is impressive and then eventually it feels like the same thing every time you enter a new room. B said “it feels like I’m at CTM” – some people have no culture (but I did find it funny)! The gardens around the Palace are also very impressive and are quite cool. One of the King’s of Spain asked to be brought to Seville to die in the Palace as the gardens were his favourite place.
We had dinner at another recommended Tapas restaurant. It wasn’t as good as the first night so we ate less and then rather had gelato for desert. Some street musicians were playing brass instruments (tried to post the video but was too big for this site apparently) which made for a nice atmosphere while eating our gelato.
P, H, B & S