Parque Maria Louisa, Seville

Sunday, November 8

There are several parks in Seville and one of the biggest is the Parque María Louisa, which is where we spend the afternoon today. We saw a lot of people dressed in T shirts, coloured tutus and tights covered in what looked like powdered paint. These two young ladies posed for me. Everyone looked like they were having a great time but we had no idea what it was all about.image

I did some internet searching later and find out what the Colour Run is all about. Check out this link.  https://ca.thecolorrun.com/about/   Basically it is a 5 km fun race whose objective is to have fun and get doused with coloured powder and party with a lot of other people! Eleven thousand people took part in Seville’s Color Run this year. I have included a link to a short youtube video that gives a pretty good idea of what it is all about.     https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y8bboQxGp9E

We had lots of fun just watching all the brightly coloured people walking by us after they finished the race and the after race party.  Wish we had known about it in time to go watch the fun. It is an interesting day.  We watch a bit of a dog show in Plaza de Espána. The very big and very small dog in the photo below were very interested in getting to know one another.imageThe Plaza de Espána was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. It is a huge curved building complete with a semi circular canal.image  We caught a glimpse of Cinderella and the Prince who is running after her!imageThe railings all along this building are blue and white ceramic with colourful ceramic posts.imageThere are towers at each end of the building, which I read was used as a set in one of the Star Wars movies.  We walked along the exact same route as Luke Skywalker in this short clip from the movie!   https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mVQyW1n5ECY     image

This sculpture, The Glorieta de Bécquer, depicts the three phases of love and someone had placed a fresh bouquet of white flowers in the arms of the woman depicting love passing. I thought it was very lovely and poignant.imageOne of the many water features in the park.  This one had very well fed ducks, who refused to eat yet another piece of bread, much to the disappointment of some cute little girls with their bags of food for the ducks.imageWe watched people rowing on the canal, who had waited in a very long line up for the opportunity to circumnavigate the canal. Can you spot Bob?image

One of the many wide paths through the park, which has a wide variety of very large trees.  It was a lovely place to while away an afternoon.
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The Real Alcázar, aka The Water Gardens of Dorne

Saturday, November 7

We had a great day visiting Seville’s Real Alcázar. It is a magical place in its own right but it was also the setting for the Water Gardens of Dorne for part of Season Five of The Game of Thrones. imageI am going to post my pictures without too many explanatory comments as I have included two links that have more information about the Game of Thrones settings and they also explain very nicely about the Alcázar.

http://travelphotodiscovery.com/game-of-thrones-set-for-andalucia-spain/

http://scribblerinseville.com/game-of-thrones-season-5-the-water-gardens-of-dorne-aka-the-alcazar-of-seville/

We climbed to the walkway you can just see in this photo.  It is behind the arches in the wall past the pool.  We had great views of some of the gardens from here.imageWe spent four and a half hours wandering through the palace and gardens, and we still didn’t see all of the gardens.imageIn the background you can see one of the many bridal couples we saw today who are here taking pictures.  Interestingly, there was always just the bride and groom and one or two photographers, there were no bridesmaids or groomsmen.image  Can you figure out how the goldfish are flying through the sky?image  I love the intricacy of the carvings and details on the walls and ceilings.image

imageThis was a popular spot for a bride and groom to stand and get their photo taken with their reflection in the pool. Bob tried to take a photo of my reflection but there were too many people around.imageWe did find a quiet spot in the garden to sit for a few minutes. Remember, we walked in the Alcázar for 4 1/2 hours!image

We asked a bride and groom if we could just take one picture before they started taking their own photos in the Queen’s Baths.image

The sun was low in the sky when we left near five o’clock and I liked the way this fountain was silhouetted against the wall.imageAfter we left the Alcázar we followed a walking tour map that Bob had picked up at the tourist office, through many of the old narrow streets of Seville.image

I peeked inside one doorway and spotted this beautiful garden courtyard.image

I couldn’t resist having my picture taken with this beauty!image  One more photo of the bell tower we climbed yesterday. Can you spot another bride and groom? We probably saw a dozen brides today!image

We stopped for yummy ice cream and sorbet, walked the streets, watched some crazy amazing break dancers, and finally caught our bus home around eight.

Seville Cathedral and La Giralda

Friday November 6

The Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, the third largest Church in the world and has the largest, richest alter in the world! The sculpture in the courtyard is the bronze weathervane (giraldillo) portraying Faith that used to be on top of the tower, and from which the tower gets its name.  A replica replaces it on top of the tower.imageJust inside the door is an arial picture of the Cathedral which gives an idea of its immense size, and we are going to visit all of it!
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This link has some great pictures and easy to read information on the Cathedral.  Take a look, I think it is quite interesting (and it saves me lots of writing!)    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/seville-cathedral

We enter the Cathedral and simply stand in awe.  It is hard to describe the feeling we have being in such a place.  The light is wonderful as there are three rows of stained glass windows, and the sun streams in casting jewels of colour over the immense stone columns. Interestingly I think that black and white photos capture the feeling of being in the Cathedral better than coloured photos.

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The organ here is enormous, perhaps the biggest we have seen and there are two parts to it, across from each other in the choir. These two pictures show the organ from the left and the right, this set up means that the pipes are visible on the front and back of each part of the organ.

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Here is one of the many beautiful stained glass windows.  I believe this one was from 1479.

imageThe Chapter House dome is elliptical and was built in the 1500’s.  It is perhaps the first elliptical dome ever built and I thought it was particularly beautiful.imageI read that the cathedral has 80 chapels, in which 500 masses were said daily in 1896. The altar is quite unbelievable.  It is carved in wood, covered in gold, and is 20 meters tall with 45 carved, polychromed biblical scenes.

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Christopher Columbus has a tomb here although other places also claim to have his remains. DNA testing is being carried out to determine if it is indeed Christopher Columbus who is interred here.

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Next we climb La Giralda, the belltower, which has 35 ramps which are wide enough so that two guards on horseback were able to climb to the top of the tower.  This link has more info on the Tower if you are interested

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/seville-giralda

The views from the belltower make the climb very worthwhile. I have decided I like Belltowers very much.image image imageAfter our visit we make our way back to the tram to take us home.  The ice cream is displayed very attractively, we decide we will have to try some tomorrow.  I found a place that has sorbet, all natural ingredients, and no milk!imageOne last view of the tower.  The top level with the bells is where we stood.image

 

Good Bye Portugal, Hello Spain

Wednesday November 4

We are on the road by 9:30 for Seville, Spain.  We didn’t manage to see or do as much as we thought we would in Portugal; the rainy weather and catching a cold put a bit of a damper, no pun intended, on our visit here.  Too bad, but it is what it is.imageWe stop in Tavira, Portugal for lunch and find this lovely little garden behind an old monastery.  There are trees here from all over the world with identifying tags, including this poinsettia tree.image

We walk around after our picnic lunch and discover this old castle with a park in its center.  We climb the steps to the top of the old walls, very narrow steps without any railings.  We have noticed that Spain and Portugal expect visitors to take care of themselves.  There are often no safety rails or fences in quite dangerous places. Back home this would not be the case. Can you see Bob at the very top of the stairs, where he stumbled?image The view from the top of the castle walls over the roof tops.image Two pictures of the same tree.  Can you spot who is hiding in each one?image

imageTavira has lots of tourist attractions but we notice that there are many empty store fronts and houses for sale.  This is something that we have seen repeatedly throughout Spain and Portugal.  Their economies are suffering with high unemployment and the villages and towns are losing young people to the bigger cities.  We have also noticed how often there are abandoned derelict houses, businesses and factories right beside nicely well maintained buildings.imageNotice the tree growing out of the window on the second floor of one of the building in this picture for an example. There are lots of ‘fixer uppers’ in Portugal and Spain!imageSoon we are approaching Seville and our next apartment.
imageThursday, November 5

Travel days are kind of hard on me, so I stay home today and rest and Bob goes to check out the tourist sights and figure out the bus system for our outing tomorrow.  I spend an hour or so watching a worker climb up inside the leaves of a palm tree and then trim it.  It looked like a very difficult, dirty job, but it was very interesting to watch.image