28 September 2008

Woollie Spain - Part 2

Walking was interrupted midweek by a day trip to Seville - beautiful city, with amazing architecture and history. The only day we saw any rain and that was for 5 minutes from the inside of the bus.....30 degrees and beautiful sunshine was the order of the day. 

After the necessary morning refreshments (i.e. coke and cake) we headed off to explore, I went alone to the Real Alcazar - a Moorish style palace built next to the cathedral using mudejar architecture - constructed in  Christian times using Islamic design by Moorish craftsmen.  I was entranced by the intricacy of the decorative plasterwork, the beauty of the gardens, the simplicity of the iron work gates. You could visit the room where Columbus may have received his orders as he headed out to discover America (of course that wasn't where he was actually headed and it may have actually taken place in Cordoba as the Spanish court moved frequently in those days) and there is mention of the trading links with Dundee. 

Photos, clockwise from top left: Mercury's Pool; Palacio Gottico; Patio de las Doncellas; ceiling in Real Alcazar; silhouette in Real Alcazar; inside the Alcazar; tiles in Alcazar; streets in Seville

Photos clockwise: housing/shopping in Seville; the Explore group; the star gate at the Real Alcazar; children's flamenco shoes; view from La Giralda tower; Real Alcazar; centre photo - Plaza d'Espana

I met the girls for a tapas lunch - beautiful food - calamari, croquetas, jamon serrano and jamon iberico, aged queso de manchego (cheese)....before we headed to visit La Giralda and the catherdral. La Giralda is the cathedral's bell tower, created from the minaret of the former mosque which was demolished in 1401, only the tower and the Patio de los Naranjas (orange tree gardens where ritual ablutions were performed before entering the mosque) surviving.  The cathedral itself is the largest Christian church in the world and it's Gothic arches are so high that the building is said to have its own micro-climate. We climbed to the top of the tower, well walked as it was more of a ramp spiralling all the way to the top as opposed to the usual steps and the view over the city and the cathedral itself was spectacular.



amy said...

this vacations just keeps getting better!!!

Claudia said...

I lllloooovvvveeee tapas! I could eat tapas all the time! Your trip seems like so much fun :) When is part 3?

Bethany Hissong said...

I love tapas too! Our restaurant here, El Serrano's, serves some authentic ones! That cathedral amazes me... I can't even imagine a building that large! And those mosaic tiles... incredible. Are you SOOO inspired now?!! I would want to come up with a knitting pattern from them!

Kate said...

I loved Seville - one of my highlights from travelling!

Anne said...

Love these pictures...especially the shoes.