April 10, 2015 Sevilla, España
We are off for a two day trip to Sevilla, staying right in the Old Town with easy walking distance to the historical sites. (Alcantara Hotel). We metroed to Malaga and took the Renfe AVE train to Sevilla. After settling in at the hotel, we walked to the Santa Iglesia Catedral de Sevilla, the largest gothic temple in the world and built over a 9th century Alhadro mosque. We took a basic tour, crossing El Patio de Los Naranjos, a patio of orange trees and an ancient brick patio, crisscrossed with tiny canals for irrigating the trees, also remaining from the ancient mosque.
We walked up the 35 ramps to the top of the La Giralda Tower, the only portion that remains of the 9th century mosque. It has ramps rather than steps so that the muezzin could ride his donkey or horse to the top in order to call the moslems to prayer. It was the tallest structure in Europe until the French built the Eiffel Tower.
An upper structure was added to emphasize the Christian takeover of this mosque, a belfry, with the giradillo, a weathervane type woman.
One of the 25 bells pealed while we were up top; some of the bells date from the 1400s.
Then we had tapas at a place along our walk. I had pork cheeks in gravy… Very good, small portion. Siesta in our room while Ingrid and Al relaxed with wine, explored some more, had tea and coffee. We met up for the excellent Flamenco Show in our hotel, and then went to El 3 (Tres) del Oro for a late dinner at 9:30PM so we could experience the late night life Spain is so well known for.
*11 de avril: (sabado) Torremolinos- Castillo de Santa Clara with overnight trip to Sevilla. Ate our pre-purchased breakfast at the hotel… Usual cold cheese and ham sandwich-dry. Blah. Norm and I walked through some of the old town. Stopped for coffee, tea and a sugared churro. Took a horse carriage ride that covered many of the sites to see… Excellent narration. Walked through more of the old town, stopping at Vinela Tapas y Vinos in Plaza de Elvira for a tapa lunch. We ordered a racion of Iberic Ham, sheep cheese and sausage, blood sausage (marcilla) with bread and a tapa of sheep’s cheese and orange marmelade. Then we returned to Sevillarte-Ceramica Antigua Sevillana (www.sevillartecollection.blogspot.com) to purchase a Sevillian ceramic platter with cobalt/manganese blue trim and a lemon design. Created and painted by ROMA -Ramon and Manuel. After getting lost, we found our way out of the old town. We will soon return by AVE and metro by late evening train from Seville to Torremolinos. The Alcántara has been an excellent, but basic place to stay. It’s location is its best feature, but it is clean and comfortable as well. Just be sure to go out for breakfast!