Seville

Jo’s Monday walk : Seville, second helpings

I was in Seville for not much more than 24 hours.  Just enough to complete my mission in meeting Sue, with a little time to spare.  On my second day I planned to see as much of the city as I could, intending to join a free walking tour.  That way I wouldn’t get lost in the maze of streets, and would make it back to the bus station in Plaza de Armas for my return coach home.

Of course, I had to get to the meeting point first.  The day dawned bright and clear and I set off across the city towards Plaza de Espana.  Cafés were coming to life in the sparkling sun as I headed through the leafy greenery of the Murillo gardens, and skirted the beautiful Real Alcazar.

Sometimes things go to plan.  Sometimes they don’t.  I arrived at Plaza de Espana to find barricades and a squad of security guards.  Apparently Green Day were playing a concert in these fabulous surrounds the following day, so access was forbidden.  The Plaza is the undisputed jewel of the Maria Luisa Park, built for the Ibero-American Expo of 1929.  I am lucky enough to have seen it in all its glory on a previous occasion, and was looking forward to a return visit.  Our guide explained a little of the history to the tour group, and then set off in the direction from which I had come.  We were to cross the city and end at the Metropol Parasol, a route I had already traversed that day.  I made a snap decision and excused myself.  Time was too precious to waste and I knew that I was close to the river.  It was the perfect day for a cruise.

And across the road beckoned another historic monument that I had hoped to see, the Torre del Oro.  The 36 metre high tower was constructed in 1220, part of the wall defending the Alcazar and formerly linked to the Torre de la Plata.  Unfortunately the tower was closed as it was All Saint’s Day, a public holiday, but I was more than happy to hop on board a boat.

Nor was I alone.  The water was busy with all manner of craft, young and old enjoying the holiday.  Cruceros Torre del Oro provide an hour long, panoramic cruise on Río Guadalquivir, Sevilla flaunting her charms on all sides.  Comely, traditional Triana gives way to the futuristic Expo ’92 site and, in the distance, the fairground rides of Isla Magica.  As the boat gently turned midstream, I gazed deep into the heart of the city, towards the cathedral, guarded by her exquisite tower.  All too soon I was stepping ashore.

Denied access to the tower, I set off along the quay, the serenity of the river forgotten as traffic whizzed past me, from one set of traffic lights to the next.  Impatient for a green light, I crossed over to admire the Plaza de Toros.  Although I would never set foot inside to witness the tormenting of a bull, the building itself does command respect.

On the far shore, the flutter of umbrellas at a pavement café danced an invitation.  Crossing Puente de Triana, I admired the sweep of the river.  Would a table here be affordable, I wondered?  I cast my eyes over a menu or two.  Not too bad, and the view would be worth it.

I squeezed into a space, facing the river, with an hour just to contemplate the beautiful city before me, and all I’d seen and done.

I ate Flamenquins- ham and gooey, melted cheese in crispy breadcrumbs- no room for dessert.  Trailing a backward glance or two, I recrossed the river and followed it along the shore, towards my waiting coach.  It had been a delightful re-acquaintance with Seville.

If you missed my previous walk in Sunny Seville, you missed a treat.  No, not just the cakes, though they were good.  I met lovely Sue!

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Many thanks to all my wonderful contributors.  Walking is so much better with your company.  Join me any time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  Newcomers and old friends, I always try to make you welcome.

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As I remarked to Drake, if I didn’t live in Tavira I could be very tempted by this place :

Modern old-fashionedness

The name has always delighted.  The place might have a little catching up to do, Debs :

Elephants and castles

We all have a long way to go to ‘save the planet’.  Here’s a reminder from Natalie :

Have you heard about the Float’em Garden?

Rain is a precious commodity, but too much or too little can cause real distress :

Jo’s Monday walk…a break in the rain

Candy shares some fine photos from northern Spain :

Walking around Astorga

Just look what Irene can see on the horizon!

Beyond the Dunes

Sometimes I get lazy about visiting other blogs, but I made a lovely find this week.  Lots of Azores posts :

Hiking the Azores: Along Levada do Serra do Faial

Ann Christine is thoughtful on Thursdays, but she also takes us to beautiful places :

A Walk with Aleksandr in Old Tbilisi

Walking is a great stress buster.  Sounds like Terri might need one or two :

Sunday Stills: Walking Through the #Calm Before the Storm

Meanwhile the Camino saga continues with Cathy :

(Camino day 43) Portomarín to Lestedo

There’s not much water about in Australia right now.  Share a little with Carol?

River Walk

Can you believe, it’s almost a year since I moved to Portugal?  Later this week I plan to conclude my series Living the Dream.  Hope to see you then.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Sunny Seville, on a mission

Metropol Parassol

This is probably not the image that first comes to mind when someone mentions Seville, but it’s an image that grabbed my attention when I first saw it, back in 2011.  Metropol Parasol is familiarly known as Las Setas (the mushrooms) but it reminds me of a giant waffle.  Maybe I had breakfast on the brain, for the sun was just cresting the surrounding buildings as I walked all around the perimeter.  I settled myself at a convenient table in Grupo Sala to devour an avocado torrada, my eyes moving appreciatively from my plate to this surreal vision.

During mundane excavations in the Plaza de la Encarnación, Roman ruins were discovered.  Work came to a halt, but the finds can be seen in a museum beneath Metropol Parasol.  Sadly I did not manage to see these, nor to ascend to the walkway to look down upon the city.  I was much too early, and my wandering footsteps had far to roam that day.

A maze of calles weave Seville together, and at every second corner there appears an image of a saint, or a church.  I counted San Pedro and Santa Inés, Santa Catalina and San Andrés, San Nicholas and Santa Magdalena, San José and Santa Marta, all looking down on life with gravity.

Slow progress is made through these narrow streets.  The light and shade captivate, each alley and doorway cloaking in mystery the life within.  At a busy crossroads I hear the smart-stepping click of horses hooves, and am just in time to capture the smiling bride and groom.

Seville literally hums with life, an invitation to flamenco or a bodega awaiting everywhere in the heart of this city.  In Plaza de San Salvador the buzz of excitable Spanish conversation stops me in my tracks.  That and the sheer beauty of the square, glowing rosy pink in the sunlight.

But I have an appointment to keep, and must press on.  It’s Halloween and, forsooth, there’s a witch or two about.  It’s courtyards that entrance me, and the spellbinding rhythm of tapping feet.  A city of saints and sinners.

Ahead lies the prize.  The Giralda Tower, beckoning, from a distance.  Soon I am within touching distance, a little sad to see it swathed in scaffolding, but no matter.  I am here on a mission.

In a rooftop bar, overlooking the mighty cathedral, me and Sue (Words Visual) finally get to have that long conversation.

We watch the men at work on the scaffolding, and later there’s a passionate performance of flamenco.  An evening meal, with cake, of course!

You were worth every step of the journey, Sue.  Thank you so much for your lovely company.

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And thanks to everyone who’s walked with me this week.  It’s always a pleasure to walk with you.  Join me any time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.

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I was quite excited to see where Drake was taking me this week, because I’ve actually been there before :

Eight hundred year old icon

The challenge?  To make a power station look good in the rain.  Debbie’s up for it!

Not my usual south bank walk

When it rains, Jackie cooks or reads a book :

Morning Coffee

Meet Geanie, all the way from Utah!  I’m sure you’ll have fun together :

The Best Travel Destination Might be in Your Own Backyard

Irene always finds beauty close to home too :

Morning on the Marsh

I may be just a Stroller/sometimes Strider, but I love a little ambition in a walker.  Go Mel!

Camino Madrid 2020 – the nuts and bolts of walking in Spain

And Cathy, of course, with the challenge now behind her :

(Camino day 42) Sarria to Portomarín & ruminations (week 6)

Jude has been trying to tempt me with an English autumn.  Thanks for the memories, hon :

The Lanes in November

While Sandra was high up in Lisbon- great vantage points!

Miradouros in Lisbon, #Portugal

Finding a little magic in the Welsh hills, let’s finish with a lovely joyful walk with Becky :

Time travel in Wales

Next week I shall be continuing to walk through Seville.  Hope to see you then.  Meanwhile, take care.  Wishing you all a great week!

Six word Saturday

An hour with my feet up!

A rare commodity!  I thoroughly enjoyed gliding along on the Río Guadalquivir.  Debbie has a fabulous chunk of history for you today.  Pop over and share Six Words.  Wishing you a lazy Saturday!

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Sunday Post : Splendid

Would you believe it, he’s got me singing again!  Jakesprinter that is.  His theme for this week’s Sunday Post is Splendid.  So what was I singing?  “Love is a many splendoured thing”, of course.  Quite appropriate as it’s my wedding anniversary this week.

Splendour is a wonderfully old fashioned word.  It suggests to me churches and ornate beauty.  Splendid is maybe a little more casual?

Durham Cathedral and Cloisters

Wawel Cathedral in Krakow

St. Elizabeth’s Chapel, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Wroclaw

Oratorium in Wroclaw University

Ruined Whitby Abbey

Silk panelled walls in Newstead Abbey

The Moors understood the concept of splendid extremely well.

The Lion Courtyard, Alhambra Palace, Granada

A room with a view (Sacromonte, from the Alhambra)

Gardens of the Real Alcazar, Seville

As usual, I had great fun with this.  What will Jake come up with for me to sing along to next week?  You’ll have to come back to find out.  Better still, why not join in the challenge yourself?  Follow the links or click on the flying dragon logo for details.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great and varied entries:

http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/monet-at-the-ny-botanical-garden/

http://cuoreq.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/sunday-post-splendid/

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/sunday-post-splendid/

http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/sunday-post-splendid/

http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/sunday-post-splendid/

http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/splendid-lines-of-waterfalls/

http://36beauty5.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/sunday-post-splendid/

http://nprimopiano.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/white-stars/

http://africatoalgarve.blogspot.pt/2012/08/splendid.html

http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/sunday-post-splendid/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/weekly-photo-challenge-splendid/#comment-1017

http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/sunday-post-splendid-2/#comment-6505

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/late-sunday-afternoon-post-splendor/#comment-1525