Wednesday, 07 September, 2011 17:17

Seville – Our Last Stop in Andalucia

And On To Seville …
We drove from Antequera to Seville, 160 km, and arrived to find the temperature had plumetted to a beautiful 20 degrees, so much cooler than the weather we had been experiencing. We returned our hire car and walked the short distance to our hotel adjacent to the Seville Santa Justa railway station.

A Warning Sign On The Autovia

Seville, Our Final Stop In Andalucia …
Seville is a big city and our hotel was well positioned to walk into the old sector of the town. Our first stop was the Cathedral of Seville. We spent 2 hours in this amazing building which was built over a 9th century mosque. Inside the cathedral there are over 500 artistic treasures from 16th century to today.

Magnificent ceiling of the Seville Cathedral

We climbed the 35 ramps, not steps, to the top of the Cathedral Spire for a view over Seville to be greeted by a massive storm complete with lighting and thunder. Added to this, it turned 3:00 PM and the bells started to toll and we were only 2 meters from these monsters. Apparently the church elder who called the people to prayer could climb to the top of this spire on his horse rather than walk.

View from the Cathedral spire

There are lots of narrow cobbled streets and alleyways to explore in the old town and more English speaking people than in the past 10 days. The area is packed with restaurants and souvenir shops and remains lively till well after midnight with people dining and socialising.

An Architectual Marvel …

Plaza de España In Seville

On our second day in Seville we decided to visit the Plaza de España. The Plaza, designed by Aníbal González, was built in the 1920’s to showcase Spain’s industry and technology. The complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over a moat by numerous beautiful bridges. In the centre is a large fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. Today the Plaza de España mainly consists of Government buildings but also contains an excellent Military Museum which we took the opportunity to visit.

Plaza de España In Seville

Down To The River …
Our next stop was down to the river (Rio Guadalquivir) for a short 1 hour cruise to see the city from a different perspective. As well as seeing many of the older features of the city it also gave a great view of many of the more recent constructions including the new exhibition centre and the Isla Magic, a mini Disneyland.

Torre de Oro – Home of the Naval Museum

A Touch Of Local Culture …
A late lunch following our cruise then back to the hotel for a short rest before heading back into the old town for some traditional flamingo music and dancing. This one hour show with a guiarist, singer and male and female dancers featured very traditional music and dancing rather than the more popular forms seen in many tourist establishments.

Traditional flamingo dancing

Our final meal in Seville was the very popular tapas with a glass of Spanish white wine before heading back to our hotel in preparation for our train trip to Madrid early the next morning.

Our Overview Of Andalucia Province
So after 10 days in the Andalucia region what are our impressions. The road network including Autovia’s (freeway’s) are fantastic and equal to anywhere in Europe. It makes for very easy and safe driving. The Spanish drivers are very courteous and patient, they even stop at pedestrian crossings. The country side is spectacular with high mountains and undulating plains with olive trees as far as the eye can see. One thing you are not prepared for is how dry the region is.

Alcohol and food is about 1/2 the cost of Australia. A slab of beer (24 cans) ranges from €10 to €14 ($14 to $20). So once you are here the cost of living is very cheap. Restaurants are inexpensive. Our most expensive night out at a classy restaurant was €50.00 for two courses, a round of pre dinner drinks and a nice bottle of wine. A coffee in a bar is typically €1.00 to €1.50 and a glass of beer around the same price. Prices are a little higher in Seville but still very reasonable.

Our rental car. €23.00/day

From a tourist perspective the towns are spectacular, always with a “Centro Histórico”, or old town area with ambling streets and then a more modern commercial/retail sector. So if you were visiting this region and had limited time, here are the towns in our order of preference. Seville, “Cathedral and Plaza de Espana are spectacular as well as the night life”. Ronda, “The spectacular gorge and new bridge”. Malaga, “A wide range of excellent tourist attractions and fantastic retail precinct”. Granada, “The Alhambra”. Antequera, “A hidden gem without the tourists”. And finally Cordoba, “Worth a visit but not a high priority”.

Oh, by way of explanation: Our rental car is the one in front of the red Ferrari. Sorry about that!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Seville, Spain

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