Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Day in Sevilla

On Friday the 13th, we started out on our last week in Europe by boarding the Spanish high speed AVE train for the the two hour and 30 minute ride to Sevilla.

We met our train on the Atocha Train Station's track number six, got on car number six, and found our assigned seats in row number six.

Friday the 13th . . .

six, six, six . . .

What could be worse than this?

An empty Fanta machine
that's what!!!

The train ride was a delight as was the taxi ride from Sevilla's train station to our hotel.

Laurie in front of our hotel 

I like Sevilla's graffiti 

It was after 1:00 p.m. and we were hungry, where to go?

This Tapas Bar looked good

The beer prices were perfect

And the tapas were

Our favorite tapas bar is in Barcelona, the Irati Taverna Basca. Now, we are not so sure about the rankings.

As always, you save the toothpicks from each tapas that you help yourself to and consume. When you are finally finished eating, you settle your tab based on how many toothpicks are on your plates.

I had ten toothpicks while Laurie was her daintly self and only had four. Add four cañas to the bill and lunch for two came to a modest 22.40 Euros.


Chocolates for dessert?

Amazingly, no.

We still have a lot of Swiss chocolate to consume back at our hotel.

This was a stunning upset to Sevilla's economy.

Protest marches may follow soon.

This is a chain candy store

I tried to eat a nouget from this company's brightly colored store in Toledo, Spain back in 2009. The result was a broken molar requiring my first, and only, crown to date.

There was no chance that I was going into this store.

Nice looking watch store

The vibrant colors of Sevilla

Sevilla is Spain's fourth largest city with approximately 700,000 inhabitants. It is the city of Carmen and Don Juan and a mecca of bullfighting. It is also the epicenter of the flamenco music/dancing world.

Mostly, it appears to be a city alive from the energy of its people's souls.

James Minchner once wrote, "Sevilla doesn't have ambience, it is ambience." We have found it to be a vibrant ciudad indeed after just a few hours.

Moorish Architecture . . .

Is everywhere in Sevilla

And for good reason, as this was one of the final bastions of Moorish power until the Reconquista took over Sevilla in 1401.

Laurie bought a new fan

Actually, she has purchased several new fans.

Our first glimpse of the
Giralda Bell Tower

It is part of Sevilla's massive Cathedral and was once a Moorish minaret from which Muslims called prayer.

It became a bell tower after the Reconquista.

Entrance to Sevilla's Cathedral

A closer look at the portal statuary

The Cathedral sits on the site of a former Moorish mosque made of bricks that was torn down by the reconquering Spanish Catholics in 1401. These Catholics vowed to build a Cathedral on the same site that would make people think that they were "madmen."

A Cathedral Portal

One of many Cathedral Domes

The head of John the Baptist

Not real.

Little Laurie, Big Cathedral

Sevilla's Cathedral is the third largest church in Europe after only St. Peter's at the Vatican in Rome and St. Paul's in London. It is the largest Gothic style church in the world.

It took 120 years to build

Stained Glass in the
St. Francis Chapel

Nothing like a good war scene
in a Catholic Cathedral

A very impressive organ

I liked the ceiling

Refreshing fountain in the
Court of the Orange Trees

Another grand view of the
Giralda Bell Tower

Where is St. George?

The tomb of Christopher Columbus

By their livery, each giant pallbearer represents one of the four major regions of Spain. These regions are Castille, León, Aragon and Navarre.

A minor side altar,
it hardly even counts

Another Cathedral Dome

Interesting Floor Design

The Moors may have been gone, but
their architectural designs were not

As I write this,
there is no lion at my feet

We entered the Cathedral Treasury, Laurie fell in love with two minor baubles.

Bauble #1

Bauble #2

I inquired but they were not for sale.

Domes everywhere

And floors too

Court of the Orange Trees

It was HOT out here! Thank goodness for the shade and an ice cold water dispensing machine.

Moorish style exit door

After the long, slow tour of the refreshing Cathedral, we embarked on a walking tour of Sevilla's old Jewish Quarter known today as the Barrio Santa Cruz. Spanish Catholics would do their level best to drive the Jews out of Sevilla as well as the Moors.

Pedestrians only here as the streets are far too narrow for cars. We were in for a treat.

Don't let him scare you

View of the Cathedral from the
entrance to Barrio Santa Cruz

Beautiful Tile work

Gorgeous old buildings

Colorful Walls

Balcony Garden

Yellow is HUGE here

We may stop in on Saturday night

The infamous Don Juan Tenorio

Considered Spain's, if not the Western World's, greatest lover. He was a local boy.

Errol Flynn played him in a movie. Now their was type casting at its finest.

Time for a few Claras

In this scorching heat, one must stay fully hydrated!

We decided that this place, called the Café Bar Las Teresas and founded in 1870 was just the spot to replenish our "precious bodily fluids."

Can you say "Atmosphere?"

We fell in love with this place too!

A Clara is half beer and half soft drink, I prefer a lemon based one myself. They are great heat beaters that we first discoverd with Julien and Christophe in Lyon a few weeks ago.

They serve ham

Laurie was ready to move
to Sevilla after the Claras

Again, Yellow is HUGE here

A Kissing Street

In Barrio Santa Cruz, on a few streets, the walls are so close that they almost kiss each other. This was done to create maximum shade to combat the Sevilla Summer heat.

Good thinking!

We could actually feel mucher cooler temperatures in these little alleyways.

Nice Tiles, Nice Mantilla

She wants to move in here

Laurie's real first name is Laurel.

Life Imitates Art

Laurie is such a good sport even if there was some sort of hand gesture made after I took this photo.

She may have been implying that I was #1 in her heart.

Just another street in
Barrio Santa Cruz

Nice Bench in Plaza de Doña Elvira

Above the entryway to the Alcázar

This 10th century Moorish palace will be our first stop on Saturday morning.

The view of Sevilla's Cathedral
from the Alcázar

The Camino de Santiago's
Southerm La Plata Route

The Moors were fabulous architects


Sevilla is famous for its fans

The heat today was a perfect reason why every woman should own a fan and occasionally fan off her husband.



Sarah said...

We had a Lizarran in Gilroy but it was overpriced and recently closed. And the restaurant in Fullerton closed. New York is open!

Trine The Trickster said...

I wanna go RIGHT now!

George said...

Trine the Trickster,

Planes leave daily from Copenhagen.

Martina Nicholson said...

great to see your photos of Sevilla-- I loved it but when I was there there were probably only 10k residents-- I can't imagine 700k! Loved all the yellow paint, and the brightness of the paint jobs-- I love the Moorish influence, the tiles, the courtyards and fountains! Thanks! it
is exciting to read your postings!