Friday, February 27, 2015

Sevilla, Spain

We arrived in Sevilla from Córdoba Wednesday afternoon, via a fast train...took only 45 minutes instead of twice that on the "slow" train. And then walked to our accommodation and only took a few wrong turns, the first one being that we turned right instead of left out of the station... We're in La Casa del Pozo Santo, a large mansion built a few hundred years ago and renovated into tourist apartments. This is the third such apartment we've been in, and they've all had their quirks. One good thing about this one is the washer-dryer, so small it fits under the kitchen counter...we've already done one load. None of these three have had an oven, just an electric cook top plus microwave, and I've realized how much I like an oven! Kitchen equipment has been scanty in all (in spite of that, there is a dishwasher in this place--why?  There's only dishes and cutlery for four! Wouldn't take up half the space in the machine.) I won't list the other shortcomings--it's apparent to us that neither the managers or owners have ever actually stayed in any of these apartments. I do like this feature for dishes...wash and rinse and store directly above the sink...they drip dry and the rack doesn't take up counter space.

Sevilla is similar to Córdoba and Granada but much bigger. It's the provincial capital so its economy is not as dependent on the tourist industry. It has also experienced earthquakes...a major one conveniently devastated the large mosque, and so they decided to continue knocking it all down to built an enormous cathedral...third largest in the world after the Vatican and London's St Paul's (and we will have been to all three on this trip.) We haven't been inside are a few outside views. The bell tower was originally the minaret of the mosque which survived the earthquake. 

And at night...

The main exit doors are the original doors of the mosque, wood wrapped in bronze, decorated with either intricate vines or Arabic calligraphy (phrases from the Koran) 

And this lovely door knocker is original to the mosque as well:

We're quite close to a 21st C addition, the Metropol Parasol in the Plaza de la Encarnacìon. It's claimed to be the largest wooden structure in the undulating roof reminiscent of a honeycomb, and has been called a "flying waffle". We've been underneath to the food market, but not on top yet because it's closed for maintenance! Here's a night time view:

I finished my double-knit scarf which I had started last summer. A double knit scarf is the ideal travel project...slow and small! Here it is tied to the railing of our balcony:

The next post will be about the Real Alcázar, the Royal Palace of Sevilla (still in use today) which rivals the Alhambra.

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