Sunday, January 15, 2017

Seville - the middle bit

I was in Seville for 72 hours (more or less) so I have broken it into three posts...the first 24 hours, this post and there will be another one soon(ish).  

After visiting the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace) which totally blew me away I went back to the room to rest.  With four totally dead camera batteries.(yes I blew through both batteries for both cameras)..and two plug ins in the room which included the one in the bathroom I got a bit perturbed.  And I had a phone to charge as well. First world problems I know.  In Europe, in order to save energy you enable the power in your room with your room key which means unless you can sneakily put paper in you are SOL if you've got charging to do yet want to be out and about.  Normally it's a key card but this one was an actual key on the same ring as my room key.  Why didn't I just slide it off and leave it on? The part you pull apart to put a key on was soldered together so I could not slide it off!  Of course I could not double lock the door either unless I pulled out the power key which I needed to charge my batteries all night so I put a chair under the door knob! While I rested I did what I could do with the batteries, fretting the whole time. (as any crazy photographer would)  I must say here I am not happy with my Nikon P530...okay it does take good photos but 1) sometimes it refuses to focus so you have to switch it off and on 2) the battery does not last long and 3) the battery takes forever to recharge! I'm sure my Nikon D40 is sitting at home feeling very smug and thinking "you should have taken me even if I am a heavy sucker". (told you I am a crazy photographer) 

I then headed out for something to eat...more tapas.  Seville is known for its variety of tapas so what could I do?  Tonight it was two small pieces of Quiche Lorraine, some sauteed vegetables and a Greek Salad.  Delish! I sat outside of course...every chance I could get I was outside.  That was peach juice...very little alchohol on this trip due to my heavy cold.  Tragic, really but I did not feel like it - when I wanted sangria again I knew things were looking up. 

Back to my room and the charging dilemma!  I still wasn't feeling up to snuff and I had been up early so it was a crawl into bed and read my kindle kind of evening.  On one of my middle of the night "potty runs" I changed over batteries and  devices...fellow photographers will understand! 

That morning I visited the same cafe I had been to the morning before - right around the corner from me with a huge bull fighting theme.  There was even a bull's head on the wall...kind of hard to avoid in Seville.  They like their flamenco and bull fighting!  I had my usual...toasted baguette but with cheese this morning. (it varied between ham, cheese or both!) 

Today was a hop on/hop off bus day.  I went over to the starting point which was about a 15 minute walk from my hotel.  I stayed on for the entire circuit and found nothing outside the centre that really interested me enough to either "hop off" then or go back later.  If I had more time perhaps but everything I wanted to see was smack in the middle.  However it certainly gave me a better perspective of the city and I think the "hop on/hop off" tour is an ideal way to orientate yourself to a new city.  Once the bus started on its second circuit I got off at the first stop and promptly got myself misplaced.  However I did see a memorial to Christopher Columbus (yes I know now we think he was a villain but I grew in the time he was a hero) in a park so had to take a photo or two...

With the help of one of the locals I was set on the right direction to Plaza Espana...I passed through a park and came across this fun fair with a skating rink and rides.

I decided I had better have the Spanish version of a "bratwurst" as I realized I hadn't had one yet this Christmas season.  A tiny chorizo - red in colour because it is seasoned with Spanish paprika.  (I found that out later) 

I found my way to Plaza Espana and wow.  My friend Pat had told me about a "1929 building" but I wasn't sure where it was exactly.  Wow!  This building was built for the World Exposition in 1929. What impressed me the most was the tiling everywhere.  I love tiles and ceramics and I was in awe. Each area of Spain has its own ceramic mural and benches on the side of the building.  

My jaw flapped opened when I came across this beautiful building!

There was a canal around it and an opportunity to rent a boat and paddle.

I kept running my hand along the smooth tiling - blue and white tiles.  I can't get enough!

Blue, white and yellow tiles send me into a frenzy!  Blue and yellow are my favourite colours.  Picture these all along the side of the building...what a sight!

I had to have one of myself sitting on "Malaga!!!!

If you go to Seville (and you should) don't miss Plaza Espana!  You won't see it from the hop on/hop off bus - but there is a stop close by.  Most people probably aren't as directionally challenged as I am though.

I wandered over to Parque de Maria Luisa which is right beside the Plaza and very pleasant.  I sat for a while and watched the ducks then wandered around a bit.

I had lots of fresh orange juice in Seville needless to say!

What a beautiful park!  So quiet and peaceful as well.   I then walked along the river back to the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) to take some photographs. 

This was constructed early in the 13th century and was used as a prison during the Middle Ages.  It was never gold - the name came from the golden shine it projected onto the river. 

Then back to the room for a rest before going out for another meal of tapas.  But you are just going to have to wait until the next post to find out what the best tapas I had on the trip was! 

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