A Travellerspoint blog

Seville

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Saturday, September 11, 2010 3:05 PM

Today we took a trip to Seville. Before leaving, I asked at the front desk how to get out of town without going down the ultra narrow streets we took yesterday.When I asked that question, the Spanish guy next to me said 'now we are all listening!'.

It turns out that the way they sent us was much easier and my nerves were not jangled again.

JoAnne and I went into Seville to visit the big attractions.

The Cathedral - This is the 3rd largest cathedral in the world [after St Peters and St Paul's [London]] and the largest Gothic church in the world. It was very impressive. It is interesting to think about how much money went into building these things! It was also interesting to think about the egos of some of the big wigs in the church that commissioned amazing tomb sculptures [often over powering the chapels that they loved so much]. The church was built over a previous mosque, so there are still artifacts from the mosque to be seen, including the garden of orange trees, with a very impressive irrigation system that is integrated with 4 fountains on the corners of the garden that were used of ablution [washing] before prayers in the mosque.

After a few hours we were pretty saturated with chapels, altar pieces, monstrances, ... and took a break. It was nice to sit down and watch the world go by. The temp in Seville was probably close to 100 [but as my friends from AZ would say 'it was a dry heat'].

After refreshing we went to El Alcazar. This was originally a Moorish palace, then taken over by Spanish rulers. The building is a mix of both worlds. It turns out that the Moors and the Christians actually got along, [most of the time]. It was nice to visit this place, but I must tell you that it paled in comparison to the Alhambra.

Tomorrow it is time to return home. After getting off the ship out caloric intake has probably been cut in half! Last night we found a cute little restaurant and had a light meal in the courtyard. We ordered 3 small plates to share between the 2 of us, interesting combinations of food, but a nice meal [we were very glad that we did not order a 4th plate].

We have seen lots of amazing places and we have had nice weather and very comfortable temps [except for Venice and Seville that were hot].

Thanks so much for all your nice notes and thoughts.

Denis
__________________________
Denis Greening (Travel)
Blog: http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/

Posted by dgreening 04:21 Comments (0)

Carmona

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Friday, September 10, 2010 11:51 AM

Last night we went to downtown Granada and visited the Cathedral. I must say that I have visited lots of churches and cathedrals in Europe, this one will knock your socks off! The size and decoration of this building is amazing [not as large as St Peters in the Vatican, but similar grandeur].

We also stopped by the Royal Chapel. Isabel and Ferdinand used up about 25% of their fortune to build this as an adjunct to the Cathedral. Impressive in its own right, there was historical significance. Isabella had the largest art collection of any woman to that point; 200 masterpieces including a Botticelli [of course that number was down to about 30 after Napoleon went through town and stole many of the paintings!]. http://www.capillarealgranada.com/index.en.html

We had a nice dinner in the big square [Bib Rambla]. While hailing a taxi to get back to the hotel, I had an unfortunate run in with some sort of metal post that juts out of the sidewalk about 10 inches ... blood running down my leg [yecch!], but I had the help of a fine leg patcher, JoAnne helped get me wrapped up. The leg aches, but I can move around.

We decided not to go to Cordoba [too bad], and found our way to this beautiful Parador in Carmona [near Seville]. This is an old town with narrow winding streets, at a few points we pulled in the mirrors to avoid scraping the sides of the buildings ... Fortunately there is no driving tonight because of a local feast day [I had already decided that I was tired of driving anyway, so that is fine with me].

Take care ...

Denis

__________________________
Denis Greening (Travel)
Blog: http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/

1_1284549667162_Parador Carmona.jpg

2_1284549668412_Granada ..edral.jpg

Posted by dgreening 04:21 Comments (0)

Granada - Alhambra

First a correction. The famous architect in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudi, and I have found that this style is referred to as Spanish Art Nouveau.

I've attached a few pictures of some of this work. The "Bone House" is the nick name for a house that he designed, given the name because the columns resemble bones. The next is a picture of the famous cathedral Sagrada Familia.

Today we visited another amazing site. The Alhambra ["al - OM - bruh" ] was originally a Moorish palace, with very ornate decorations. After the Moors were driven out of Spain some of the monarchs fell in love with the place [Queen Isabella (yeah the one that dealt with Christopher Columbus)] lived in the palace for a long time. A later king liked the area, but built a Romanesque palace next door. An even later king decided that he did not like the area at all and left Granada altogether.

The place fell into disrepair, until a visiting writer from the US [Washington Irving] visited and captured stories about the palace. His writing rekindled interest in Alhambra and a room is dedicated to him.

Note to Lois R: We all think that you need to make a special trip to visit Alhambra!

We are leaving shortly to visit the church where Isabella and Ferdinand are buried, see downtown Granada and grab some dinner.

Denis

Please note: I did not take any of these pictures ... all resulted from Google searches.

alhambra (from email)

alhambra (from email)

alhambra Lions fountain (from email)

alhambra Lions fountain (from email)

alhambra 3 (from email)

alhambra 3 (from email)

Posted by dgreening 17:00 Comments (0)

Barcelona and Granada

We arrived in Barcelona early thins morning, disembarked and toured the city. It is a beautiful city! One of the highlights is the interesting architecture and modern art. The Cathedral [Segrada Familia (Sacred Family)] was heavily influenced by the architect Gaudy ["gow - DEE"], so the exterior of the church [and other buildings around town] are very stylized with bright colors. It is a very unique style, but a bit unusual ... now you know where the term "Gaudy" came from.

After touring the city, we went to the airport and flew to Seville. The check in and flight were mostly unremarkable and we arrived on time. We were able to get the car and navigate to within a 1/2 mile of the hotel ... With a little hit and miss, we found it! [note: there is a classic problem in telecommunications called the "last mile problem", we experienced that first hand!]

It was a long day and I am not going to attach any pictures from Barcelona .. sorry!

Tomorrow we will toured the Alhambra gardens and palace [the most visited tourist destination in Spain]. Fortunately it is about 1 block down the street!

Buenos Noches!

Denis

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia   765232 (from email)

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia 765232 (from email)

Antoni Gaudi  bone house  casa batllo front windows by day thumb (from email)

Antoni Gaudi bone house casa batllo front windows by day thumb (from email)

3_1286655382386_vuelos_b..Gaudi.jpg

Posted by dgreening 17:00 Comments (0)

Leaving St Tropez

We stayed overnight, anchored in St Tropez. This morning we went back into town and visited the local market.The market was very busy and there were no deals ... all the ladies came away empty handed. So we had coffee and watched the world go by. St Tropez is interesting, but I think we enjoyed other ports more.

Today we had some very light rain and the captain predicted some gusty winds this afternoon. Not too shabby, 1 so-so weather day out of 11, the rest have been really nice!

We are leaving for Barcelona, to disembark in the morning.We will take a city tour of Barcelona [pronounced "Bar - thuh - lona", the accent here cracks me up!] and then catch he plane to Seville [Sevilla]. I am working with the GPS to make sure I have it ready for use going from Seville to Granada tomorrow.

Denis

Posted by dgreening 08:40 Comments (0)

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