Seville - You are so stunning!
1. City sights and
2. The incredible Real Alcazar
At the end of August, our Peckham house-sit finished and it was time for us to return to Spain. At that time the Spanish borders were open, and while the locals were somewhat cautious, wearing masks everywhere outside, the European holiday makers had made their way to the coastal regions of Spain and rebooted the tourist industry there. Thinking that the country was almost back to normal we were eager to return to continue our journey.
A minor hiccough...
We had originally booked a rather pleasant middle-of-the-afternoon flight on a Wednesday...but the airline cancelled it (thank you EastJet!) and rebooked us on a 5.30am flight on the preceding Monday and so we ended up in an Uber driving through the streets of London in the early hours to arrive at the airport by 3.30am!
When we arrived in Seville, we checked into a a very cute hotel in the old part of the city for the first two nights before continuing with our booking at the Airbnb and in the neighbourhood (Triana) where we had stayed earlier in the year.
It was wonderful to return to Seville - the temperatures were warm and the sky was almost always a beautiful blue. We loved wandering along the narrow cobbled streets getting reacquainted with this stunning city - I will let the pictures show you... some of the pictures included were taken in October when our daughter Olivia was visiting. (Click on the pictures to read a little about them.)
and our hotel...
A nondescript building on a narrow cobbled street in the old part of Seville and close to the Metropol Parasol.
Stepping through the enormous doorway into a foyer with beautiful teal wallpaper and indoor plants.
A fancy wrought-iron gate drew you into the building's atrium which served as the hotel lobby. The teal hues in the entranceway wallpaper continued here and were enhanced with deep red accents in the decor. The colours were so rich and sumptuous and they continued throughout the hotel including our room and I'm assuming all of the other hotel rooms.
We took the lift to our room which was on the roof close to the pool and with a table and chairs where we sat each evening as the day cooled, looking out over the rooftops.
Real Alcazar - A recap
The Real Alcazar is located behind the Seville Cathedral. It is made up of several regal palaces and extensive gardens that were used by the Spanish royals from the 13th century to the present. The upper storeys of the Alcazar are still occupied by the royal family when they are in Seville. The palaces are enclosed by an impressive fort-like outer wall.
The palaces have evolved through several different stages from the late 11th century to the present day, originally being built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbasid Muslim alcazar (the residential fortress that was destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville in the mid 13th century). They are an excellent example of Mudejar architecture.
A look inside the Real Alcazar - it is so impressive and one of my favourite places in Seville...
Real - Royal
Alcazar - a Spanish palace or fortress of Moorish origin.
Mudejar architecture - of or relating to a style of Spanish architecture from the 13th to 16th centuries, a fusion of Romanesque and Gothic with Arabic.
The palaces are beautiful but my favourite part of the complex are the gardens.
The gardens at the Real Alcazar have evolved over the centuries some dating back to the Moors, and some as recent as the 19th century. Many of the plants are from South America when early explorers bought back seeds from their adventures.
The day had warmed considerably by the time we had finished inside and walked out into the gardens.
The best thing about our visit was that there were still very few people visiting the complex and so, because of this and the fact that the gardens are so extensive (about 7 hectares) we practically had them to ourselves. We strolled from courtyard to courtyard through arches cut in high walls and hedges admiring the lush plants and trees, glittering pools, fountains, and tiled seats. It was so quiet and relaxing - a serene oasis in the middle of Spain’s third largest city.
We ended both our visits by walking along the Galeria del Grutesco where we were able to have a birds-eye view of the beautiful gardens,