Well rested and ready for another day in Spain!
On Sunday, I slept in until 10 a.m. What a treat! We didn't really have any plans. This was one of those days where everyone kind of did their own thing. Once David and I were up and had eaten our cornflakes, we headed to the center of town to tour the Alcazar. Like many things we saw in Spain, this once belonged to the Moors as a fort. Now it is a royal palace, and Spanish royals still stay here when they are in Sevilla.
A few things I noticed. First of all, it is large and beautiful (real descriptive, I know).. You could spend a day there and still not see all the gardens. We had a map and I still occasionally was not sure where I was. Second thing, large tour groups are sort of annoying. They make it difficult to move around. Grrr.
David and a pot. Lovely, no?
We did the audio tour. I love audio tours.
What's that you say? You like my shoes?
I really think you get so much more out of it. A few things I may not have realized: we sat in the room where Magellan's voyage around the world was planned; we also stood in the room where Isabella and Ferdinand were wed. It was so fascinating to be in Spain where everything is so old and to be in places that you have read about, or stand in places where people you have heard of have stood. I know - the same thing could be said for the United States, but everything is so much older in Europe. I just found it fascinating. I also thought it was interesting that Isabella and Ferdinand were referred to as the "Catholic Kings". I'll need to look into that a little more.
We had a wonderful little lunch at the Alcazar before we wandered around the gardens. This was the point in the trip where we realized that as long as we could count and point, we could pretty much transact business entirely in Spanish. We were so proud of ourselves. We also realized how friendly everyone is. They really did seem pleased that we tried to speak their language.
We got a little lost in a maze (wound up breaking through the bushes to get out). Dodged some more large tour groups. Then we decided it was time to see something new. So, where did we go? The Cathedral. Yes...the same one we went to the day before. Only this time we paid to get in..
Why? Well, I really wanted to climb the Giralda. And I wanted to see Christopher Columbus' tomb.
Most disappointing bells ever.
The Giralda is now the bell tower, but back when the cathedral was a mosque, it was a minaret. I love how the Spanish re-purposed things. So very environmentally friendly of them. You have to walk all the way up...it's a series of 35 ramps. Not very steep, and there are windows and some exhibits along the way. Seems they took a cue from Disney. It's very crowded at the top, but the views are spectacular.
This is Spain.
While we were there, the bells chimed for quarter of, so we decided to wait until the hour thinking there'd be something really special. Well, not so much. Just "bong, bong, bong" and that was it. Not even enough time to get my camera ready for a video.
Waiting for the clock to strike 4!
Christopher Columbus' tomb is also in the cathedral, although I do not think it has all of his remains. Regardless, it is quite impressive.
Not a very good picture, I know. Sorry.
As a side note, the first day we were in Barcelona it was a National Holiday. Turns out they celebrate Columbus Day when the United States does...although they don't call it that. It's the Fiesta Nacional de Espana. It is their National Day. It seems that there are also some people in Spain that look on this day in a less favorable light.
I actually took this photo in Barcelona - this is actually Catalan, and roughly means that the12th of October is nothing to celebrate. October 12th was the national holiday,
We exited through the orange grove - this orange grove has been around since the Moorish times, although I can't say if these are the same trees. By this time, we were ready to head back. Maybe for a nap. Or maybe just for a cafe con leche!
We headed over to Las Columnas with Lea, Amit, and Alan. Beers and coffee were enjoyed. Life was good. We heard about the others adventures for the day -walking along the river, checking out the bull fighting arena. Kym and Kyle had gone to Granada for the day and we decided to wait for them to return before we headed out for Tapas.
We found a nice little place around the corner.
Before the unfortunate shrimp incident.
No bother. David likes shrimp.
And that was that. Another wonderful day in Spain! We weren't even a week into our trip yet!
Stay tuned for my account of Monday and once of the best meals I've ever had.
This is just a really cool looking building!