We had a lovely drive to Seville, I know I keep harping about the roads (and we did get lost a time or two) but they are nice, well marked, and in good repair. We passed through areas where we saw cork oak trees-some looked like they had just been harvested. Once we got into Seville, we did get seriously lost, and ended up in a residents only zone, where we got a ticket. (It came later in the mail after we got home, along with a notice from Hertz--they photo your license plate. Even Hertz charges an administrative fee to let them have the info about you. So, all in all that was not a great thing. But, we did opt to drive...part of the price you pay.)
Once we found our parking lot, we had the novel experience of waiting in line for a spot. They had resident's parking there as well as public parking, so we just sat and waited in line until enough people had exited, then we got a space. The parking garages are not the gi-normous things we are used to in the States. Because it was quite a drive to Seville, and we wanted to experience the nightlife, we had decided to spend the night there. Our hotel was in the Barrio, the Hotel Alcantara. The flamenco show shared their lobby. It was a nice hotel, very centrally located, the staff spoke good English, and it had good services. Could not find fault with it. We proceeded out and walked around the great cathedral area and the Barrio. It was quite beautiful, the cathedral is awesome--the biggest Gothic cathedral in the world. We got tickets and went into the church--amazing! And we climbed the 300 foot spiral ramp of the bell tower to see the view from the top! Also stunning-and not such a hard climb really, since it isn't steps, but a ramp. Here are a few pics of the church and the view from the top!
We had delicious tapas in Seville afterward--we were hungry! And decided that tapas might as well be dinner too, since we had the flamenco show booked. We walked even more about the area, found a shop where a co-op of nuns sold delicious orange marmalade and yummy chocolates. We even found another guitar maker's shop, where Rhea purchased some souvenir picks to take home to the fellas.
All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our flamenco show. Not being super familiar with the area, we had taken another Rick Steves recommendation. Let me tell you, we were not a bit sorry for that. We sat in a tiny place, with the dancers so close you could touch them. It was passionate, awe inspring music and dance. Sometimes the feet were a blur, they danced so fast. We'd seen street performers, but nothing of the caliber of these folks. It was just amazing! We were so happy we pretty much floated out of there. The show was at La Casa del Flamenco , the web site is http://lacasadelflamencosevilla.com
After a final stroll around, we went to bed, since the next day we planned to go to Alcazar, the oldest royal palace in Europe, and one that is still to this day being used as a royal palace. ( And a famous site where movies have been shot, and recently, several episodes of Game of Thrones...)
the entrance to the Alcazar, the Puerta del Leon--
What fabulous gardens! The fountains, the bougainvillea, the tilework, the plantings, the pools--the most awe inspiring views and beautifully kept gardens I've ever seen. A cute cafe, lovely shops, all in all a beautiful day--you couldn't want for more. Here are a couple more pics
and all too soon, it was time to bid farewell to Seville and head back to Priego...