Sunday 4th September, 2022
The day started with a home-cooked breakfast in the apartment, together with some time on the laptop planning out the week. It is always time well-spent and it ensures I don't miss anything important, as well as getting Stuff Done!
Later in the morning I walked to the Plaza de Espana - que bonita! It was built for the exposicion in 1928 in a mixture of Baroque and Moorish styles. It is a festival of ceramics and tiling on a grand scale (of which more tomorrow). As it was a Sunday it was busy with families, and there was some flamenco music playing too. The gardens next to it - the Parque de Maria Luisa provided some welcome shade. Temperatures have been in the low 30s.
I booked a "skip the line" ticket for the Cathedral online. I turned up at the designated "meeting point" to find there was no one to meet and I was just supposed to enter by that gate. However, the very nice security lady sent me to a different gate - so I am not really sure what was going on! Anyway, I got in at about the right time, and made my way up the Giralda Tower. That sounds easy? It's over 100m tall and is reached via a long ramp which turns as you go up. Originally built as a minaret, the muezzin would have had to climb it 5 times a day for the call to prayer and so he rode a mule (hence no steps!). The belfry was added later, after the Muslims had been expelled. It is worth the climb to get the views.
On returning to ground level it was time to take in the cathedral. Those who have followed this blog from the start will know that I have seen one or two of those this summer - and Seville takes the prize, not least for the sheer scale of the edifice. It is simply stunning. (Aachen is still my favourite though - it is small but beautiful). It was originally built as a mosque but was reconstructed as a Catholic cathedral in the 13th century.
The last picture on the right shows the tomb of Christopher Columbus - allegedly! It think there are bits of him in several locations! The Real Alcazar is the plan for tomorrow, after some work!