We spent a couple of days exploring Seville and based ourselves at Camping Villsom from where we were able to take the bus - €1.30 each, one-way, not bad for almost ½ hour of travel. We spent most of our first day in the Alcázar (Fortress) which was a wonderful mixture of Moorish and Mudéjar styles (Moors working after the Christian reconquest). The entry was €7.50 per person. Lots of splendid rooms, cool courtyards and excellent gardens. The café was also good, and we had a fine tapas lunch.
We bought a copy of ‘The Real Alcázar of Seville’ in the bookshop. A real waste of time: lousy map, rubbish descriptions and commentary (and translated by an eejit from Spanish) and no index to relate where you are to the appropriate page. We should have hired audioguides.
In the afternoon we went to the Cathedral €7 per person, no discounts until you are 65). Spectacular from the outside, huge and garish on the inside. You can see why the Cathars objected to the opulence and gaudiness, though a touch of Gaudíness might have helped. We did hire an audioguide this time, but soon tired of the descriptions – Sheila reckoned they were a bit too religious and not informative enough with regard to history.
There is a big mausoleum for Cristóbal Colón ( see photo above - how did this ever get to be Christopher Columbus in English?) whose bones are supposed to be buried there, despite a possible mix-up in Santo Domingo in 1795.
It was very hot in Seville – 31oC according to the digital thermometer in the street and still warm when we got back to the site at about 6pm. We saw (and heard) more parrots in Seville and – for the first time this trip – saw Storks on nests.
On our second visit to the city we wandered past the huge cigar factory where Carmen (of the opera) used to work but now part of the university, the Hotel Alfonso XIII (very handsome), the Palacio de San Telmo (also handsome, but currently closed for refurbishment), then along the river bank past the Torre del Oro (also closed for refurbishment) and across the Puente della Isabel II for a cup of coffee and mid-morning snack in the market and a gawp at a delightful little tower ( see photo below) .
We discovered that our bus stop was at the back of Plaza de Espana which had been built for an exhibition in 1929 but the exhibition had been cancelled because of the Wall Street crash after the building was completed. This is the other must see in Seville after the Alcazar.
Seville is full of small – and big – architectural delights and is a very pleasing place to stroll fairly aimlessly around. It is quite a lot smaller than Barcelona and so a manageable place to visit – and the traffic is not so bad either as there are areas which are pedestrianised.
Our campsite is obviously a very popular one for visits to the city, the bus driver and the local bus passengers can spot a tourist at 30 paces and they were all very helpful in ensuring that we visitors got off at the right stop and new where to go to next. In addition there is a large shopping centre a short walk away.