Saturday, September 29, 2012


We had visited Seville before and really felt drawn back to see more (plus the shoe shopping there is without peer). In fact, we didn’t see a lot more than previously, but we still loved being there.

Our hotel was a tiny gem called Amadeus, tucked away in the old town. Our room was so small that if Nick was sitting at the tiny desk he had to stand up and move the stool so I could get out or go to the bathroom. A pretty bed and a tiny private courtyard made it special and outside our room, the house was filled with small rooms, nooks and crannies, even a roof terrace with a hot tub and bar. One could breakfast in a room or a patio, on the rooftop or in a lounge. And the theme was music: instruments abounded on walls and in little rooms; music played softly; people visiting were there for the music or perhaps as a gathering of artists; one could even play the instruments but alas, I never learned. It was full of antiques and silver and starched damask for breakfast linen and flowers and had the genteel feel of a rich aunt’s house. Charming!

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We reacquainted ourselves with the layout of the city with a gentle walk and then lunched near the Murillo gardens where Nick had the most expensive meal per gram, one red prawn @ E15.60. To be fair, they sold the red prawns @ E12/100gm, (or E120/kg) which is more expensive than Serrano ham, but one prawn weighed 130gm. He did say it was a wonderful prawn. One big, fat, red prawn, grilled in its shell, not peeled or deveined. I had Salmorejo, a cold soup a bit like gazpacho, at about E5, so I guess the overall cost of the meal evened out. (more on red prawns later)

After our later siesta we went out for dinner at Pinchio. A restaurant where one can eat tapas like a degustation, in pretty surrounds instead of standing at a bar. This place has an excellent chef who interprets the tapas with finesse. Very, very good food.

The next morning was a bit grey and chilly, but we really wanted the Alcazar again because it is so special in its architecture. The rooms and gardens and tiles are all very beautiful and the details in every corner take your breath away in terms of both beauty and the work involved.

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Wall tile picture
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Peaceful courtyard and fountain
seville, alcazar courtyard
Courtyard of the orange trees
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Wall detail
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Cupola treatment
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Peacock doorway
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Intricate wall decoration
seville, alcazar tile patterns
Just one wall of tiles
seville, alcazar ceiling
Interior of cupola
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Arch detail
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The Dona Padilla baths where King Peter would meet his mistress

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Part of the extensive gardens of the Alcazar

Then the Plaza Espana which we had never seen. Built for an exposition in 1902 it was to showcase all the areas of Spain. It is extensively decorated in tiles made exclusively for each setting and often for architecture such as balustrades. However, it did strike us as an expensive “folly”. It even has an almost circular canal for boating.

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Plaza Espana
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Some of the decorative tiled booths, each celebrating an area of Spain
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Just the ceramics on one bridge balustrade show the work that went into this

Later, we went shopping for shoes, especially looking for the shop where I bought my “happy shoes” last trip. Luckily I found them and, two pairs of shoes later, I was ready to consider a snack at Robles before our siesta. Life is so difficult at the moment one must just take frequent rests!

shoes 2 shoes 1 seville, robles laredo
Robles Laredo cafe
seville, desserts robles
And some of the desserts

Next morning we decided to visit the Plaza del Encarnation, where a market renewal was thwarted by finding amazing Roman ruins underneath. Those had to be preserved, a new market constructed and a shade structure built over all-hence the “parasols” or “mushrooms”. These are amazing wooden contraptions that shade the area underneath but which also provide a terrace and bar area above and good views from walkways through the construction. We gather the locals are divided on the cost/benefit ratio, but they are certainly unusual .

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The mushrooms above
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Walkways through and across
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Still life with hake and red prawns (couldn’t see a price for the red prawns though.
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These oozy things are razor clams
seville market bunnies
Can’t be squeamish: bunnies, pigeons, entrails, sheep’s heads

Later, the Museum des Bellas Artes recalled us and again, we loved its tranquillity and the collections.

seville, bellas artes courtyard
One of the cloisters
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Pool in patio
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Virgin and child
seville, bellas artes cupola
Gorgeous cupola in the old chapel

We reprised at Pinchio for dinner. The food is very good.

Ready to move on in the morning to Malaga.

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