Published: November 13th 2007October 26th 2007
From Marbella we caught a bus to Seville, about 220 kms north-west, stopping on the way at a small town called Ronda which looked interesting and where it would have been nice to spend a couple of hours looking around. After a 4-hour bus journey we arrived in Seville where we had struggled to find accommodation. We ended up booking a studio apartment right in the centre of the city which was quite noisy at night. What we weren't told was that the studio apartment didn't even have a proper bed, only a very small fold-up couch/sofa bed that was about 40 years old with springs that you could feel in every part of your body every time you moved. Still, it was a good location with all the shops and restaurants right at your doorstep, and most importantly - very cheap.
We did a bus tour in Seville, which gave us a good look around and took us to all the sites. These included the palace or Alcalzar, which is still used by the Spanish King and Queen when they visit Seville, the old gypsy area of Triana, the outside of the bull-ring and the Plaza De Espana, which
was built as part of the venue for the 1929 World Expo that was to be held in Seville, although it was cancelled as a result of the great depression.
The major attraction in Seville is the Cathedral, which is a huge Gothic building (supposedly the largest gothic building in the world) and the third largest church in Europe after St Peter’s in Rome and St Paul’s in London. We went through the Cathedral, which is just as impressive from the inside as the outside, although we were surprised to find that there were a group of striking Spanish miners camped inside the church holding a protest of some sort. We couldn’t understand their signs of course but they obviously thought they would be there for a while as they had a section of the church all fenced off that was full of their camp beds, sleeping bags and personnel belongings - very strange.
The other interesting thing happening while we were there was that they had installed tram-lines through the city and these were about to commence operations. On the day we arrived we tried to catch a tram from the bus station into the centre of
The old and the new. The cathedral with the tram lines in the foreground.
the city only to be told that the trams were being trialled and wouldn’t be operational for a couple of days.
Tapas is said to have originated in Andulusia and we had tapas in a bar in Barrrio de Santa Cruz, an area that was once an old ghetto for Spanish Jews. While we were sitting outside eating we saw a familiar looking face walk past - Jason Akermanis, ex Brisbane Lions AFL player - it’s a small world (we don’t think he wrote in his travel blog that he saw Guy and Sharon). Seville is also the home of Flamenco music and so we went to see a Flamenco show at the cultural centre involving flamenco singing, dancing and guitar playing. Not knowing much about Flamenco previously, we soon became fans and even purchased a few CDs to add to the collection.
From Seville we caught a fast train to Cordoba where the main attraction was the Mesquita, a mosque from the 8th century that was quite different to anything that we had seen and quite interesting. The inside of the mosque is full of read and white brick arches, which are quite spectacular to see. It
was strange however to see a Christian cathedral in the middle of the mosque - this was built in the 16th century after the Christians had won back control of the area from the Moors. The rest of the town was quite pleasant without being anything special, but quite a nice place to visit.
There are more photos below