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August 18th 2016
Published: September 6th 2016
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Today we say Adios to Sevilla and in a short while will say ‘Hola’ to Malaga! Our last 2 days in Seville were amazing!!

The evening we arrived was pretty much a write off as jet lag caught up to us and we had a short snooze which took us into the Spanish dinner hour (usually around 10pm). A short distance from our hotel is Espacio Metropol Parasol – a giant sculpture encasing the square full of shops and restaurants where we had our first tapas dinner. The next day after we had some breakfast we decided to take one of the free city tours. An excellent way to get to know the city, the free tour in Sevilla took 3 hours and as part of being a free tour the company upsells on their other tours. We saw the main sights with our guide Lola (small Lola – there are 2 guides named Lola!) We saw the Cathedral which used to be a mosque then redesigned to be a Church. Redecorating became too hard do they eventually demolished most of it go build what is now an amazing gothic church. It took thousands of years and only finished construction the early 20th century. On our city walk we also walked by the Golden tower, Sevilla University, the bridge crossing over to the Triana neighbourhood and of course the Real Alcázar palace. The tour finished at Plaza de España – built for the America fair. Taking up an enormous space, the Plaza is a massive courtyard in front of a palace with a picturesque lake with people rowing their way around in little boats. Bridges covered in mosaics dot their way around the plaza and a massive fountain in the middle of the plaza sets the scene of what it would have been like back in the day of the America fair.

As part of upselling, we purchased a tour later that evening to go on a Flamenco tour to the other side of the river – the Triana neighbourhood and a Flamenco show. Our guide Raul was excellent. Joining a small group, we walked across at a sunny 8pm to Triana taking in sights and stories. We finished at a fresh food market where everything was as closed except a wine vat, where we had a glass of Jerez (sherry). I was pleasantly surprised it was a dry not sweet sherry. We then entered a small cozy theatre for our intimate Flamenco show. It was FANTASTIC! ! The singing, the dancing the music all so passionate and woeful. Triana us the birthplace of Flamenco as back in the day Triana was populated by groups who weren’t allowed to live in Sevilla such as Gypsies. So the tradition of Flamenco dancing and singing has its roots in sorrow, pain and of course passion. After the show we went for tapas in Triana with our group.

The next day (yesterday) we went to the Cathedral and climbed the Giralda tower. We know we climbed the tower on our last trip to Sevilla but we don’t remember going into the Cathedral. Its an amazing and a large example of gothic architecture. The paintings and decorations didn’t impress us as much as the architecture or stain glass windows. After climbing over 30 flights of ramps (not stairs) to see the sweeping views of Sevilla it was time to descend to join our next tour of the Alcázar!!!

Our guide Adrien was excellent in showing us around this grand palace which housed kings and queens of centuries gone by. The place itself, built in the 12th century, was in fact a Christian palace, built by Muslims who imparted their impressive decorative architecture and style to many buildings of the palace. The whole palace was completed in only 2 years by thousands of workers which us more impressive when you see it as just the mosaic tiles themselves are interwoven – not painted – to give the full mosaic effect. Other halls of the palace aren’t as impressive as the Muslim designed ones as they were baroque/medieval in design as was the fashion of the time. Finishing the tour in the garden we left soon after seeing the hydrotechnics of the fountain show (only 2 in the world where the water plays organ pipes to play medieval music) to go to the next stop ‘Aire de Sevilla’ Baños Arabes – Hammam!

Aire de Sevilla is a hammam set in old Roman ruins. A series of baths (hot, warm, cold) salt bath and sauna, it is a magical place and the best hammam hands down I have ever been to. Not a traditional hammam like in the middle east, you soak in the warm baths filled with aromatic scents and candles while relaxing with soothing music. Set reservation times ensure the baths aren’t too full. I also had the most glorious 30 minute oil massage and then I went back into the sauna and jet spa bath for one last moment of relaxation!! After a lazy walk back to the hotel via souvenir shops we went out for a slightly earlier (9.30pm) Spanish dinner. Sevilla is an absolute must to visit and we are sure we will come back again!!

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Aire de Sevilla - Baños ArabesAire de Sevilla - Baños Arabes
Aire de Sevilla - Baños Arabes

Behind these walls is paradise on earth!!!

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