vampyresheep: (shadow)
[personal profile] vampyresheep
Our final day. :-(

Monday morning slightly full of hangover, it was nevertheless our final day so I needed to make the most of it.  We packed up and checked out of our beautiful little B&B and headed to the café down the road for Churros breakfast.  Probably should have returned to Dona Carmen for a better example but still, mission achieved, deep-fried twirls of batter for breakfast!
Down the road from our B&B was another baroque church, the Santa Maria Magdalena, but its opening hours had thus eluded us.  Final chance, we popped in, to find a service taking place but were OK as long as we kept quiet and not cause a distraction. Wow, such a jaw dropping my beautiful interior, made even more impressive by its imperfections - patchy paint on the walls, cracked plasterwork, creating a real, down to earth contrast with the gold OTT altarpieces.

We continued to the cathedral but we're a little early, so stopped at a cafe opposite, with a sunny table and beautiful view. Unfortunately served by the most arrogant rude waiter but once he deigned us suitable to be served coffee, who cared when we could sit and admire the cathedral.

The queue jump combi ticket was a godsend, upon waving what looked little more than a crumpled till receipt, we were ushered straight through the chaotic queues and were inside exploring the interior within minutes of arrival.
Seville cathedral is I believe the biggest gothic building in the world and the main apse is somewhat overbearing, so huge and empty it hardly feels like you are in a building. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is something to behold - rumour has it that he didn't want to be buried in Spain. So here he is instead, held aloft (not buried!) by four immense statues. One of which was covered in bat motifs, to our joy.

Another surprise were the side chapels. I had seen on reviews to not miss them, didnt expect what amounted to be the history of cathedral architecture laid out in a series of stunning rooms, so out of place to the gothic dominance of the main chapel.

Once wed covered all the ground level, we headed up the Giralda tower. Bizarrely, you ascend via a series of ramps rather than stairs, with glimpses of scenery revealed through the windows as you passed quite memorable if a little disconcerting.  We managed to time our arrival at the clock tower just as midday struck ouch to my poor hungover brain! Fantastic views of Seville from the top and after a ton of photos were taken, we headed back down again and ended up in the beautiful orangery courtyard to conclude the visit.

As it was in the area, we decided to visit the Archive of the Indias, well given my job it had to be done!  A grand, imposing classical interior, lined with archive boxes (mysteriously all unlabelled, so I suspect they are for show) and a small exhibition which was all in Spanish.  They did however have a short film running, with English subtitles, about the history of the archive which was very interesting and put the building into context.

Decided to lunch the Spanish way and find a sunny square to lounge in for several hours.  We headed into the Barrio Santa Cruz to relocate the pretty Dona Elvira square for lunch.  Accidentally went to the wrong restaurant (several of them all around the square and the seating just blends from one to the next!) but the food and service were still good, so no harm done.

Continued our wandering in search of dessert and found another café in a sunny spot for some traditional Spanish desserts Rob having a chocolate bombe served with a pile of marmalade and I had some form of aniseed custard, which was rather nice!
The afternoon plan was to visit Hospital de la Caridad, a charity hospital originally established by Miguel de Minara, the inspiration of Don Juan. It is also known for a chapel featuring grotesque art, the reason for our visit.  An interesting little place, still an operational hospital and from what I could gather, the tourist element is run by some of the patients (either that or they were some very friendly and inquisitive patients who followed us around, trying to describe all the painting to us despite the language barrier). Another surprisingly baroque chapel, the artworks not so much gruesome but skulls featured heavily.

It didnt take as long as wed thought to visit it, so we still had some time to kill, so headed for a stroll along the river from the Torre del Oro (the riverside tower that features on all the tourist pics) to the bull ring.  Little did we know, due to this being an unplanned extra, that both places were free to visit on Mondays, doh!  However by the time we got to the bullring, theyd received their allocation of free admissions and not letting anyone else in.

Not long left until our flight now, we headed for a final icecream the weather being pretty scorching hot this day, cant believe it was January! then very sadly made our steps back to the hotel to collect luggage and get the bus back to the airport.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing visit. We both really loved Seville, maybe not as overloaded in sights as bigger cities, it was a wonderful place to visit. Loved the relaxed vibe, the cleanliness of the main city, the feeling that people really loved their city.  Definitely somewhere I would hope to return.

Final day's photos here

Date: 2017-02-11 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Amazing set of photos - it doesn't look like January!

Date: 2017-02-13 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the evenings definately started to feel like January but so warm and sunny during the day - we were very lucky and picked the right weekend, given the poor winter that Spain has had this year.

Date: 2017-02-12 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Wow, the cathedral is amazing! You sure had a great time 😀.

Date: 2017-02-13 11:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Quite an impressive cathedral, so huge, we were in there for over 2 hours!


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