Happy Easter everybody. It is 10am here. With the festivities of the last week exhausting Seville, there is hardly anyone around. We have just been around the corner for our coffee and toast brekkie, and clearly the only people out and about are tourists. It will be interesting to watch what happens during the day.
Today, the 15th, we had booked tickets for 10.00am for The Alcazar. It is the oldest Royal Palace still in use in Europe. As far as we could understand it is only used by the present King as his Seville base. Nothing of political import goes on there. We could have toured the royal apartments but the tours were booked out.
It originates from the 11th century and is now a world heritage site. It’s history is in line with that of Seville and there are still some parts of it which belong to the Islamic period. The Castilian conquest occurred in 13th century and they made changes to the purposes of the spaces but very largely left the Islamic architecture and decoration. As a result the Islamic nature of the building leaves the strongest impression on the visitor although the gothic changes are very clear.
An early start today, Wednesday 12, on a 9.20am train to Seville via Madrid. A very long day, not getting to Seville until 7.30pm. Although we were actually in a train for 5 hours to Madrid, then 2 1/2 to Seville, it was pleasant and relaxing. The second train was much newer, at times going as fast as 260 kph – the fastest we have travelled so far. We now begin our exploration of the south. We know we are going to find it quite different.
You may be a bit mystified by today’s feature image, but it is evidence of the place at which Christopher Columbus’s and our paths have finally crossed.