The Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain and the Real Alcazar palace.
Madam can never resist a royal palace so a visit to the Real Alcázar was on our agenda. The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace built for King Peter of Castile on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. I should have found it more interesting or attractive judging by the glowing online reviews. Perhaps it was my mood but it just seemed a mass of tiled rooms and courtyards. They were nice enough but all seemed so similar.
The 60,000 square metres (almost 15 acres) of gardens, on the other hand, were spectacular and worth the price of admission (discounted for over 65s). They are arranged in different sections and reflect various historical periods. Each area is packed with plants and trees. The ubiquitous orange trees of course, but also lemon pomegranate and palm trees. I left Madam to explore the palace and spent most of my time happily wandering the gardens.
Just when you think Seville couldn’t possibly get any more beautiful, you come across the Plaza de Espana. This massive building is Seville’s most impressive after the cathedral, for its sheer scale and grandeur. Plaza de Espana was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 along with the pavilions around the building. In front of the building is a 500-metre canal crossed by four bridges, reminiscent of Venice.
Flamenco dancing were performing by one of the bridges, musicians were singing on one side of the plaza, children were running, trying to catch giant bubbles blown near the fountain. It was wonderful and I could have happily sat there all day. There’s a few pictures on my Seville Photographs post.
All too soon, it was time to head home. Our return flight uneventful. Had it been a few hours later we would have been affected by the Gatwick chaos caused by some numpty flying drones over the airport.
I read the news about cancelled and diverted flights the following morning and said to Madam ‘That was lucky, we could have been diverted to Cardiff.’
She thought for a while and said ‘or Amsterdam.. or maybe still in Seville.’
She had a point. Sometimes your glass really is half full.
It was a good trip. The hotel was clean and comfortable, the staff friendly and efficient. We ate a lot of tapas and drank some wine. Seville was, in the words of Madam, “wow,“ or should I say ‘WOW!’ Amazing architecture, friendly locals, good inexpensive food and wine. You should go there immediately.