Saturday, 11 August 2012

Seville Day Two

Hola everyone,

We started the day with a free hostel walking tour which covered lots of Sevilla. Our tour guide was a thin little man named Alesandro who had so much knowledge of the city and explained everything with lots of passion which made the tour very interesting. Seville is a very hot city and I remember sweating as we walked around and saw the beautiful sites of Seville. We got to see lots of the following sites on the morning walking tour which were beautiful. 

The Cathedral & La Giralda:
After Seville fell to the Christians in 1248 its main mosque was used as a church until 1401, when it was knocked down to make way for what would become one of the world's largest cathedrals and an icon of Gothic architecture. It is the third largest Christian church in the world and is over 90m high so it made me fell extremely short in its presence lol

Parque de Maria Luisa:
A large area south of tobacco factory was transformed for Seville's 1929 international fair, the Exposicion Iberoamericana, when architects adorned it with fantastical buildings, many of them harking back to Seville's past glory or imitating the native styles of Spain's former colonies. There were so many people walking, riding bikes and riding on horse and carriages through the park which added to the overall feel of this beautiful area. 

The Plaza de España:
'Spain Square', in English ) is a plaza located in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park), in Seville, Spain built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture. This area was absolutely magical and I loved the history behind this site.

On our tour we also got to walk along the river and learn how the channel once separate two areas of Seville. A bridge was only just built in the 19th century so locals could cross as one of the areas was known for Gypsy's and prostitution.

When the walking tour was finished I bought a cheap fan to keep myself cool in the heat and also bought some postcards to write on and send home to my family. After buying some souvenirs Chloe and I sat at a small tapas restaurant which had tiny sprinklers which were attached to the roof to try and keep customers cooler in the heat whilst eating. We ordered a selection of tapas such as: Camembert and raspberry sauce, lamb skewers and ham and mint croquettes. I also ordered ox tail stew to see what it tasted like as I was curious. The ox tail meat was very rich and tasty and was unlike any other meat I have tried before. It was a little chewy but the stew was delicious-ox tail ticked off the list of things I've tried! Chloe and I loved our lunch as the tapas was all really tasty and so cheap and the wines didn't go down bad either lol

That afternoon I tried to upload some photos but wasn't able to because the computers were in Spanish!Whenever I travel I always try to upload photos as often as I can so I don't lose any, I have heard of so many travellers that have their cameras stolen or lost that I make it my mission to upload them every couple of days if possible. I also leave my iphone at the hostel along with my passport in a safe or locked in my bag so I don't lose it when I am drunk.

When we got back to our room we met a new girl/roomate who was an Australian nurse from Melbourne. We were all complaining how hot the room was as reception had turned the air conditioning off during the hottest part of the day for the second day in a row. I decided to have a cold shower just to cool myself down before my next sunset walking tour.

The hostel offered two types of free walking tours, the morning and the sunset options. I loved the morning tour and as it was our last day in Seville I decided to make the most out of these tours and do both on this day. Chloe was having a snooze and was a little over walking tours as she had done loads during her Busabout travels. I however hadn't done many and was still keen to go so I met up with the two Aussie girls from Brisbane and decided to go along with them.

The sunset tour showed completely different sites in comparision to the morning tour and explained more about some of the legends and story telling of Seville. The tour guide walked us through the Barrio de Santa Cruz area of Seville which was extremely interesting.

Barrio de Santa Cruz:
Seville's medieval 'Jewish quarter' is now a tangle of atmospheric, winding streets and lovely plant decked plazas perfumed with orange blossom trees.

During our three hour sunset walking tour we discovered and learnt how the Jews built this area like a maze to protect themselves from the Romans. They specifically made their streets maze like so the Romans would get lost and the Jews also made their streets very narrow so the Romans would find it hard to fit through as they wore bulky armour and were usually on horseback.

I loved listening about the Roman princess who tried to warn her Jewish boyfriend that he along with thousands of Jews were about to be attacked by her fathers army. He devised a plan to avoid being killed among with his fellow Jews and this news spread to the Romans and consequently 2000 Jews were trapped and murdered in the streets of Santa Cruz. This girl (Susona) then committed suicide and wanted her body to be left hanging from a street balcony to display the mistakes she had made. They still have the string hanging from one of the buildings and left her head there for thousands of years as a symbol of her wrong doing.

I also loved the love legend about a stubborn beauty from Granada and a King from Sevilla. It was said they would argue about how beautiful their cities of Spain were through poetry like battles (the tour guide explained it to be like the modern day 8-mile Eminem battles). They would both state aspects of their city that were beautiful but the beauty from Granada would always win. One day the King became so furious after the beauty had said that Seville would never be as beautiful of Granada as it would never have snow. He was said to have gone crazy and started telling everyone to start planting orange trees around the city of Seville. When the season turned to Spring the orange trees started to blossom therefore making it look as though it were snowing but with one final aspect to beat the beauty from Granada, the hint of orange blossom which made the city smell beautiful. The King eventually won the battle and the beauty from Granada came to live with him in Sevilla. This was such a sweet legend and this explains why the city is now filled with orange blossom trees and is also why you see fields of orange trees on your way into Seville. I learnt so much about how the Jews were killed which was so sad but I also got to hear lots of legends which were enchanting to listen to.

That night Chloe and I decided to dine at a flash restaurant that I had spotted whilst walking through the streets of Seville the day before. It looked like a cave and when we entered we saw pictures of famous actors who had also eaten there such as Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Chloe was keen to try paella for the first time and as we looked over the menu we ordered a bottle of sweet wine and nibbled on some really tasty olives. The restaurant was really professional and their staff made sure you were looked after in every way. Chloe decided to order a vegetable paella and I ordered a chicken one. The menu surprisingly was really well priced and the service was excellent which made the night even more enjoyable. The paella came served in a traditional pan and we started to dig when a waiter explained and actually showed Chloe and I how to scoop the paella on the a nearby plate ha ha So funny. The paellas were delicious as was all of the food we tried in Seville. Dinner and the location that night was beautiful and we were a little sad to be leaving Seville as it was stunning.
Love this shot

Shop front during siesta

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Cathedral in Seville

Chloe with our traditional Spanish fan

Any ideas what this place is?lol

Statue of a famous women from Seville

Me at the Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Chloe and I next to The Cathedral & La Giralda

Walking under a kissing arch

Cathedral in Seville

One of the many talks on our walking tour

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

The beautiful Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Chloe and I at the Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Me in the Jewish quarter of Seville

Walking around on my night time walking tour in Seville

A fountain in the Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Cool graffiti around Seville


Chloe and I at the Parque de Maria Luisa

I'm a photographer ha

The 'mushrooms' of Seville-Metropol Parasol

The Cathedral & La Giralda

My first time eating ox tail

Me with my pretty Spanish fan

Moats around the Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

Me on my walking tour

Chloe with our lunch

Tapas in Seville :))

Last dinner in Seville

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

The Cathedral & La Giralda

Legend of Susona

I loved the displays out the front of their restaurants

Sunset walking tour guide

Plaza de Espana-Parque de Maria Luisa

River of Seville

Our beautiful dinner at a flash restaurant in Seville

Parque de Maria Luisa

The Cathedral & La Giralda

Shades placed on the building to aim to make the streets cooler

Chloe trying her first ever paella
Love The Ox Tail Eating Backpacker

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