THIS IS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014!
A day out in Sevilla. Doing all the major tourist attractions with Zeen and my parents. Exploring the Alcazar, and finding all the Game of Thrones spots. Checking out the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world! And of course catching sunset on some giant mushrooms.
So I’m starting this knowing that within my edited photos…there are 277 of them. So, I’m going through this knowing I’ll probably have to divide in half…WHICH I HATE, but I’ll try to edit down as I go along.
Really. Tired. My parents like to get up at like 4am, so 7am is like majorly sleeping in for them.
Rush and struggle to get ready, I promised I’d meet them downstairs in the breakfast area by 7:45.
Tickling carved Jesus on the door down to the breakfast buffet
What is a typical Spanish breakfast? I always thought scrambled eggs were an American thing. But I liked this bread! And of course cafe con leche.
Run up to my room and check on my laundry which was sink washed and hung to dry overnight…traveling “light” is hard.
We are outside BEFORE SUNRISE. This is how my parents travel.
The narrow streets are pretty dark.
But as we walk things get brighter and bluer.
The morning atmosphere is calming. Nobody is really out yet, but I’m pretty sure this is a totally touristy area to stay.
Aqueducts coming out of the walls, genius.
Dad points out some notable things along the way as we head towards the Alcazar.
Sunrise makes all the orange buildings a richer hue
In the distance, the Sevilla Cathedral!
These horses remind me of an episode of House Hunters I watched where the wife wanted to move to a really historic part of a city, and they did horse and carriage rides as a form of transportation there…and she was so pissed and adamant that she live OFF of the routes…except that she really wanted to live in the old city center. Struggles.
Incredible graphic and colorful details at every turn!
My mom loved this courtyard, turns out later it’s filled with chairs and tables to eat
Little souvenir shops are open at this hour already
Waiting while my dad checks his maps
Mom and Zach so happy that my dad has finally found his way.
Sculpture of Don Juan, a famous fictional womanizer. Plus the “take a picture with him” IRL version? Chill.
We had reservations at the Alcazar, the royal palace of Sevilla! It was originally a Moorish fort, but is still used today by the royal family.
Old school phone-style audio guides
Was totally packed and I believe we got there around opening hours.
The map inside was totally confusing. Zeen and I stopped listening to the guide in order and just started wandering and stopping when we saw numbers.
Mish-mash of styles on the front of the palace from the Patio de la Monteria.
But look at the pattern and detail!
It’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe today! Pretty cool that guests can be wander in and out of the oldest rooms and use the gardens too.
Getting lost in what I think were residences where a little prince grew up (according to my vague memories from the audio guide). I guess as different families used the palace, different areas were changed for their use. Today it’s a little winding series of rooms around a courtyard.
It’s pretty chaotic in the Hall of Ambassadors. Obviously a super richly decorated part of the palace was used to accept visitors and hold meetings. This is mudejar architecture, a result of Muslims and Christian cultures intermingling in this part of Spain for centuries.
I believe this little chamber was called Room or Chamber of the Dolls. There are tiny engraved dolls heads in this place. If I can remember right, the Sultan used this room as the start of his own private chambers.
A gorgeous room of only white textural and patterned elements. The skylight makes a gradient effect on the walls as the light hits the floor.
The downside is it is packed with tourists. And SO loud because some people have guides who are verbally sharing the info, instead of listening to the audio guides.
There were a few corners of quiet. When it’s truly empty and quiet, it’s easier to wonder what life was like living there. What the sightlines were. How you can hear when somebody was coming to find you because of the echoing in the halls. The light. It’s nice.
Attempting to avoid the shuffle
Imaging we’re in the 13th century
Was a bedroom of sorts. I like these huge spaces with no large doors, the privacy element is really that you’d have a whole section of rooms to yourself that lead to a courtyard. Fancy.
Upstairs was a space converted into an altar. Used by the Christian king who ruled after the Moors fell. He loved the architecture of the palace so he kept most as is, but did add some Gothic touches to a few spaces.
Can you believe this is the same building?
Finally found my parents. They didn’t once get lost…
Off to explore the gardens. I read that Game of Thrones filmed in parts of the garden and inside the palace. So I wanted to see as much of the gardens as possible in case I could recognize them in the series! Which town do you think GoT made the Alcazar? I’ll show you screencaps…
My picture on top, and here’s :17 seconds into the trailer, you can see the gardens and the seashell motifs near the Mercury fountain.
Jamie Lannister walking into the Hall of Ambassadors, I believe. Recognize this from my pictures above?
So I think this is going to be Dorne!! So cool.
This garden is gorgeous, it has a giant fountain that shoots into this little pond.
Looking troubled at the wars to come.
Where that lady is standing, is where the shot of Dorne’s gardens (first screencap) was taken I believe.
Too much geeking out, gotta get out of here.
Off to a lunch spot near our hotel. I think this place was actually right across from the hotel and always was busy.
The little cones…to collect moisture.
Mojito! So delicious and refreshing after exploring the Alcazar aka Dorne.
Gazpacho cheers! This version was much heavier and creamier, I liked it a lot.
And a really yummy dessert. I wish I could remember what this was called.
Here’s a shot of the outside of this place.
Back up to the room to rest and swap batteries, then back out for our Cathedral tour.
It was a hot day, and there was quite a line to get into the Cathedral
Cathedral is right across from the Alcazar, and is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Only 2 larger churches exist in the world. It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral completed in 1528, after it became a huge economic capitol post-Reconquista era. You can see that basically dudes were like “Let’s show everybody how rich we are now!!!!” It totally shows.
You enter through a room of artifacts and artworks
Pass through an outdoor courtyard
And then follow this little tunnel to the main view. Are you ready..?
Some light from the stained glass on the tile floor
This cathedral has 80 chapels, each in a different design essentially. There are 15 exterior doors. The interior has the longest nave of any Spanish cathedral.
Weird to see that. Such a bad guy, but with this GIANT epic tomb. I guess not a bad guy economically to Spain.
Details from the Cathedral’s art collection
Allegedly one of the THORNS from Christ’s crown. (That hair looking thing sticking up)
This altarpiece actually is not very photogenic. Looks kind of gross.
But it was the life’s work of one guy! Imagine!
A real alligator hung here once, it was a gift to the Cathedral. But then it was replaced with a carved version once it got a little funky.
We climbed to the top of La Giralda, the bell tower, formerly the minaret of the mosque this was built over. It’s 343 feet (105 meters), and yeah….was hard to get up there but we made it.
Was fun to walk around and look out from all 4 directions.
Outside of the Cathedral again, met up with mom
Got some chocolates for my friends watching the dogs
Walking to find the mushrooms!
Walking through this district to me felt a bit more like potentially an authentic neighborhood. No tourists around, and lots of restaurants and people on the streets.
Are we almost there? Dad’s lost.
We’re here! Found the mushrooms!
You can take the elevator up to the top and walk around.
Dad loving the spotted elevator
BURGER SUSHI. Took some sushi rolls to go.
Winding back through the streets to get to the hotel with our sushi
We also picked up a rotisserie chicken looking thing, just wanted a cheaper dinner after being out all day.
After dinner, my parents stayed in but Zach and I wandered around.
We walked back through past the Cathedral.
Found a candy shop…with tennis balls
Decided to cross to the other side of the river
Stumbled across this place where people were just enjoying the atmosphere and sitting outside, having a few beers. We sat down!
People were crossing through this intersection, laughing, talking, enjoying the evening.
Stayed for an hour or so, recapping the day.
But we made it back to the hotel
Brushed my teeth while dumping some memory cards.
Playing my dumb game and then…lights out around midnight.
Much love friends.