I Missed Seeing The Barbers In Seville

We last left off in Toledo in our Iberian adventure.  Hard to believe this trip was a year ago.  We left Toledo via train, heading back to Madrid to make another train to Seville.  Arriving in Seville, we caught a cab to our home for the next few nights, the Hotel Amadeus.  Situated right in the heart of the old city, it is quite stunning.  We spent 3 wonderful days and nights here, with a few side trips.  We tend to do B&B’s when we travel, but they seemed to be in short supply here, ergo a hotel.  No regrets on this one.

The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus
The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus
Hotel Amadeus
Hotel Amadeus (Photo credit: amycgx)

Not surprisingly, Seville has both a major cathedral and a Moorish Alcazar.  First the cathedral, an awe-inspiring structure that is known for the tomb of Christopher Columbus.  The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, constructed in the years between 1402 and 1506, is a recommended spot.  Not the oldest cathedral we’ve been in, but one of the most impressive. It is the 3rd largest cathedral in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site (stroke this one off the list).    Let’s let the pictures do the talking from here.

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Seville Cathedral
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus

The size and majesty of this building can be understood just a bit by this perspective shot.  This is only a small section of the cathedral.

The Interior
The Interior

We climbed to the top of the tower, which gives some spectacular views of a great city.

The View From The Tower
The View From The Tower

Close by, and making up part of a magnificent monument centred old part of the city is the Alcazar.  Of Moorish construction dating back to the 10th century, it consists of a former residence and some beautiful gardens and grounds.

The Residence Area of The Alcazar
The Residence Area of The Alcazar
The Grounds at the Alcazar
The Grounds at the Alcazar

The city is filled with excellent restaurants and Tapas places.  A few recommendations?  Really just one, La Taberna Poncio is our favourite.  If we had discovered this place on the first night, we never would have tried anywhere else.  The food was great, the service spectacular.  A thoroughly enjoyable experience.  After this, every else was just good and kind of touristy.  Poncio was basically locals and very Spanish.  There was a bit of a language issue, which again spoke to the atmosphere.  Highly recommended by Lori and I.  A few photos from places we sat down at.  Hard to find a place without a great setting.

The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus
The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus
Ambience in Seville
Ambience in Seville
Dining With A View
Dining With A View

We decided to stay an extra day here, but could not stay at the Amadeus, meaning we had to find alternative lodging.  This leads to a bit of advice.  DO NOT STAY at the Hotel Alcazar.  Supposedly a 3 star, more like a 2 star.  Not as advertised, but any port in a storm.

We leave you with a video that I posted once before.  I call it the Skaters of Seville.  Canadians have an interest in skating, a genetic thing, and love to do and watch it, on wheels or blades.  We had some fun watching these people.  Maybe there is hope for Spanish Ice Hockey??

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

This week we have The Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern.  We have seen a lot of patterns in our travels, clouds, lights, architecture, but, to date, we have seen nothing more interesting than the Mezquita de Córdoba in Cordoba, Spain.  A unique structure that melds a mosque, converted to a cathedral.  Originally started as a church, it was converted to a mosque after the Moors conquered this part of Spain.  It was largely rebuilt and then, when the area was retaken by the Spanish, it was again converted to a church.    A very interesting background and a stunning combination of various architecture.

Mezquita de Córdoba
Mezquita de Córdoba
Mezquita de Córdoba
Mezquita de Córdoba

It’s Tolaydo, Not Toleeedo, That’s In Ohio

After Lisbon, we headed for Toledo. We flew Lisbon to Madrid, caught a cab at the airport to head to the train station and then a high-speed train to Toledo.  A trains, planes and automobile kind of day.

The highlights, the longest (and easiest) walk up a mountain, the greatest Sangria ever and an introduction to Spanish cathedrals.

They do train stations right here.

Toledo Train Station
Toledo Train Station

It seems they know how to do hotels as well. Hostal Del Cardenal

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We had lunch at a little place called La Boveda and experienced the best sangria ever.  The recipe includes, Gin, Cognac, Martini & Rossi, sugar, red wine, lemon juice, portion to taste,  wow.  Lunch was good to, but it tasted better after each pull on the sangria.

Lunch in Toledo
Lunch in Toledo

To reach the town from the hotel, we had to scale a mighty mountain.  It was tough as we had to walk from the top of one escalator to the bottom of the next one.  Exhausting.

Toledo Escalator

And of course, the cathedral.

The Cathedral
The Cathedral

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.

Our Memoriam to Dale Rempel

On our arrival in Lisbon. Portugal, we were saddened to be informed that my cousin Lynn’s husband Dale had succumbed to cancer.

Keeping in mind that we are not Catholic, and neither are Dale and Lynn, we decided on a proper tribute (we think) in that we were in Spain and Portugal, both of which have a multitude of beautiful cathedrals.  We decided we would light a candle in remembrance in each cathedral we visited.

Out travels now took us to Montserrat, Barcelona and Funchal in the Madeira Islands.

Our first candle on this part of the trip was lit in Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Islands.  The church is The Church Of our Lady of Monte.

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The interior of Church of our Lady of Monte in Funchal.

Our next opportunity was in Barcelona.  We actually visited 2 churches here and lit a candle in each. The first was the iconic Sagrada Familia.  This first shot is of the interior.

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This is one of the exterior.

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Our next stop was Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, or the Barcelona Cathedral.  Another amazing structure.

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A candle for Dale

Our next visit was Montserrat, a hillside monastery.  We visited 2 churches here.  the first was a chapel that we had to first take a cable car and then walk a couple of miles along the mountain to get to.  The Capella de la Santa cova.

Capella de la Santa cova
Capella de la Santa cova

People left articles here in remembrance as well as candles.  We left these seashells on a bench.  Please look for them if you are ever there.

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Our last stop was the Santa Maria de Montserrat, the main basilica.

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This was the last candle that we lit.  We will miss you Dale.

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Magic Fountain in Barcelona

Vacation time is over, time to get back into the blog habit.  We had a great time and I look forward to sharing this recent adventure in Spain and Portugal.  We made some new friends, caught up with some old ones and saw lots of great things.

I missed a lot I’m sure, and really have no hope on catching up on everyone, so it will almost be like being a blog virgin again.


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