Tom & Roberta take on Spain and Portugal 2015 travel blog








As Tom and I sat in the train station waiting for our train to Seville I pulled out the book on Spain Andrea had given to Tom a few years back. Once again not having a clue as to its history or what we would do once there. The first paragraph said something like "if you only see 2 cities in Spain you must go to Toledo and Seville". It went on to say Seville was the Capital of the province Andalusia and when Christopher Columbus came back from exploring the new world he landed here, which is a little odd because this is not a seaport. There is a canal here and I guess he moseyed on in. Further research is required here.

Our Hotel...... where to begin. Clearly this would be the MOST unusual hotel Tom and I have ever come to. Name: Las Casas de la Juderia. Location in the middle of the oldest section of town. We arrived via taxi from the train station but I honestly don't know how the car negotiated the incredibly narrow streets. Every time he turned a corner I was sure the front end of the car was going to hit the building. As we entered our hotel it most definitely had a Moroccan feel. Archways were rounded at the top and the bottoms were straight and angled out sort of liked an old fashion keyhole would appear. The common areas were surrounded in heavy fabrics and multi-colored tiles ran from floor to ceiling 3 stories up with gold gilded cross beams at the ceiling. There were doorways and columned entryways everywhere. We checked in and the hotel clerk took our bags was trying to communicate to us that he was showing us to our room. I just thought there would be an elevator to take us up. After all from the outside of this building it was narrow and tall. The clerk led us out a side door (which took us to an outside sort of narrow patio) and began walking down a cobbled walkway. He kept saying what sounded like "two - nal" "two - nal". He led us to an elevator but instead of going up........ we went down. Tom and I just looked at each other. The elevator door opened and we walked down another arched entry which also contained three or four other doorways. Now we were walking on marbled floor and we entered into what can only be described as a labyrinth. Oh TUNNELS!!! Not two - nal. On and on we walked past under ground wall fountains and quarried ceilings 6 feet high if that, he continued to guide us through the maze of tunnels. I worried that we'd never find our way back to the reception desk as we continued past a marble bathtub fountain.

The feeling while passing through these series of tunnels was NOT be any means claustrophobic. Each tunnel we entered took on its own personality. Some walls were rock part way up then painted terra cotta and sentences in Latin written on them. Another had rocks half way up then rocks in an arch pattern and simple artwork painted into the middle of the arches. Some hallways contained mostly the color blue and others mostly had marble floor to ceiling. There were walkways and stairs leading to no where. Ramps to wrought iron barred windows. We passed through an underground "patio" where white trellis covered the walls and ceiling and both the walls and ceiling had faux grapevines laced through every bit of the trellis and wicker tables and chairs with lots of artificial lighting to "encourage" the outdoor feeling.

Finally as we came to more doorways and our guide led us to an elevator. He pressed "1" and showed us to our room (number 217)To the left of our doorway was an outside courtyard with tables and chairs and the building surrounding it was white washed and appeared very Spanish style. To the right of our room was another courtyard and the building surrounding it was mustard yellow and appeared Arabic/Moroccan (colorful tiles keyhole shaped archways, etc). We were completely confused.

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