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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Seville, Andalucia, Spain

Apr 12, 2019 - Our Last Day in Sevilla

Today is our last day in Sevilla and it is a beautiful day. In fact it is warm and no jackets or silk underwear required. The Holy Week celebrations are going to begin in two days on Palm Sunday. While this is a major holiday throughout the Christian world, nowhere is it celebrated with more fervor than Andalucia, especially in Seville. On each day through the week 60 neighborhood groups parade from their neighborhood church to the Seville Cathedral with floats depicting some aspect of the Passion of Christ. It is interesting how the vibe...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 11, 2019 - Real Alcazar

April 11 - Real Alcazar Today we have tickets for Real Alcazar, noted as a site for filming of Game of Thrones. Luckily we had purchased tickets on-line prior to leaving home, as the non-ticket holders line was several hundred long! We had maybe a 5 minute wait and that was due to some group confused as to where they belonged. Once inside due of the size of the space, it did not seem crowded. Originally a 10th century palace built for the governors of the local Moorish state, this building still functions as a Royal Palace - the oldest in...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 10, 2019 - The White Hill Towns of Andalucia

Today was a fabulous day. Last night Judi and I decided that instead of renting a car to visit the White Hill Towns of Andalucia, we would splurge and book a private tour guide. Driving through the hill towns could be a challenge with steep and narrow roads, especially if we couldn't get an automatic, and we weren't familiar with the area. So instead of driving and navigating, we could enjoy. We got lucky and were able to book a guide at 8 p.m. last night. David met us at 9 a.m. and off we went. He was very knowledgeable and interesting...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 9, 2019 - Sevilla Cathedral

April 9 - Sevilla Cathedral In attempting to be efficient and save time I had booked tickets online from home for the Sevilla Cathedral and the Real Alcazar. Unfortunately I had booked both sites for the same day and the same time (April 11 at 12:00 noon)!! So off we go to the Cathedral to see what we can do - if all else fails we will purchase tickets for today as these were the least expensive (12.50 euros vs 19.00 euros!). We run into Bob (he was a passenger on the bus/bus/train ride to Sevilla). He was in line for tickets, so we joined...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 8, 2019 - On to Sevilla

We are leaving today and looking forward to warmer weather. As always, we wish we would have had one more day. With train tickets in hand we checked the departure board to find our track number. This train station is really small--only two tracks and not too many people milling around. Imagine our surprise when we saw that our track number was BUS. Turned out we have to take not one, but two buses to get to the train. I don't remember seeing anything about a bus when we booked our tickets online at home but we did book them in Spanish if I...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 7, 2019 - Alhambra

April 7 - Alhambra This morning we did Rick Steves walking tour of Granada, as we have Alhambra tickets at 2:00pm. The walk starts just around the corner from our front door at a caravanserai (of Silk Road fame), a protected place for merchants to rest their animals, spend the night, get a bite to eat and spin yarns. This 14th century caravanserai is the only one surviving of Granada’s original 14 (has a water fountain in the center). Across the street is Alcaiceria, originally a Moorish silk market with 200 shops that burned down in 1850....

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Spain and Portugal

Oct 16, 2018 - The Amazing Alcazar Palace

I can’t imagine writing anything that would supplement the huge volume of admiration for this building at your fingertips online. So, for your convenience here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite sites culturetrip.com; The ‘Reales Alcázares de Sevilla‘, as it is known in Spanish, is a royal palace which was built by the Moorish rulers who occupied the peninsula from the 8th century onwards. In the 13th century, the Spanish Reconquista was in full swing and the Catholic Kings of Spain claimed the palace as their own. This marks the...

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Oct 16, 2018 - The Cathedral of the Catholic Kings Seville

My father-in-law Ken McColl described visiting Europe as going on an ABC tour. By which he meant “Another bleeping castle and another bleeping cathedral.” I am sure happy his son feels more positive about those kinds of tourist attractions than he did. The Seville Cathedral was consecrated in 1507 and to this day it remains the largest cathedral in the world.Both St. Peter’s basilica in Italy and Our Lady of Aparecida basilica in Brazil are larger Catholic churches, but by definition they are not cathedrals. Apparently that is a meaningful...

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Oct 15, 2018 - Culture - Let’s Talk Futbol

On our hot and sunny Seville walkabout Sunday we happened upon an exceptionally large all-male crowd spilling out of an Irish pub and flooding the sidewalk for several shopfronts beyond it. Of the more than 100 fellas, several were half-dressed, most were more than half cut. We’d inadvertently stumbled across the lair of the legendary soccer hooligans. These specimens, however, were out of their native habitat - they were of the English variety, obvious by the Manchester United and other banners on display. Later that day we learned at...

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Oct 15, 2018 - Rainy Days & Mondays & The History of Sephardi Jews

Hanging around. Nothing to do but frown; Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. - Carpenters song, 1971 Given the high volume of weekenders, most of the major tourist attractions in Spain close on Mondays. That conspires to make entertaining oneself on a rainy Monday a challenge. We’d seen the forecast and identified that an interpretive centre dedicated to the history of the Jewish Quarter of Seville was open. Armed with a daypack of umbrellas and raincoats we set off to locate the one museum open that day. It started as a light...

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Oct 14, 2018 - The Torre de Oro (Tower of Gold)

On this day, we walked the riverfront for a 7.8 km loop that included two terrific historical sites/museums. But before I go on, a bit of our own history seems appropriate. In Spring 2018 we visited the Museo de Oro in Bogota, Columbia. It contains 55,000+ pieces of gold and other materials from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. We were enthralled by beauty of hand-crafted ceremonial, ritual, decorative and monetary pieces. We were appalled by the waves of genocides undertaken by the Spanish invaders. So it was bizarre to...

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Oct 14, 2018 - The Ole de Toro (Bull Fighting)

As with the Torre de Oro, we went on the bull ring tour with our eyes wide open, rather than romanticized by notions such as those set out in the famous opera Carmen. We had attended a bullfight in Mazatlan, Mexico on Christmas Day, 1983. Frankly, Dec. 25 is such a high holy day in Mexico there wasn’t much else going on. So, like so many locals, we bought tickets for an afternoon of five “exhibitions” (a euphemism if ever there was one). The only truly entertaining part was the display of the crowds’ affection for the Matador, billed as...

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