Thursday, 25 February 2016

Spain 2016 - Seville, Reales Alcazares

Entrance to the Alcazar palace was 9.50 Euro each and we also had to go through security.
Very pleasant entrance courtyard.
We hadn't really known what to expect; this was a pretty little courtyard with a fountain.
Off in one of the side rooms, a display of beautiful fans; hand painted, silk, mother of pearl,
lace, ivory, glass cases full of them.
Back outside to stand in front of this ornate facade carved with patterns and words. We were in awe but this was just the start.
Carved doors.
Arch ways and ceilings.
Window shutters
Take a breath in this relaxing courtyard, but wait
this is intensely ornate too.
Keep on, room to room, eyes moving from walls to floors to ceilings to doorways. This is tile on a wall, each little piece is individually placed to make the complex pattern.
Between the arches of a doorway.
Different room, different pattern of wall tile.
Each piece meticulously put in place to create the overall pattern. Again Nicky is seeing quilts and I am seeing rugs.
Room after room
It all began to feel too much. I remember this feeling from Alhambra. Sensory overload. I wanted to appreciate the artistry and the craftsmanship but I couldn't focus any longer.
Stepped outside into a little treed courtyard with a fountain and enjoyed the sounds of the parrots in the palms and this peacock.
The Alcazar was "probably founded in the eighth century on the ruins of the Roman barracks .... In the eleventh century it was expanded to become the great court of the Abbadid dynasty ...... further enlarged the Alcazar in order to house a harem of 800 women and decorated the terraces with flowers planted in the skulls of his decapitated enemies......some of the best surviving examples of Mudejar architecture - the style developed by the Moors working under Christian rule" (from The Rough Guide to Andalucia, 2003).
Stepped back inside, another amazing ceiling.
A floodlit corner.
Back past the reflecting pool. It really is lovely.
Upstairs (tiled of course) and there's tapestries.
Huge and wonderfully detailed. The blue and red dyes have lasted the best.
We went out into the gardens. Mature trees, fountains, pathways, it was lovely and we could imagine people walking these peaceful paths for decades past.
Some areas were immaculately manicured.
Entrance ways.
The hydraulic fountain. When the water flows it plays organ music.
Water runs down the middle of this pathway, cooling.
We found a bathroom and wandered a little more but were basically a little overwhelmed and also anxious that we not miss the train back, so we headed back to the train station. We discovered that we couldn't get back on the bus where we got off it and have it take us to the train station but we got directions. Three young Americans were quite proud of themselves that they could tell the Canadian tourists that they were at the right stop.
Back at the train station we realized we hadn't eaten much all day. 2 vinos, 2 agua con gas y 2 ensalada mediterraneane.
The La Palma train station was much more inviting at 6pm than it had been at 7:30am.
Back in the car, drove home and Mum had supper ready for us. We were tired but had had a great day. I plan on returning to Seville in April at the end of my time in Spain there is a lot more I would still like to see.

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