Picture of the Week

24 September 2011

Week 37: Sevilla & Granada

Filed under: — Administrator @ 16:14

All the pictures for this week were taken on Tuesday and Wednesday. My son had asked if we could go to Seville, and I was more than happy to accommodate him. It was a nice father-and-son trip. The 600 km to Seville were easily covered, we spend a great afternoon and evening there, spent the night at my favourite hotel in Seville, and the next day drove to Granada, visited the Alhambra, and then drove home. A very productive couple of days, documented in these 38 images.

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We arrived in Seville around lunchtime, dropped our stuff at the hotel and hit the city on foot. My son has recently expressed a desire for a proper camera, so his recent birthday present was a Pentax K5 with a kit zoom. I then also gave him a 35mm macro and my small Billingham bag to carry it all:
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The restaurant I had picked for lunch is called El Faro de Triana. It is the beige building at the top of the bridge:
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Seville is a very Catholic city, as is evident in the decor of the restaurant:
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One reason I like this restaurant is obviously that the food is good. But I also like the fact that one has a nice view of the Puente de Triana. I know this place well, I lived part time for almost a year just a few hundred metres from this spot:
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After a nice lunch we crossed over to the other side of the river Guadalquivir:
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There are several bridges spanning the Guadalquivir, but the Puente de Triana is the most emblematic of them. Couples photograph themselves here:
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Some couples leave mementos of their eternal love:
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If any single building can be considered the landmark of Seville, this is it. The Torre del Oro (“golden tower”) was built by the Moors about 800 years ago:
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I decided to do something really touristy for once. It was very hot, 40C or so, so an hour-long cruise on the river was a good way to see the city. It was especially a good way to see the modern parts, built for the 1992 World Expo, which are some distance from the old centre:
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On our return from the boat trip, the next group of tourists were waiting to get on the boat, sheltering from the sun as best they could:
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I have no idea what the red banner says or why it is lying on the riverside promenade, but it goes well with the passing woman:
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We continued walking and found ourselves at the University of Seville. A beautiful inner courtyard:
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Majestic corridors:
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A scene repeated at universities worldwide at the beginning of the academic year–students perusing for rent and for sale ads on a notice board:
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The next place on our agenda was Plaza de España. I wanted to show it to my son because it is one of the most beautiful spots in Seville, and he wanted to see it because several movies, including one of the Star Wars films, had scenes shot there:
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Plaza de España was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo. Today, besides being one of the city’s main attractions, it houses several municipal and federal offices:
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The bridges have been beautifully restored in recent years:
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As befits the name of the Plaza, the semi-circle is decorated with mosaics depicting historical scenes from each of Spain’s main cities and provinces:
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It is now late afternoon, and the setting sun illuminates the riverbank and the Torre del Oro:
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Once the sun has set and the temperature falls below 30C, people enjoy sitting outside. This is Calle Asunción, near our hotel. When I worked in Seville in 2003-4, this was a busy neighbourhood thoroughfare. Now it is pedestrian and much nicer:
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Same street, Wednesday morning. A young man waits for someone and watches human traffic:
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A tree on Calle Asunción. Some witty person has written “Give me water / I am thirsty / Or a cold Cruzcampo (local beer) / Look after me”:
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Calle Betis ends with a stairway leading up to the Puente de Triana. The little chapel belongs to the local neighbourhood market, the Mercado de Triana:
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Fruit stand, Mercado de Triana. As opposed to Alicante, Seville does not have one big central market; rather, each neighbourhood has its own, smaller, market. The one in Triana is the nicest:
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The picture of the Virgin was here 7 years ago, when I used to walk through the market every morning. But the TV has been added later:
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After our morning walk, we went back to the hotel, took our car and drove the 200 km to Granada. Our target there was Alhambra, Spain’s most visited tourist attraction, and with good reason. It is plainly magnificent.

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The main structure inside the Alhambra is the palace, to which we did not have tickets (the number of daily visitors is strictly controlled):
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Alhambra was both a military complex and a royal residence, begun by the ruler Muhammad I in 1238. The last Moorish ruler of Al-Andalus, Muhammad XII-Boabdil, surrendered Alhambra to the Catholic Kings in 1492, thus ending the Reconquista. This is the Santa María de Alhambra church:
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Large parts of Alhambra consist of magnificent gardens and fountains. Here Generalife, an auxiliary palace to which the royals escaped to relax, sort of a garden shed on steroids:
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The architecture is simply breathtaking:
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A pillar in the Generalife palace:
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One can walk around Alhambra for hours, just marvelling at the intricate details and magnificent craftmanship:
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Patio de la Sultana:
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View of Granada from the Torre de Vela:
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One of the many smaller palaces that dot Alhambra:
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Another little detail:
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The last three Alhambra images are somewhat different from the rest.

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My son drew my attention to this woman. Visiting Alhambra involves walking several km on surfaces where high-heeled shoes are not exactly the footwear of choice:
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This is not the same woman as in the previous picture, but I would not be surprised if that one needed a break too:
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No place in Spain is complete without stray cats:
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