Sevilla by foot, boat and horse drawn carriage

I mentioned yesterday that Sevilla is my favorite.  There are some many places to see and places to eat, so on our first full day here we did as much of those things as we could.  Thankfully, the hotel served a nice breakfast with many delicious options.
Here is what I ended up selecting.
I thought these were really cute little single servings.  There is jam and olive oil.
The offered fresh squeezed orange juice and pear nectar.
After enjoying a nice breakfast, we were ready to hit Sevilla by foot.
Not a few blocks down the road and we were already scoping out the baked goods.
Then we headed to the main area with the Cathedral.
Since it gets hot here early on, and we knew there were tons of tourists, we decided to visit the Alcazar.  This place is unbelievably huge and you could not only spend hours inside its walls, but you can easily get lost.
I took many pictures both inside the former royal residence and then in the gardens as well.  I will only share some pictures with you to avoid the world’s longest post, but I think these are great depictions of the site although my camera can’t really do it justice.
We stopped for a little break and enjoyed a cool breeze in a second story terrace area in the gardens.
After we walked around, we headed to the Torre del Oro.  It was decided that climbing this was out of the question after already walking for 1.5-2 hours around the Alcazar.
Instead we spotted these boats on the river and decided to sightsee by boat for an hour.
Here are some pictures of the tourist type places lining the riverbanks on both sides.
This river has quite a few bridges to connect both sides of Sevilla.
I am excited that there is now an amusement park here.  Ryan and I love amusement parks, so this may be a good excuse to come back again soon.
By now we were exhausted although it was only 2pm.  We headed back to the Catedral area for some lunch.  This is El Giraldillo
They had lots of good tapas options.
I could not resist taking a picture of the fish case.
We started with olives.
These are spinach croquettes and they were so delicious.
This is a fried green pepper.  I liked this a lot more than I expected.
We also shared a shrimp omelet.
Although the food was tasty, it was quite a rip off.  Bottles of water and soda came to almost 4 euros a piece.  The price on the menu did not include the IVA (tax) and did not include a charge for the patio.  I recommend only going there is you have this in mind when you order or your bill will come as quite a shock.  they also managed to charge is for 5 orders of bread.  We only had 3 people, and we actually did not get any bread at all.  Luckily I spotted the error and had the server correct this.

As soon as we finished, we headed to the Cathedral (or Catedral in Spanish…you have probably noticed I have been spelling it both ways).  Being Jewish, it is sometimes weird to be surrounded by so much Catholic items, but in the end, these are historical sites and impressive art works that really must be seen.  I did take a lot of pictures here too, so these are all from inside the Cathedral.
They had gorgeous stained glass.
Here is the organ.
Next up we headed for the climb up La Giralda, which is the bell tower.  This is a 35 floor climb, but they are only inclined bricks, not actual stairs, which I thought was easier.  I lost a few family members along the way, but I managed to get all the way to the top.
It was worth it for the breath taking views, despite the extreme exhaustion I was feeling.
I zoomed in on a great shot of the bull fight arena.
Then it was time to head down, pick up the family, and keep moving.  Here is the bell tower from the outside.  As I was climbing I had no idea how high up I was.
At this point we headed back to the hotel to rest.  Of course we couldn’t make it all the way back to the hotel without stopping for a soft serve.  This was really neat.  the ice cream was in a cup, but the clerk placed it in this machine and pulled down the lever, which in turn smooched out the ice cream onto a cone in a soft serve fashion.  Have you ever seen this before?
Even though I was exhausted, there was a store I passed by the day before and I saw so many cute things that I had to go shopping.  The store is called Natura.  They make a lot of organic cotton clothes and I liked that everything was light and flowing, which makes for fantastic island wear.  I guess while I was out shopping my mom bought more olives.  She was nice enough to share a few with me.
After a quick swim and then a rest, we headed out for dinner.  It was about 8:30 and stores were just getting ready to close down for the night.  many things close 9-9:30 and then you can get dinner after that.  They bought those olives earlier at El Corte Ingles which is a huge department store.  Since they know I love taking pictures of food, they took me back to visit the super market in the downstairs level.
Here are some pictures inside this grocery store.
Giant figs.
Prepared foods.
Pig legs for that ham stuff they serve.  Sorry I am a vegetarian, so I usually avoid this section, but I still wanted to share a picture with everyone.
I could not resist taking a picture of this product, which is the brand bimbo.
I thought these canned, prepackaged foods were interesting.  We know what we have in our stores and there are some major cultural differences here with their prepackaged goods.
Before we left the store, I had to scope out the bakery.
We finally made it to dinner around 9:30 pm.  We selected Bodega Gongora.  This place has been around since 1939.
Olives again!
This time we got some bread.
When the sun goes down, the sangria comes out.  We went with a 1/2 liter because the pitcher the night before was HUGE.
My mom and Joe both ordered the gazpacho.
I had garbanzos and spinach.
We split this beautiful tomato and cheese salad.
These are shrimp in garlic with olive oil.
I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of the sardines in the window.  These are really popular here.
After dinner we headed out in search of something else.  We weren’t quite sure what, but we headed in the direction on the cathedral.  On the way we found a horse carriage.  These are very popular and they are usually lined up by the cathedral.  My mom was curious about the route and the cost.  After some negotiating, we got in for a night time carriage ride to areas of the city we had not yet visited.
Because it was getting dark and the carriage was moving, it was hard to take pictures.  I tried, so here are some shots of Sevilla at night.
I love this picture of the three of us.  I am glad the driver was able to get the horse to pose too.  We had a fantastic driver despite his thick accent and lack of English.
When the tour ended and we were dropped off by the cathedral, it was 11 pm.  The city was still bustling and people were still packed into the restaurants and cafes.  It seemed coffee and dessert was in order.  Bar Companario seemed like a good choice.  We had been trying for 2 days to get a table at Cervecaria Giralda but they were always too busy.  Bar Companario is just across the way and they had crepes.
First up was a coffee.  Like my meia da leite in Portugal, they have a similar drink here known as cafe com leche.
My mom and I ended the night by sharing a cinnamon and sugar crepe.
If you are tired from just reading about all of the activity we fit into one day, you can imagine how exhausted I was getting back to my room that night.  Oh well, no complaints.  It was a wonderful and we have one more to go before heading to Granada and the Alhambra.

QUESTIONS:  Do you like to shop while you are on vacation?  Are you a light traveler?  What is your favorite way to drink coffee?


Morgan said...

Unreal! I loved Sevilla when I visited 12 years ago. Everything was amazing. Plus, I loved breakfast in Spain!

Beth said...

I wonder where it's hotter right now...Sevilla or Baltimore? It's currently 97.5 degrees with a heat index of 106! YIKES!

Unknown said...

you should go to Tarragona, Spain! That sounds like my name :) looks likw UR having fun fun fun!

Unknown said...

i didnt answer your question! i love to shop, all the time, no matter where :) I try to be a light traveler, but sometimes a gal needs clothing and shoes options! i wouldnt check luggage for a long weekend trip though. coffee...just a little skim milk.

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