On Tuesday 23rd January, 30 of us set off by coach for the wonderful City of Seville.
We had a breakfast stop en route and then went straight to La Casa de Los Pilatos in the Barrio Santa Cruz. This privately owned Palace, has a very interesting history and all the walls on the ground floor are covered in tiles made in Triana, then upstairs are some beautiful frescoes and furnishings. We boarded the bus again for a short journey across the River Guadalquivir to Triana to the ceramics museum. Apart from learning about the process of making tiles and ceramics, there are some fine examples to be seen. We then had free time for a tapas lunch, boarded the bus once more for the drive to our centrally located hotel Hotel Inglaterra for our 2 nights B & B. Having checked- in, we took some time for a bit of R & R before meeting again early evening, for a cocktail on the roof terrace. The views are wonderful – the Cathedral all lit up, other spires and buildings clearly defined. We then walked to a nearby restaurant “La Isla”for a wonderful meal with fine wines and then returned to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
After a buffet breakfast, our Guide Marta collected us at the hotel, first of all, giving us a potted history of Seville. We then had an excellent walking tour with commentary by Marta, she has a degree in history and is passionate about her city. We walked towards the Cathedral, with Marta giving information about the buildings which we passed. We walked under the amazing structure, the Metropole Parasol, known as Las Setas and then ascended by lift to walk along the structure itself. Once again, amazing views all over the city in different directions. We then had a coffee break and continued to the Casa de Las Duenas, the private palace home of the late Duchess of Alba. It is such a stark contrast to the Casa de Los Pilatos the previous day, which is empty of furniture on the ground floor. This home is packed, each room giving an idea of the Duchess’s interests and tastes – she loved flamenco and there are family photo’s. The gardens are also lovely.
We then went to a convent where the nuns sell marmalades and jams and where there is a small museum and highly painted church. One of the nuns made herself available to answer any questions – it seems the they retire at 21.00 and rise at 06.00. She seemed very happy and content with a serenity in her demeanour. After making some purchases, we walked with Marta back to the area near Las Setas once again, where we separated and had a tapas lunch independently. We met up in the evening, for a short walk to another restaurant for dinner. This restaurant is in another former private palace, with original tiles and proved to be another gastronomic delight.
Some of us then went to a Flamenco Show in part of yet another private palace. This show was wonderful – raw and authentic, quite spell binding. We then had a walk back to our hotel for a good nights sleep.
On the 3rd morning, after a buffet breakfast, some of us went to the Museum of Bellas Artes to the Murillo Exibition. The building itself is lovely, a former Monastery – One of the Galleries is in the former church, which has a highly painted ceiling and dome. There are some short videos to watch and also the sketches which he would later use for his paintings.
Some of the group, took themselves off to see other monuments, some a horse and carriage ride then, after lunch, we all met up to board our coach for the journey home.
We had been blessed with sunshine during the trip and, when we boarded the coach, it started to rain !
We all had a wonderful time .