Tag: Seville

Seville, Spain

We did more than drive the narrow streets while we were in Seville in December.  We stayed at an eclectic hostel, Hostal Sierpes, where the moment I walked in, I wondered if this was the place I’d regret bringing kids to. It wasn’t. In fact, I’d recommend staying there.  It was a pleasant surprise and change of pace from the more generic places we had stayed.

Entrance to Hostal Sierpes in Seville, Spain Inside our room at Hostal Sierpes in Seville, Spain Atrium on the second level of Hostal Sierpes in Seville Front lobby of the Hostal Sierpes at Christmas

Jeff and Violet toured the bull ring and museum in Seville; Plaza de Toros.  It looked amazing! Violet can tell you all about how the bull fight works, what flag they hold up if the bull is spared, how historically horses would help and often be killed, and she will happily tell you about the time a bull was spared (there aren’t many!)

Large Red Door to the Plaza de Toros in Seville Bull ring at the Plaza de Toros in Seville Spain Patron seating are in Plaza de Toros in Seville Spain Royal box at the Plaza de Toros Seville SpainTour of the Plaza de Toros in Seville SpainTour of the bull museum in Seville SpainTour of the bull musuem in Seville SpainFamily of three girls outside bull ring in Seville Spain

 

We visited the “Tower of Gold” – it’s proper name is the Torre del Oro.   A 13th century watch tower along the river that offloaded the riches from the conquistadors returning from Central & South America.  There was a small museum inside and then the rooftop viewing platform.

The Golden Tower in Seville Spain Torre del Oro at sunset in Seville SpainMy kids on the stairs inside the Torre del Oro in Seville SpainSmiling child at the Golden Tower in Seville SpainOn the viewing deck of the Golden Tower in Seville SpainLooking out at the city on the viewing platform of the Torre del OroClose up picture of the Torre del Oro in Seville Spain

We stumbled upon the modern architecture of Metropol Parasol (that honeycomb shaped building the background below) where the girls decided to treat each other to pony rides and Violet spent her Christmas money on a leather purse.  We didn’t set out to find the Metropol Parasol but it was a nice place to end up.  There were holiday craft booths to stroll through, small amusement rides for the kids and a generally festive atmosphere.

Metropol Parasol in Seville Spain IMG_2215 IMG_2219 IMG_2226

I saw shops and shops full of flamenco dresses for sale. But unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead and we did not make it to a flamenco show while in Seville.  Truthfully, I just wasn’t sure if it was a family atmosphere and by the time I found a flamenco performance (which was right around the corner from our hostel) they were all booked.  We were traveling during the Christmas holiday.

IMG_2209

It was this trip in Seville that I realized that while we dressed in functional warm outer wear most of those around us wore, warm but fashionable outerwear. We just aren’t accustomed to the plethora of plazas that are enjoyed year round in Spain.

We stood in line for an hour to get into the Seville Cathedral. It was massive and expanse and left me wondering what all this empty, yet beautiful space was ever used for. The cathedral also holds the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Not without it controversy though. The history channel  reports that it is Christopher Columbus’  sons bones that buriedare  in Seville and his lie in the Dominican Republic.  I’m going to continue to state that I visited the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Which I thought was really cool.

Part of the cathedral was the tower of Giralda. Unlike the other towers we’ve climbed this one had ramps that led to the bell tower.  The most fascinating part of the tower was the electronic people counter letting you know exactly how many people already occupied the ramps and the bell tower. We we headed up with 417 people, when we exited there were 633 in the tower. I was glad we were done.

We rented an audio guide to share with the family as we went through. And it would have been great except for the fighting that ensued over it and the subsequent waiting  for your turn that led to children misbehaving as they waited. Then add in your backpack, camera and couple of shots with the cell phone to post immediately to fb, and the guards asking us to hold our children’s hands…our hand were more than full.  And 6 months later there isn’t much I can remember from the audio guide.

IMG_1849 IMG_1848 IMG_1847 IMG_1845 IMG_1843 IMG_1837 IMG_1835 IMG_1832 IMG_1823 IMG_1810 IMG_1807 IMG_1797 IMG_1796 IMG_1790 IMG_1787 IMG_1784

We had an enjoyable walk to Plaza Espana in Seville and a fun, quirky row boat ride through the canal on the plaza. The plaza was a pleasant surprise from the crowded, restaurant filled plazas I had come accustomed to. It was a nice, calm, relaxing plaza with beautiful tile work and a wonderful fountain set within a large park.  We didn’t make it to the plaza until near 8pm, it would have been nice to make it earlier but our days were full in Seville.

IMG_1877 IMG_1878 IMG_1881 IMG_1885IMG_2308IMG_2312

We ran across a carnival on our way back towards the main street from Plaza Espana. It made me smile to see an ice skating rink set amid palm trees.

The girls watched street performs ranging from a puppet/marionette show, mimes, painted people to other performers hiding under tables trying to scare passing pedestrians. The girls were fascinated by the street performers and would have lingered until the wee hours.

At a restaurant, we had two very traditional meals. [look these up and explain what they are]. Both dishes were wonderfully moist and yummy.

IMG_2335 IMG_2337 IMG_2344 IMG_2349 IMG_2354 IMG_2355 IMG_2358 IMG_2360 IMG_2361

The hostel was located close to nearly everything. Which also meant it was located on small, winding streets. Driving was a crazy experience! And even on foot we would frequently loose our way. I have learned that I have no aptitude for reading maps; I’d have it backwards and end up walking in the opposite direction I intended.

We quite literally stumbled upon our hostel after our day of exploring the cathedral, main street, plaza espana and eating out.

It was an enjoyable and memorable trip!

IMG_1895IMG_2246IMG_2263IMG_2264IMG_2271IMG_2272IMG_2277IMG_2297IMG_2365IMG_2370

 

 

The Streets of Seville

On our trips here in Spain, I have walked many narrow and winding streets in the cities we’ve visited.  Always surprised when a car would come zipping through while we stood with the kids plastered to the nearest wall to allow the car room to pass.  The streets really seem like sidewalks and in the absence of sidewalks you are prone to walk right down the center of them (usually with a crowd around you) or walk right out into them without a second thought.  Clara nearly got hit by a car when we visited Toledo.  She was trying to balance on a thick-chain link fence as her sisters were doing but she lost her balance and tripped into the road at the same time a small car came zipping though then swerved, slammed on its brakes and the driver began yelling in Spanish at us.  We were all upset, rightfully so.  The streets in the old parts of many cities are small.  Many American cars simply wouldn’t fit.

Buitrago has some smaller streets that when I first started renting cars here, I planned where I parked to that I could strategically avoid the narrowest streets.  HA!  I booked our hostel in Seville which the knowledge that there was parking on site (for a reasonable fee compared to others) and that it was within close walking distance to many places of interest.  That’s all I knew.  Had I known more, I would not have booked this hostel.  But had I known more, I would have missed out on a great adventure and some excellent bragging rights.

img_2192

We had to be admitted to drive in old town by the traffic cop.

img_2191

Then the street got a little smaller while the GPS tried to keep up.

img_2194

The GPS then told me to turn here. Hmmm….really??

img_2379

And make this turn. At this point I’m picturing us getting stuck, literally.

img_2381

I’m pretty sure this lady stopped to watch me. And while I made it out of here fine, I did go down the one-way street right after this. The one that the red circle is telling me not to.

img_2378

This is the hostel there on the left. The door to the place opened inward.

img_2377

This is the parking garage. Back where Amelia is where the hostel staff move the cars to. I never could have made it back there.

img_2374

Another shot of the garage. We parked right in the door and then the hostel staff ask for your car keys (my rental car keys!!) so they can move the cars around in the garage. We did end up with some small scratches and green paint. We buffed it out and us a cover-up pen before returning the car.

10888422_10152679532509755_162668323564598496_n

Here’s the street we just drove down! The one with the lady watching! Craziness!

 

 

© 2017 The Riersons

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑