Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Sunday, October 30, 2011

8 Days on the Via de la Plata: Sevilla

Joe making reference to San Roque
 If you don't know who San Roque is,
read my blog on the "guy with the big-lipped dog." 

The name of the street our hotel was on was Calle San Roque.  
It was an interesting street, 
and you could see where people had incorporated 
some of the old Roman ruins into their buildings.
We spent the next two days in Sevilla
seeing the sights and securing our Pilgrim Passport.
We had been here before, back in about 2004 
for Semana Santa (Holy Week) and had fallen in love 
with this beautiful historic city. 

Semana Santa is the week before Easter 
and in Spain it is a spectacular week! 
The various parishes put on parades and carry statues of Christ,
Mary, and their patron saints through the villages and city streets. 
These statues are what we'd call "floats" in America, 
but they are not on wheels. 
The heavy statues are carefully carried on the backs of penitents. 
It's an amazing site to see!  

That trip, we stopped in Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, 
Cordoba, and Seville. 
We saw parades in each city. 
I will do a blog on Semana Santa in the future.
For now, I'll continue on about our day in Seville.

Maria Luisa Park

We wanted to visit Parque de Maria Luisa. 
This is a beautiful park and the last time we were in Seville, 
the museum was closed, 
so we wanted to make a visit there also,
since it's on the grounds of the park.  

In her article online, Josephine Quintero says:
Parque de Maria Luisa is a paradisical half mile 
of palms and orange trees, elms and Mediterranean pines, 
covered with flower beds and dotted with hidden bowers, 
ponds and pavilions. 
Now that the trees and shrubs have reached maturity,
the genius of the landscapers can be appreciated - 
this is one of the loveliest parks in Europe.

I have to agree. We love this place. 
If you're spending a day in Seville, don't miss it. 
Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day here.  
There is so much to see and it's a cool respite from the hot sun.

Here are some photos of Parque de Maria Luisa:
I just love this giant tree!

Joe standing by one of the many tiled ponds

Many cool, shady places to sit

Interesting statuary and fountains

Bougainvillea blooming in the heat
Toward the end of the park you will find mansions doubling as museums. 
The main exhibits are Roman mosaics and artefacts from nearby Italica, 
along with a unique Phoenician statuette of Astarte-Tanit, 
the virgin goddess once worshipped throughout the Mediterranean.

Any modern dentist would know exactly what to do with this dental kit!
One of the beautiful mosaic floors from Italica (which we will walk to tomorrow)
After the museum, we went back to the hotel for a siesta, 
then back out in to the heat.
We walked to the Cathedral to buy our Credencial,
but nobody there knew what we were talking about.

While there, we saw the horse and buggies lined 
up for tourists. 
I bought a painted fan to use
then give to my granddaughter Emma as a gift.

We finally found the "Amigos of the Camino" office 
across the bridge toward Triana on Calle San Jacinto 25. 
It is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
We paid 3 Euro for our Credencial.
HOORAY! I'm a real pilgrim again!

After our nap, we walked and walked and walked. 
My feet hurt like heck and I was wondering how in the world 
I'd start the Via de la Plata! 

We found a great restaurant with hams hanging everywhere.  
It was a place that appeared to be dedicated to bull fighting.
If anyone knows the name please send me a note. 
I can't believe I did not write it down. Here is a photo.

I ate some really great sea bass in orange sauce. 
Joe had pork with garlic mushroom sauce. 
We only paid about 13 Euro each and it was a very nice dinner! 
We walked home, satiated but exhausted.

Next morning after breakfast, we walked around the corner 
to visit the museum of fine arts, Museu de Bella Artes.  
This fine museum is open Wednesday to Saturday 
from 9am to 8 pm and is only 1,50 Euros. 
If you enjoy art, do not miss it!

If you plan on visiting Seville, I suggest you take 2 to 3 days,
as there is so much to see. 
Don't pass visiting the Alcazar!
I can't find photos online that even come close to showing its beauty! 
You must make reservations months ahead of time, 
and going first thing in the morning is highly recommended, 
before the crowds become too thick. 
It is a wonder to see!
I found this photo online. Do a Google search for more.
That evening we found a supermercado, 
bought some chicken, a caesar salad, some cervesa (beer) 
and some limon soda and ate in our room. 
We rested much of the afternoon 
and got ready to begin the Via de la Plata next morning.

A good night's sleep in an air conditioned room
after a day of sight seeing in Spain...
Who could ask for more?

I look forward to visiting Seville again!

* * * 

If you are interested in walking the Camino Santiago 
and aren't quite ready to go it alone, 
please consider joining one of our affordable treks. 
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