Sevilla (part 1)
Today we are doing the biggest city in Andalucia, which is also its capital - historical Sevilla. First we need a filling breakfast, so at a roadside eatery in the village of Jedula, we order what the locals are eating: thick bread, margarine, tomato paste and olive oil, washed down with delicious coffee. Not bad.
First a quick visit to the nearby white village of Arcos de la Frontera.
In the early 11th century, Arcos was already an independent Muslim principality.
The Gothic cathedral atop the ridge was built when the Christians captured the town in the late 13th century.
We drive closer to Arcos and below the ridge, the village is all the way up there.
We decide to take a country road, and this one is typical in Andalusia - always scenic.
It's windy country here.
Note the rural road, which is not too good - I hate the high shoulder which can become dangerous if the guard railing is not there, which is often the case.
Soon we jump onto the excellent expressway with spring blooms all the way.
Time to enter Sevilla. I hate city driving, but I guess I have no choice now. The metro area has 1.5mil people, 4th largest in Spain.
We park at the fringe of the old town, and make our way in, as a bunch of Segway tourists file past.
We are now in the Jewish part of Sevilla's old town - the Juderia ...
... which leads us to Patio de Banderas.
Here, some archaeological excavation is still on-going. Sevilla is more than 2,000 years old, from Roman times.
From Patio de Banderas, we pass a gate of the Reales Alcazar, the Royal Castle, ...
... with its impressive emblem. The Alcazar was originally a 12th century Moorish palace.
Nearby, a horse carriage awaits fare at the Alcazar wall.
Beyond the Alcazar gate, the Plaza del Triunfo, with the huge Sevilla Cathedral in front of us.
Another view of the huge cathedral at Plaza del Triunfo.
The 98-metre bell tower - La Giralda - is a former minaret of the demolished Sevilla Mosque, built in the 12th century by the Moors.
Insignias on the Sevilla Cathedral, built at the site of the mosque in the 15th century. It's the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.
Opposite the cathedral, the 17th century Palace of the Archbishop.
Another view of the square in front of the Palace of the Archbishop.
A hot day in Sevilla, and shades at the side of the cathedral are most welcomed.
In a nearby old building, a new office retains the influential and elegant Moorish architecture.
> TO BE CONTINUED