Friday, 21 March 2014

Seville: Day 2

After settling in yesterday, we walked down to the local Mercadona to do our bits and pieces of food shopping and later Beth and Hanna popped round to see us after work.  Very nice.  We had a lazy start this morning and then wandered round to Beth's flat only 5 minutes away before setting off to explore. 

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 Beth guided us through the attractive back streets of El Arenal ( the area of Seville in which we were living), calling in at the local 'chinese shop' which is a must for the women in my life!!.  We finished up at Las Setas or the mushroom as it is affectionately known.  A wooden structure, designed by the German archtiect Jurgen Mayer-Hermann, it was completed in 2011 and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.  It consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms ( Las Setas ), whose design is inspired by the vaults of the nearby cathedral.. Although somewhat controversial, I liked it and enjoyed wandering around its walkways with superb views over the city.

After a very pleasant tapas lunch we treated ourselves to an ice cream before wandering towards the cathedral via the main shopping street of Call Velazquez Tetuan.  Fron here we headed into the old Jewish quarter of the city the very attractive Barrio Santa Cruz.  Heather and I were delighted to find the Hotel Hosteria del Laurel, where we had stayed for a short break some 12 years ago.  It was great fun getting lost in the narrow winding lanes and I enjoyed exploring and photographing whilst the girls indulged themselves with the shops.  Memories of of our last visit were reawakened by the heavy perfumed scent of the orange blossom and the oranges still on the trees.  

After a drink sitting outside our old hotel, Beth took us to the Plaza de Espana, located in the Parque de Maria Luisa and built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929.  It is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revivalist style in Spanish Architecture.  It is a great curve of tiled fountains, pavillions, wall ponds and benches with lush plantings of palms, orange trees, Mediterranean pines and stylized flower beds. We spent a very pleasant hour here before heading back home. Our meal for the evening was with Beth's friends in the bar below our apartment.  An excellent end to a wonderful day.

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