Lisbon, Morocco, Spain: June 22-July 8, 2007
by Rick Swallow
Unfortunately, this is the only shot I have of the Hotel Center Seville. There was a rather nice park right next to it and it was certainly easy enough to walk about the area but the hotel itself was not situated in the middle of things as it were, so we were dependent upon coach travel for out bit in seville.
To the right, below, is at the Plaza de España, not yet a century old, but not to be missed as a lovely afternoon event. Built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exhibition, it presents 50 tiled benches along its wall along with tiled murals and maps depicting each of Spain's 50 provinces. George Lucas used it in his second Star Wars Episode as a building on Planet Naboo.... Didn't you just need to know that? I really was impressed with the beauty of the plaza. The two pictures above were just random shots to illustrate some of the tiling. It can be readily found along the River in central Seville using Google maps, or better still, Google Earth (free download).
We walked past the famous balcony (Barber of Seville fame) on our way to the Cathedral, the largest Gothic edifice in the world. Its Giraldo tower was a minaret of the 12th century Moslem Mosque. The remains of Christopher Columbus are now found within the church.
The gold and silver wall, goblets, jewels, crowns, altars etc. seen within the cathedral are dazzling; much of it received from the Americas by/for the church. Such an ostentatious display of wealth is rarely seen in the real world outside the Catholic churches in Europe.
What's fascinating to me is the mixture of Moslem and Christian architecture in the same structure.
I set off looking for a charger and adapter for the local electricity as mine was in my errant luggage. When I returned to the hotel, I found Steve, Joyce, Patti and Jerry sitting at the juice bar enjoying some cold apple juice. As it had been a long and taxing walk on a hot afternoon, I joined them in the refreshments. That evening, we took in an optional Flamenco show. Living within 7 miles of Mexico, I've seen many, many such presentations and this one was a yawner...not to imply that the dancers were not doing their thing in a praiseworthy manner, of course.
Day 6Today we set off for the Ferry crossing to the African port of Tangier. Off to our left we could see the Rock of Gibraltar, to be visited on our return route. Our last view of Europe was Tarifa on our approximately 18 mile crossing, was of yet another fortress, the 11th century Castillo de Santa Carolina, on a hilly point. (I'm, amazed at the highly detailed satelite imagery available on Google Earth which gave me this information.) The photo to the right was taken as we approached Tangier.
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