Friday, December 05, 2008

09 November: Faro to Seville to Jerez

This morning we left quite early (well, earlier than usual at any rate) to catch an 8:20am bus back to Spain. We drove for 4 hours before we arrived in Seville where we got to spend the afternoon. This time I slept right thru the border crossing, they didn't even stop or bother to check our passports at all!

Had a little lunch at a crazy tapas restaurant with one very angry waitress! After that I went into the Cathedral of Seville with Michael. He kindly paid the 7.50 EUR entrance fee (each). I think he was a little tired of me not going into anything (like our day in Sintra). Or maybe he just wanted the company. Either way, it was lovely, completely churchy as one would expect, but the best bit by far was the Giralda Bell Tower and the view over Seville from way up top! I gather the Bell Tower was once the Minuret from a Mosque and mirrors one in Marrakech (photo on right).

Have just read in the brochure that I was looking at Christopher Columbus's tomb and wondering who was in there - haha!

After that we made our way back to the bus station. But we stopped at a fete/market in the nearby gardens first. Quite fun but actually not that different from the stuff on sale at markets back home.

Photo below of Bells in Giralda Bell Tower, I think I read there were 17 Bells and they're massive! Lucky they didn't start ringing while we were up there :)

Okay, quick side-track. Seville was, I think, the most beautiful city we've visited so far. So far I've found Spain & Portugal quite disappointing and not quite what I was expecting. Yes, yes, I know, so many people love Spain, but find me one person who loves Spain who has *not* been to Barcelona. I think the trick lies there! Anyway, I guess having traveled in Africa so much, I have an expectation of Europe, with it's history, to be far more glamorous. Until Seville, it really hasn't been. And maybe that really is only a comment on the area's we've been staying in, but I've found the places to be quite run down and in disrepair/ There are so many deserted buildings and the places seem, quite simply, shabby. Actually not all that different from Nairobi. They have all had stunning old buildings and cathedrals, but the rest of the town has just never been all that impressive :( Seville, on the other hand, appeared well looked after. The end result was that the bit (small, I know) of Seville I saw this afternoon left me with a better impression than other cities we've spent two nights in!

Anyway, at 18h30 we caught our bus to Jerez. We're staying at Hotel Tierras de Jerez, and that's almost all of Jerez we'll get to see, after arriving so late :( But we are off to a specially-put-on, just-for-us Flamenco Show this evening (it is, after all, a Sunday). Sadly tho, we're missing out on the Sherry tasting tomorrow :( Nothing opens for tastings before 11am and we have a long day of travelingto get across the Straits of Gibraltar and into Morocco. It's a pity but, I think the show tonight (which only starts at 21h30) will be worth it and definitely make up for it - finger's crossed!

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