Sensational Seville, Spain 2007

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Arriving to a wall of heat we managed to find the Santa Cruz district with no drama and after a few false starts we found the hotel and its hard to find carpark without over doing the stress levels. Our first impression of Seville was one of awe, the river the old town and the imposing Alcazar & Cathedral set the scene for what was to come.A real blending of Morrish and Spanish influences that worked seamlessly as if they were meant for each other. The Morrish minaret adjacent to the classic Gothic facade of the Cathedral with its orange grove forecourt shows how the change of the guard in the 13th century did not cause a wave of building destruction.

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It is as if all street lead to the Cathedral and it is no wonder as it is one of the biggest in the world, in fact its floor area is the largest of any cathedral in Europe. It is vast and varied and needs ample time to discover it all.

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Our Hotel was an absolute delight, with interconnecting tunnels and cooling courtyards allowing to always find a nice escape from the heat.

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Our first day was spent wandering the streets, visiting the Cathedral and getting to know the way the place worked. We found the famous Tapas street Calle Mateos Gago in Santa Cruz that leads down to the Cathedral and spent a few hours with the locals that night sampling the delights of tapas and local wines and then continued our wanderings of the street at night which was both vibrant and very safe.

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Day two and off we went , first down to the Avenue de Hercules, via the wonderful sail covered shopping streets that provide much needed shade and along the way we found a flamenco school that was very authentic and booked a show that night and also some Turkish baths where we planned to spend half a day tomorrow

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There were lots of beautiful building with the classic internal courtyards that hark back to roman times and all with central fountains and covered porticos

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That afternoon we ventured over to the Plaza De Espana, an amazing International exhibition site from that highlighted The Americas and the world that the Spanish conquered all those centuries ago. The mosaics and the tile work were stunning and very much a blend of spanish and Morrish influences.

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adjoining the gardens of the Exhibition and outside the walls of the Alcazar are the gardens commemorating Christopher Columbus and his discoveries as his voyages were financed by Queen Isabella who at the time had her capital in Seville. And this monument below was erected in his honour.

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Many of the structures built in the past 500 years still display the unique Morrish designs and the Hospital Venerables is a stunning example

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One of the oldest remaining Morrish buildings still in original 13th century condition is the  CasaDe Pilatos with its pure style straight out of Islamic influence it was the home to a very wealthy family and remained so for a very long time without any changes to it at all.

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Probably the greatest highlight of Seville is the Real Alcazar and its amazing gardens, something that cannot be missed. it looks and feels just like a Morrish Alcazar but it is in fact a Spanish Royal household and still is the home of the current king. built in the Morrish style that was perfect for the climate it has been maintained in original condition for over 700 years.

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The Tapas bars of Seville will delight with their variety and style and we did not have a bad experience in any.

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This type of design was in every building in Seville, even at our hotel where the rabbit warren of inter-connecting buildings was fabulous discovering every day.

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