Friday, 19 February 2016

Friday 19 February – Doñana and Seville

Where’s Colin? He’s in the motorhome Aire area of a large car park right by the centre of Seville, at N37º22’21”, W5º59’40”, at a cost of €15 per day, including electricity.

The SatNav starred again this morning, taking us on a route out of Sanlúcar that had us breathing in (we wouldn’t have believed that we could squeeze past the parked cars in one street if another van of Colin’s size hadn’t preceded us; as it was we cleared those cars with just inches to spare) and cursing its attempts to lure us the wrong way down one-way streets. Added to that roads with low speed limits and some of the most brutal types of raised crossings* and it took us longer than anticipated to cover the 10km to the bit of Doñana national park which sits on the south side of the river.

After waiting out the rain, a 3-mile circuit was taken which was perfectly pleasant, through sandy-floored pine forest, but was disappointing for not giving a better taster of what the rest of the park might be like (at least, I assume from what I’ve read that it wasn’t representative).

Seville was our next objective and within five minutes of finishing our walk, we were off. It’s a place that was only tentatively on our agenda, as I wasn’t sure if we would be better leaving it for another time. However, in part thanks to the sudden realisation that with this being a leap year we have one more day available to us than I’d thought, we have time in hand so we thought we may as well come here as not. Based on just one afternoon’s wanderings, I’m glad we did.

My research on possible night-stops presented us with three contenders here. The one used by all of the motorhome bloggers who I follow is 8km from the city, but has good facilities and is right on a bus route. Another option, also included in the ‘All the Aires’ guide, is about a mile from the city, but the reviews on Park4Night weren’t promising. Then there was the place within a five minute walk of the centre, which isn’t yet in the Aires guide, but which had lots of good reviews. We decided to aim for convenience and look at the latter first. I should perhaps reserve judgement until we’ve spent the night here, but we’re at the back of a large, secure car park, right on the river bank, and we have an electricity and water point in our space. The Plaza de Espana is just across the river from us (a five minute walk). And the price for this serviced city centre parking spot? €15 per 24 hours. Not bad I’d say … unless it proves really noisy overnight (I say whilst listening to what sounds very much like a marching band just across the water).

Colin’s sitting behind the reeds on the right-side of this shot.

It was approaching 3pm before we were lunched and ready to explore, but we had a very enjoyable 3 hours in this city which immediately appealed to both of us. By luck more than by design, the first place where we found ourselves was at the Plaza de Espana. I’ve managed to flatten it out in this panoramic shot, but hopefully it gives an impression of the magnificent semi-circular building which was built for the Spanish Americas Fair (1929?):

As the cathedral closes at 5pm, we’ve left our visit there for the morning, but we did walk past it as we made our way to the Museo de Bellas Artes. What a place the gallery is! Even ignoring the artwork, the building itself is worth a visit, being a former convent. Room 5, pictured below, is the former chapel:

And there were some impressive ceilings elsewhere in the place too:

Not to mention a number of courtyards:

The fourteen rooms of work of Spanish artists, spanning from the fifteenth century to the twentieth, was a bit heavy on Renaissancey stuff for my liking, but was most definitely worth the investment of a couple of hours of time.

The day was cooling down by the time we emerged back onto the street, but the skies had also largely cleared, making it a fine evening for a stroll along the riverside:

(*Spain does like to raise some of its zebra crossings up to pavement level, even if those pavements are on the high side, giving brutal speed-humps (often scarred with grounding marks) Some places colour the non-white sections of the crossing in red or blue to highlight that there’s a hump in the road, but many don’t. It’s a miracle that we haven’t yet accidentally hit one at an inappropriate speed (i.e. greater than 10mph).)

No comments:

Post a Comment