May 12 - Sevilla
We had the basic breakfast that our hotel provided. Because the weather forecast predicted hot temperatures in the afternoon, we decided to take Rick Steeves walking tour in the relative coolness of the morning. It was a pleasant slow-paced tour in the Barrio Santa Cruz . Here is what we saw:
The Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes, the square in front of the cathedral which is dedicated to the Virgin of the Kings.
The Nun Goodies, a convent where cloistered nuns sell local goodies on a lazy Susan to raise money.
Plaza del Triunfo, the plaza of triumph named after the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon but only rattled Sevilla.
Patio de Banderas, a one-time military parade ground for the royal guard.
Calle Agua, a walk through the Juderia arch and along the Alcazar wall with glimpses of flower-smoothered patios in private residences. It is an alley parallel to the city walls, once the route along which water was brought to the royal Alcázar of Seville and once the home of the American writer Washington Irving.
Plaza de la Santa Cruz, the heart of the barrio graced with orange trees and draping vines.
Plaza de Refinadores, with its statue of Don Juan.
Casa de Murillo, the house of one of Sevilla's famous painters (1618-1682).
Monasterio de San Jose del Carmen, where St Teresa stayed when she visited from her hometown of Avila.
Plaza de los Venerables, another candidate for the heart of the barrio oozing local ambiance.
Plaza de Dona Elvira, a small square with orange trees, tile benches and a stone fountain along with shops selling works by local artisans.
Plaza de la Alianza, home of John Fulton (1932-1998) and American painter and not-so-successful bull fighter.
Lunch was at Bodega Santa Cruz, a good tapas restaurant where we ate standing at the bar.
For dinner, we ate at Catalina Tapas Bar, the best tapas bar yet. It had very creative choices.