It is the first day of September and the temperatures have already fallen to a bearable degree particularly in Sevilla which from late 40′s have fallen to early 30′s centigrade. While Lucy and Leo is returning to UK I take our special guest my brother Ali and his Japanese wife Chiba to Sevilla, a 4 hour drive from our Cortijos Rey Fini.
After a short visit to Alhambra’s gardens in Granada we continue our way to Sevilla one of my favourite cities in Europe.
We arrive late to our pre-booked hotel Petit palace Canelaja. The recently modernized hotel is just on the edge of the old city and after getting lost for an hour or so we finally back our car into one way system close to the hotel.
After a petit super of Tapaz and wine we resigned for the night into our bedrooms knowing that we have a long day ahead of us.
In the morning after a very nice breakfast of fruit and food we wondered to the old city. Though it is 9 am the city yet to wake up to the arrival of the three adventurous and curious travellers from the three corners of the world.
Though I have been there various times particularly for my music business as part of WOMEX as well as being part of 1992 expo in Sevilla I still knew very little about this city and the one thing I was sure is that I love the city, its fascinating history, its architecture and of course hot delicious paellas served under orange blossoms in the old part… and not to mention the capital of Flamenco of the world !
According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors. The high point in its history was following the discovery of America in 1492.
Sevilla lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir and is one of the largest historical centres in Europe, it has the minaret of La Giralda, the cathedral (one of the largest in Christendom), and the Alcázar Palace. Part of its treasure include Casa de Pilatos, Torre del Oro, the Town Hall, Archive of the Indies (where the historical records of the American continent are kept), the Fine Arts Museum (the second largest picture gallery in Spain) , plus convents, parish churches and palaces.
Seville was taken by the Moors, Muslims from the North of Africa, during the conquest of Hispalis in 712. It was the capital for the kings of theUmayyad Caliphate, the Almoravid dynasty first and after the Almohad dynasty (from Arabic الموحدون al-Muwahhidun, i.e., “the monotheists” or “the Unitarians”), from the 8th to 13th centuries.
The Moorish urban influences continued and are present in contemporary Seville, for instance in the custom of decorating with herbaje and small fountains the courtyards of the houses. However, most buildings of the Moorish aesthetic actually belong to the Mudéjar style of Islamic art, developed under Christian rule inspired the Arabic style. Original Moorish buildings are the Patio del Yeso in the Alcázar, the city walls, and the main section of the Giralda, bell tower of the Seville Cathedral.
The first day we did what I had never done in my life , we took the tourist bus around the city. Soon we found out that it was wrong way to see the city as the buses cannot go anywhere in the middle and go around the city. With the hot sun shining on our sculls we decided to cut our losses and jumped off the double Decker open top bus and continues what I consider the best transport in the world , Bus number 11 ie on foot.We strolled through alley ways, peeping into all tapaz bars planning more our lunch than sightseeing. We went around cathedral , then through Alcazar palace and then I spent much time in its gardens and what a delight it is. Elegant , peaceful , Islamic and matured trees of date palms and others reaching towards the sky , giving a feeling of infinity. The sound of water running from different parts and of course the orange orchard and the small of jasmine…
Eventually we left towards the Jewish Christian and muslin curators with their fascinating architecture Narran alley ways acting like threat in a fine piece of textile connecting all together, a reminder that yes as human beings Jewish, Muslims and Christians can live side by side and happily if and only the politician and other like sacrifice their self- inters and think of the masses and then what a delightful world it will be! once again….
Our evening was spent below blue sky with delicious sea food and white wine and the following day much of the time was spend in the Archive of the Indies. Rather disappointing here even though it has recognition by the world heritage. There is very little information of what they di to the Indians, massacred millions by their swords and killed as much as 3 million by their diseases that brought with them, robbed their gold, destroyed their culture and now how the heart to stand arrogantly on the top of Incas, Mayas and other cultures graves and be proud of their past…once again a reminder of what the ugly world sometime we live in….!!