At 11am on Tuesday morning we left Madrid to travel to Seville by train.First class travel on this particular train was rather like travelling by air. To our surprise an attendant appeared at regular intervals offering a choice of fruit juices and water and around 12.30pm we were served a delicious light lunch. All of this was included in the price of the ticket which cost less than a standard class ticket from Sheffield to London! By mid afternoon we were installed in our small boutique hotel and were ready to start exploring. Seville is the capital city of Andalusia and lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. It's a very ancient city being founded originally by the Roman general Scipio. The Moors were here from 711AD to 1248AD and there is still a very strong Moorish influence in many areas. During the 16th and 17th centuries after the discovery of the Americas Seville was one of the most important ports in Spain. The photograph shows the river and the Torre del Oro - the Tower of Gold. This was built in the 13th century as a military watch tower to control access to Seville from the river. It's possible to go into the tower but sadly it was closed for some reason that day.
In the area outside the cathedral there were several horses and carriages available for hire and we decided that a ride in one of these would be a good way to get our bearings and get an idea of what there was to see in the city.
The drive took about an hour and was very pleasant as quite a lot of it was in the shade of trees in the Maria Luisa Park which was one of the places we decided to return to as was the Plaza de Espana. Above is our trusty steed with his carriage which was actually surprisingly comfortable. He must have nerves of steel as he coped with heavy traffic and a busy roundabout without turning a hair. He was certainly more relaxed about the roundabout than I was!
You can go inside the central part of the building which overlooks the fountain in the centre of the courtyard.