Rooftops of Seville, Spain, taken from the Cathedral tower. February 21, 2017.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Villanueva de San Juan, Spain.

Where are they going next? No idea. I think we're going to stay here for a week and do day trips.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Seville, day two...The Alcazar

Arguably the top attraction in Seville is The Alcazar (The Royal Palace). We knew there would be a lineup, and we knew it would be pricey...but we wanted to go. And, my Dad had visited The Alcazar back in 1954 and we had several photos that we wanted to try and replicate.

So, we headed over that way. We got there just after 11:30am, and stared at the lineup. Yikes. I hadn't expected that much of a lineup. In fact, it almost scared us off because we hate waiting in line with all the tourists.

But, we figured we'd give it a go and see how quickly it moved.

The lineup for The Alcazar.

While we were waiting in line, I got on the internet to check out any way to avoid the lineup. Sure enough, you could buy advance timed tickets for a €1 fee.

So, you could get reservations and avoid the line...for a small price.

Fortunately, things moved along fairly quickly and we think it was only 20 minutes or so and we were at the ticket booth. General admission was €9.50 ($13.75 CAD, $10.30 USD), with an option of another €4.50 to visit the upper chambers where the present royal family stays when they visit Seville. We chose the general admission, and were on our way in.

I had the four photos that my dad had taken downloaded onto the iPhone. So when we got inside, we familiarized ourselves with them and started looking for similar settings. One of them was just inside the gates!



I didn't get the angle quite right, despite taking six photos. It's a lot more difficult than it looks! The trees and everything are so different and I have no idea what focal length lens my Dad had used. And, I was comparing the real scene to a tiny photo on the iPhone. Anyhow, happy to have found another one of Dad's photo spots from 63 years ago. More to come further down.

Continuing on into the Palace. It's a huge grounds with a lot of different buildings dating back to the 9th century. Some of the wall decorations are so ornate. Every time we walked into a room, we'd say "Wow"! And because it's such a large place, the number of people isn't really noticeable.

The old wall.





You had to look up in each room! 
The ceilings were amazing!





Out in the gardens, we found two more of my Dad's photo spots. Again, really tough to get it exactly right because the trees have changed so much in that 63 years.

1954

2017

1954

2017

In the one just above, have a look at the pine tree in my Dad's photo, compared to that same tree (or the trunk of it!) in my photo. There are very few pine trees in the park at that spot, so we're sure it's the same tree.

Here's a few more photos of the fabulous gardens...






We  spent about three hours in The Alcazar, so I think we got pretty good value for our money. Almost wish we would have spent the extra for the upper chambers tour because my Dad had one more photo and we think it was taken from one of the upper floors and so we couldn't replicate it.

But, our touring for the day wasn't finished.

We had checked out the Plaza de Toros (bullring) the day before and found out that you could avoid the €7 fee on Mondays between 3pm and 7pm. So we headed over there to see if there were any more free tickets available. Sure enough, there was another line up...but again, we got in line to see how fast it moved.

Waiting in line for the free tickets.

Again, the line moved fairly quickly and 20 minutes later we had our free tickets for the 4:30pm tour.

The tour includes a bullfighting museum.

I have to admit, we learned a few things about bullfighting that we did not previously know. Enough that I would reconsider going to a bullfight here in Spain. Yes, the animal is put through 20 minutes or so of "torture" as part of the show.  However, the bulls that are used in Spanish bullfighting are bred specifically for the sport. And from the time they are born until they are ready for the ring in five years, they are treated like royalty. The bull is killed immediately after the bullfight, and the meat is sold to local restaurants.

Occasionally, a bull does really well and his life is saved because they want him to produce more bulls that will do really well!

But, the bullfighting season only runs from April through October, so it will have to wait for another time.





Quirky statue under the winners exit door.

Back at the RV parking, friends Bonnie and Dave had arrived. Hugs all around. We hadn't seen them since 2013 in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. Now, they've bought a German RV over here and are spending two years touring Europe. Odd that we happened to be in the same place at the same time again! Spent the evening talking about travel, and drank too much wine.

They're coming out with us to celebrate my (Kevin's ) 55th birthday this evening. Flamenco dance show, and dinner afterwards. Thanks Mom!

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32 comments:

  1. Loved Sevilla, and it was fun to enjoy seeing it again through your eyes. We likewise attended a flamenco show while there, and it is something I'll never forget - so fierce,so passionate and such skilled footwork. Hope you two enjoy it as much as we did.

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    1. We have also enjoyed Seville very much.

      You are so correct with your description on the flamenco dance, very powerful and emotional. The show was wonderful.

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  2. What a fun day exploring. And celebrate your birthday with drinking too much wine again.... and enjoy the show and dinner.

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    1. The night of too much wine wasn't his birthday, yesterday was and there wasn't too much wine drinking done last night. He still had a wonderful birthday though.

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  3. What a beautiful place to celebrate a birthday! Have a happy, happy evening, Kevin!! 🍺🎂🍷

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    1. We totally agree with you Connie and Barry, it is a beautiful place to celebrate a birthday and to be able to share it with friends as well was just the icing on the cake. :-)

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  4. I love seeing similarities between your dad's photos and your photos. The vase in the first two photos don't look like it was moved an inch. I see the same set of shrubs in the third comparison photos. Good job!
    The architecture on the Alcazar is gorgeous. What an amazing day of sightseeing!

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    1. It is really interesting to see that the scenes themselves haven't changed much just the trees, bushes and plants around them have. I don't think that vase has moved at all and yes, the bushes around that third photo have really, really grown.

      The Alcazar was fantastic both the building and the gardens!

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  5. Sorry Kevin. I met to wish you a very happy birthday. Happy birthday! Hope you enjoyed your special day.

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    1. Thank you for Kevin's birthday wishes, he definitely enjoyed his day!

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  6. Happy Birthday Kevin. I'm not sure I could watch a bull fight but I guess I have watched the bull riding at a rodeo which sometimes ends up in a bull fight. Difference is that the human generally loses those fights.

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    1. We feel the same way, part of us would like to see one just for the cultural experience but part of us doesn't because we hate to think how that poor bull would feel out there.

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  7. A great day and fabulous weather. You photo replications are excellent. Happy birthday!

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    1. We couldn't have ask for the weather to have been better. It was perfect for wandering around, nice sunny blue skies and very little wind and just the right temperature.

      Kevin says thank you very much for the birthday wishes, he had a great birthday.

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  8. I love the gardens of the palaces in Europe they are amazing! You did fairly well in recapturing your dad's photos considering the many years that have passed. Glad you could reconnect with old friends. I am always amazed how people like yourselves can do the type of traveling you do. We would love to but would not know where to start! Happy Birthday Kevin hope it is very special!

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    1. Yes, many of them have gorgeous gardens and you could spend so much time just wandering around them.

      It is sometimes a bit hard trying to get the right angle on the pictures especially when the landscaping around you has changed so much over the years.

      We have found the best place to start is to just start out small and doing something that maybe is only a little bit out of your comfort zone, then you can work up to others that are perhaps a little more out of your comfort zone because that zone will eventually grow as you get used to doing different things.

      Kevin had a wonderful birthday thank you for the wishes!

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  9. Stunning! What a great place to spend your birthday (I too will be 55 this year but not til May...so why am I not RVing in Spain? lol). Enjoy the show!

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    1. Yes, it was a wonderful place to celebrate a birthday!

      You had better pull up your socks then, in order to catch up to us. You know that you only get older not younger and it is better to do things while you are young. :-)

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  10. Happy Birthday Kevin! Hubby turns 55 in June and we will be in Santorini on our first night (I timed it that way). So beautiful- so many pretty Alcazars and cathedrals in Spain although that Palace seems grander than the one in Madrid which is much newer and larger but not nearly as adorned.

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    1. Sounds like you hubby will have a fantastic place to celebrate his 55th birthday. I am sure that he is going to love it.

      We are finding so many amazing places here in Spain. Madrid will have to wait for another visit, we will definitely not be making it that far up on this one.

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  11. Thats just how we felt after doing the Bullring tour, that it would be interesting to see a bullfight. But we wont be there either during their season. Maybe have to watch them in Mexico while the bull fighters are there Happy Birthday Kevin and enjoy the Flamenco dancing - we loved it!!

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    1. We agree it would be interesting to see, not sure we would like but it would be interesting and it is part of the culture here in Spain.

      Mexico does still have bull fights but I don't think they have very many anymore. We saw a nice bull ring and people practicing when we were in Aguascalientes back in March 2011.

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  12. Kevin, I didn't post of FB yet so I'll wish you happy birthday here. I know it's a good one and I'm sure if you not going out for dinner my friend Ruth will whip up something super duper good! Enjoy your day, or I hope you enjoyed it and I wish many many more. Keep on traveling.

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    1. Kevin says thank you for the birthday wishes Chris. I got a night off cooking and we had some tapas and a drink out with our friends Bonnie and Dave which was really nice. He said he had a fantastic day and the flamenco dance and music finished the evening off nicely.

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  13. Happy birthday, Kevin! You had a great day for it. And if one can't drink a bit too much wine on one's 55th, when the heck can you do that? ;-) I'm coming up on my 56th in April but enjoying the last few months of being 55!

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    1. Kevin said to say thank you for the birthday wishes Emily. The little too much wine was actually the night before his birthday so he was just practicing for the real day! ;-) He did have a great day yesterday though.

      It's amazing how fast the time goes by, isn't it?! Enjoy those last couple of months, although when you move up to 56 I am sure things really won't change that much.

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  14. It's difficult to find words to describe how amazing the palace is. I am in awe of how they created such intricate beauty so long ago. Happy Birthday! You share the exact same birthday (date and year) as my sister! My sister wasn't too thrilled about turning 55 today so I told her that she now has "senior" discounts to look forward to!

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    1. That is exactly what we thought too! We were just overwhelmed at how gorgeous this place was and all the intricate work that went into it. And, then had to try and figure out how they could even make something this beautiful way back then but they did and it has really stood up to the test of time. I am sure lots of work has gone into keeping it looking this way over all those years, however it is still amazing to think about.

      How cool! I hope your sister had a great birthday yesterday as well.

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  15. That would've been my comment, too. "Wow!"
    Fun to compare the old photos with today's.
    What a wonderful palace.

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    1. I think we lost track of how many times we said "wow" as we walked through the palace. It was gorgeous. We can't for the lie of us figure out how they built something like this so many years ago.

      It was fun trying to replicate Kevin's dad's photos. Other than the greenery (tress, bushes and plants) not much has really changed.

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  16. Reminds me of the Alhambra very much!

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    1. We haven't been there yet but will hopefully go there on our way back in a few weeks time. Kevin's dad had a few pictures from there too!

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