Heavy, heavy fog this morning (zero visibility for quite awhile) delayed our docking for over an hour. That made our trip in Sevilla more rushed than was comfortable but we managed to see everything planned. Sevilla is about a 1 1/2 hour bus ride from Cadiz. Cadiz reportedly is the oldest city in Europe and is a busy port for cruise and container vessels. Columbus sailed from here and from Sevilla several times. Sevilla is a big city but our tour concentrated on the old section and narrow streets prevented cars and buses so there was much walking. The Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. It was originally built as a Muslim mosque in the 1100s, during the time the Muslims ruled a good portion of this part of Europe. In 1248, after the “reconquest” of Spain by Ferdinand III, the mosque was consecrated as a cathedral. During intervening years there has been much construction and the last significant changes were 1825-1928. Very elaborate art work, statues, windows, chapels,altars, etc. Columbus’ remains are interred here (picture) but despite the fancy tomb there is only a small urn to remember him by.
We then walked through the Real Alcazar, a large royal residence of long ago and used by rulers of various faiths and country of origin so the designs are varied and different as you walk through. Mosaic tile in the oldest portions (Arabic/Muslim influence) is beautiful, as are the gardens.
We had time for lunch on our own and then the bus ride back to the ship. I shared lunch with two friends at a place called Mama Bistro and we had a strawberry salad, prosciutto, and then strawberry gazpacho for dessert. As we have observed all week, there are thousands of tourists due to Holy Week vacation time. Tomorrow after the traditional Easter service the first bullfight of the season happens. Another reason to bring tourists here! The land area reminds me of Illinois because it is relatively flat with corn fields and wheat and other crops beginning to come up. I saw irrigation channels as well as above-ground, horse drawn wagons and a few trucks but no tractors today, and there was a large section of wind farm.