Strike Up The Band
Sevilla Travel Blog› entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
Again woke up with relatively little problem (for me) and was on the go at 10 o'clock again. A short stroll down the lanes and I was once more at the back of the cathedral and at the Real Alcazar. This time though when I went round the corner the enterance was deserted and I went to take a look and found that it was open, and so paid my €7-50 enterance fee and went in. Wasn't really that sure of what to expect, and with it costing so little to get in had revised my expectations downwards. Was impressed with the the garden and courtyard on entry, not greatly but it was nice.
The Ral Alcazar though is an amazing place as you just keep going from one little bit into another, unable to see what is coming next and it just keeps opening up.
This then leads onto another room with tiled features and off it is a room with a high glass atrium that lets the light shine down the three floors. An about turn and going right and I found mself out in another open yard with a decorated wall with the bust of someone in it. To the left is a little raised pond that had some ducks splashing about in it.
You the realise that there are a whole series of gardens to explore, with many interesting buildings, water features, a little maze. You can walk up and across The Grotto Gallery and down to the Mercury Pool, where there is a little statue in the middle with the water cascading out of a pipe near the top of the building. All the time I had been walking around out in the gardens I had been hearing the sounds of drums and occasionaly some music and it carried on as I walked the whole way down through the tree lined paths of the Jardin Del Chorron, and round into the Poets Garden.
Back out of the Real Alcazar, and still not even 0.5km from my starting point at the hotel, I followed the sound of the noise and went down by the side of the cathedral to find the Avenida De La Constitucion packed on both sides with a narrow gap down the middle where the tram tracks were, and could hear the sound of an approaching band. Was right at the tram stop and worked out the notice on the electronic board was saying that the trams were suspended for the day for the Musical Band Procession.
The bands just kept coming one after the other, all led with some religious banner, but various different uniforms, ranging from what looked like almost military to one lot dressed rather comically as Roman centurions. I moved up and down and across from side to side of the road for about an hour and a half watching and listening to the bands. The music was brilliant and the noise was incredible, especially as most seemed to go for it big style in front of the cathedral where the raod was more enclosed and seemed to amplify the sound.
After enjoying that for ages I thought I would head off and have a look for something else and headed for El Arenal, which wasn't really that interesting, except for a shop I found that sold flags for about every province of Spain and the national flags of about half the world.
Headed back up and round the back of the cathedral and found that flowers had been added to the statue of Mary there. Had an attempt at meandering through the Barrio Santa Cruz, but soon found myself out the other end and so cut through the park there and headed back down towards the Puerta Jerez. Here I found ,in the Jardin De Murilla, where the bands were mustering before marching down the Avenida De La Constitucion. As they exited the park they would halt and play a whole tune before being called forward by marshalls and setting off to march along to the Plaza Nueva. Spent another good while watching before heading off down to the Maria Luisa Park, which was back down next to the Plaza Espana.
It is so well set out with paths to walk and a series of roads for the horse and carts and the four seater bikes you can hire.
Didn't seem much at first, and I think I stuck to much to the outside, and found myself at another exit gate as I'd seen a fountain there. But the further down you went the more spectacular it got. Lovely shaded areas with water features and statues and monuments. What I really liked was the Frog Fountain and the Lion Fountain. They were both down closer to the Plaza De America where you will find the Archaelogical Museum , the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Royal Pavillion. Headed back up and cut out at the gate to go and visit the Plaza Espana again as the light now was better than when I had gone to see it yesterday. Think it looked even better with the sun shining brightly on it and spent a while taking pictures of the various representations of Spain.
Back to the Puerta Jerez, and down a wee side street, Santander, as while looking before I left one site had mentioned the Silver Tower. Area round about it had the road being dug up and it didn't look much from the street barely sticking up above the houses and you had to go into a security controlled car park, which I just brass necked vaguely looking at my map, but it still wasn't that much to look at. Then went round to El Postigo and the arch there and walked through the back streets and back out at the Puerta Nueva.
All during this, since I had been about to leave the Real Alcazar, I had been in touch with my mate who was heading out to join up. He however had not been able to get the train, as it had been fully booked, and had to go and find the bus terminal and get to Sevilla that way, so I had been keeping up with his progress during the day, so decided I still had time and could push on to see some more .
Headed up to the Plaza Del Salvador, where the red coloured church was highlighted by the setting sun and thought I would keep heading out and see the Alemeda De Hercules. Here were a couple of pillars, with what looked like Hercules, then a spray fountain, before I came to some market stalls and it ended with two more pillars that were topped by lions. By now it was getting dark and decided it would be a good time to get back down by the river and see the Torre Del Oro lit up.
Hit the riverbank just bere the Plaza De Armas, and with the light coming out from the centre now, instead of shining on it, noticed a plane hanging from the ceiling and decided to walk through it. For all it was glass and shiny it wasn't that exciting inside with a cinema and a MacDonalds, so I kept on walking .
Headed up and found a bar P. Flahertys, right beside the cathedral,where a crowd of Bears were gathered outside having a few beers and decided to go in. Sent a text of where I would be. Ended up meeting a few folk in there I knew and Tommy phoned for directions for the taxi. One of the folk I met it took me a bit to work out as I was floundering for a while. Got it when she mentioned her twins were at school with my son :-O She was over working for the Rangers Travel Club as a translator.