Friday, 26 January 2018

 Seville, Spain (Hilton Garden Inn)

This morning I discovered that the breakfast here is perhaps a little better than most of the Hilton’s where I’ve stayed because of the variety available. Always a challenge when offered a buffet breakfast is to find everything you need. In this case, I couldn’t find the butter, but eventually found it by the cold cuts. I think, if I’m not mistaken, that all Hilton’s base their breakfast on at traditional English breakfast and sometimes offer stewed tomatoes, mushrooms, cold cuts of various meats, and sausages. I generally have scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and finish with a bowl of cereal. A hearty breakfast, but it usually carries me until dinner.

The hotel offers a shuttle into the city center, about 5 miles away, free to hotel guests. This Hilton is the only one in Seville and not located in the city center, but with the shuttle it doesn’t seem that far away. Definitely no street noise at this hotel. The 11:45 shuttle took us to a location that is central to many of the attractions in Seville. I had no idea what I wanted to see when we arrived so I walked along the Guadalquivir River towards some modern buildings (as seen from the hotel shuttle) that I discovered were from the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992. The one tall tower near the river caught my eye and so that was my destination.

As I walked down by the river towards the tower I passed through a city market, which wasn’t large but offered a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables and meats. A short distance away down the river path I started to see some buildings which looked like they might be part of the 1992 Expo. But there was a fence around a park like area and soon I reached a dead end along the river, so I retraced my steps until I found away around the fencing to the tower.

Seville Market Near River

Monument Found at End of a Seville Bridge

As I approached the tower by the river, I tried to look up online how to get to the top. The website looked a little out-of-date so I asked around until I found a ticket office. I was surprised that more people were not taking advantage of riding to the top of this 50 meter (164 feet) tower along the river. The weather was clear and a terrific 360 degree view of Seville.

Seville’s Navigation Tower (Torre Mirador or Torre Schindler)

View of Seville from Navigation Tower

On the way up to the top of the tower, I met a couple from The Netherlands (they said “Holland”) and we talked until the elevator let us out at the top of the tower. What a great view in every direction! After taking a few pictures I looked around for a little longer and was ready to go down.

As I purchased the ticket for the tower, for 1.90 Euro more, I was given a pass to walk around the the permanent exhibit of “Seville and the Navigation of the Atlantic”. Magellan started his world voyage from Seville. I was most interested in the sea of lights that creatively depicted waves rolling in various directions with the aid of small lights on hundreds, if not thousands, of skinny poles set at various heights. The remainder of the exhibit displayed the evolution of ships that would have sailed from Seville.

Video of Lights: Click Here

I could have walked back along the river, but saw a street that would take me from the tower to my starting point earlier. I had seen a tour boat earlier taking passengers on a tour of the river and thought that would be interesting. It looked like the tour started on the other side of the bridge from where I was earlier.

The boat tour was 16 Euros, which I thought was a good deal. Sit and relax while listening to a tour of the bridges and sites along the river. Not quite as fun as riding a Segway, but it was good to sit down and enjoy the ride. Three bridges were built in anticipation of the 1992 Expo and one in particular is the longest bridge built with supports only from each end.

Tour Boat

View from Boat 

Interesting Homes Along River (Think I could live in one of these.)

Bridges over Guadalquiver River

After the boat tour I took another walk down one of the main central streets of Seville before the shuttle was scheduled to meet to pick us up at 4:30. When the shuttle arrived I was given the passenger seat and a couple from northern England were in the seat behind me and the driver. We had a great discussion about visiting countries and towns and they seemed to be interested in my travels.

Today was a full five hours of walking around and found that I walked almost 15,000 steps. Of course I took a nap when I got back to my room. By the time I woke it was dark and I ordered a Waldorf salad from room service. A slight variation of a Waldorf that I’m used to, but it was very good.

Tomorrow I’m planning to visit St. Mary of the Sea, or the Seville Cathedral. It is one of the largest cathedrals in the world with only St. Paul’s in Vatican City and another in Brazil.






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