We got in the car to drive to Sevilla, and were sad because the GPS said it would be a three-hour journey. About halfway through, we learned that Spain is an hour ahead of Portugal. So not too bad! We found our hotel (finally – Yen wrote down the address of the hotel that I originally planned to book, and hilarity ensured), and somehow Yen managed to maneuver our rental into a tight spot surrounded by posts. I wish I’d been there to see it.
Linus and Mina approved of the hotel, and particularly the shower. They spent most of the evening in there, carrying artifacts in and out, and pretending to have a picnic.
We had a long but delicious lunch at Ivantxu Espacio Bistronómico. Grandpa admitted that it was possibly the best steak he’s every had, but we also talked about spending a little less time sitting in restaurants like locals, and more time sight-seeing. The kids were in agreement with that approach. Anyway, then we set off across the river for a walk. Here’s my little man-about-town strolling around like he owns the place.
We stayed at the Monte Carmelo Hotel, which I highly recommend. Very modern and quiet, but in a great location. It’s across the river from most of the tourist stuff, but it’s such a short (and nice) walk, so well worth the savings.
We are rather irresponsible parents: Linus got ice cream almost every day on vacation. Mina too, technically, although she hasn’t got a sweet tooth. She generally has a couple of bites and moves on.
I think we should travel at Christmas all the time. It’s so nice to see all of the decorations and lights. Everywhere we went, there were huge Christmas trees like this constructed of lights. Most have corridors inside so you can walk into the middle.
Here’s University of Sevilla. Maybe one day Linus will go there?
I tried hard to get a nice photo of Yen and Mina, but she wanted nothing to do with it.
The kids’ tour of fountains continued. Sevilla did not disappoint!
Mina was pretty shocked that birds were inside the building. I guess she didn’t notice the open roof. She kept yelling, “Chickadee!”
This is not an attack but a hug.
Did your university have a hallway like this?
Also great about Christmastime: Christmas markets and festivals. We stumbled across this one on the way to the Plaza.
We decided to go up, but the operator said Mina was too short. We are that little speck you can see next to the carousel.
I accidentally bought two tickets for the carousel (I thought I needed one, but it turns out that chaperones are free). Luckily the ferris wheel ride ended early and Linus was able to join us. The operator gave them huge balloons to take home. Which means we had to walk the streets of Sevilla with giant balloons for the rest of the evening.
We finally made it to the Plaza de España. Last time, Yen and I spent an awful lot of time here looking at each of the regional ceramics. This time we only stayed for a moment. Too bad.
Of course our visit revolved around the fountain, which is spectacular.
After we returned to the hotel and had a little dinner, we decided to take a walk. We discovered that our hotel is was a block from a big pedestrian-only street full of shops and Christmas lights.
We started the day with a little breakfast outside. Here’s Mina telling Grandma what she’d like.
Then we headed over to the Alcázar.
I’ve learned from Yen: always look up. There is probably something interesting up there that others won’t notice.
I let Yen roam on his own and took the kids out to the garden.
Mina found a peacock (which is her new favorite animal) being followed by a duck.
The kids loved this particular fountain. Tiny spouts perfect for stopping with little fingers!
Kind of a crazy mugshot?
After the Alcazar, we moved on to the cathedral next door.
We didn’t spend much time inside. Linus kept insisting that it was “a little bit scary,” and we also wanted to get on the road and on to our next destination. We did stop to see Christopher Columbus’s tomb, though.
And we climbed one of the towers. Instead of stairs, you climb 37 ramps. It was quite a job, but the kids really rose to the occasion.
And here’s the payoff. The rest of the cathedral is in the foreground. If you look slightly up and left, you can see the Alcazar.
About this time, Linus became really interested in bells. He doesn’t like it when they ring, but he likes to see how they work.
And with that, we grabbed a little food and got into the car for the drive to Marbella.