Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We're in Sevilla and a Lovely Tour through Gardens

Yes! We're back in Sevilla, palm trees and tile works

Firstly, apologize for not posting in a more timely manner. We've had some glitches around our accommodations but are working through them which takes time on our part, I won't bore you with the details.

Flight from Frankfurt to Sevilla was a bit difficult, two people had cat allergies, that's never happened before so we had to relocate seats and in Madrid there were no attendants to get us to the gate so I grabbed a wheelchair and hoofed it as fast as possible to the furthest gate in the terminal but we made it!

We went to our past watering hole/bodega to see Alonzo, Manolo and Freddy. Freddy has gone to Bolivia! Manolo welcomed us, but Alonzo was ecstatic to see us, kept saying I’m so happy you are here, this is your home (casa) you are my friends, gave us hugs and Spanish kisses. What a guy! We had tapas, of course, really felt like home the flavours were wonderful! Being Sunday there were lots of people, families with their children dressed the same, girls with bows in their hair and dresses, boys with shorts, many dogs of course. It was a pleasant cacophony of sound and movement on a sunny, warm day. Lovely to be back in Sevilla again for the colours, the friends, the warmth, well, just everything I suppose. 

Ivan took us to his neighbourhood, which is Castilleja de Guzman, showed us his home which is lovely and we went to lunch at a rather trendy looking place called Momentos. Family run operation, the food was excellent and we ate under lemon and orange trees.

You know who these blokes are.
Ivan's friends, three fellows, one a banker/real estate person and two others bought a former ceramics factory in Triana and we saw it today, all the way up to the (European) second floor on both sides, factory and flats. Very rough, an investment for them. The ceramics studio looked like the people had left work one day and just not returned, moulds of Sevilla life, example a flamenco dancer, and drawings, just beautiful even in raw form! The flats are rough, will take some renovation to get them livable but they would be good as smallish residences. Prior to the meeting we took the opportunity being in Triana and close to the large market there to get Bruce a plate of oysters and I had my first this year Cruzcampo, beer that is locally brewed. A good day and very interesting to see the factory!

We are getting reacquainted with the neighbourhood and local people in it and it’s lovely! 

Ivan took Ryan, Angela and ourselves back out to his town Castilleja de Guzman to the palace gardens there. The site is named Colegio Mayor Santa Maria del Buen Aire. Owned by the City of Sevilla and formerly used as a college but closed now.

Roses don't smell but are beautiful.

 The grounds are viewable only by appointment with a guide. This is from the University website, which they haven’t updated. If interested look up Jean-Claude Forestier, he designed many famous gardens and true to his name. http://www.universityrooms.com/en/city/Seville/college/sevcmsanmarbuenaire


The Santa María del Buen Aire gardens, designed by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, a famous landscape architect, were built in 1929 as an addition to the former palace which now houses the residence. In 2004 the Andalusian government declared them a natural heritage site.

These gardens are not just two hectares of plants, pergolas, fountains and balconies, but are also of great architectural interest in terms of landscaping. These gardens offer a wonderful natural surrounding for both studying and relaxing, as well as great views over the whole of Seville."

Our guide was really great, she spoke slowly in Spanish and either Ivan or Ryan translated for me, Bruce understood most of the presentation. It was about an hour of walking through the garden on moss covered pathways. The gardens have not been maintained well but retain a stately beauty on three levels. As we wound our way around our guide explained the history, showed us drawings and pictures and explained about the plants and trees. The site is on a hillside that overlooks the City of Sevilla and the hills of olive trees between. 

Darn it!!

Vandals had gotten in on the weekend and destroyed large planters in an area around what was a fountain. Why?!! This is “fun”? The unfortunate fact is that the planters will not likely be restored.

After the tour we had a relaxing lunch at Momentos under the orange and lemon trees. Great day!

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

1 comment:

  1. I was in Sevilla once, I fell in love with the life there. Had I not had a ticket to Ecuador I would have stayed there and become a flamenco dancer for sure! I love your blog Bev, travelling vicariously through you :)