Tuesday, 10 September 2013

SEVILLE; day two

After a much needed sleep and a lovely lie in, we decided it was time to get up and head off in search of breakfast. Luckily we were on a 'bed and breakfast' deal with our hotel so didn't have to wander far to find something to eat (only round the corner from our room actually...). Once you open the mirrored doors you find yourself in what can only be described as a very bright and very European room. Both mornings it was rather empty which meant it was peaceful and we could easily pick and choose what we wanted to eat. The offerings were also very European but I stuck to some simple British toast (you can take the girl out of England but you can't take England out of the girl!).

After fueling ourselves for the day we decided that we were going to go and do some typical touristy things. The top of our agenda was to go and tour the cathedral. However, due to our lack of time, we didn't have time to wait in the queue as by the time we'd have got in, we'd barely have had time to enjoy ourselves and look around. Instead, we decided to take Kelly's (the bride) advice and have a look around the Alcazar.

The Real Alcazar de Sevilla (or Royal Alcazar) was built during the tenth century over the remains of an Islamic quarter. It is a home for art, history and culture and all the styles of Europe have been used in its creation. The main building is in fact a palace and I believe, still in use today. Inside is a whole host of rooms for you to explore. As you move into one, there is another exit into yet another - it is very easy to get lost in there! I think it would possibly take hours to go through each and every room but unfortunately we didn't have time so just had a quick wander.

However, it's not only the building and it's rooms that are beautiful, but the gardens too. Surrounding the Alcazar are over 10 different types of gardens to look around and explore. Unfortunately, again due to lack of time, I didn't really get a chance to look around the gardens, only some of the courtyards. My dad, on the other hand, spent the rest of the day there whilst my mum and I were at the spa and he said they were absolutely gorgeous (i guess this means i'll just have to go back to Seville and spend a whole day discovering all the different gardens...).

After a really lovely morning visiting the Alacazar and its gardens, my mum and I headed back to the hotel to get ready for an afternoon at the spa. This was to be for only the bride and the women of the wedding and a chance for Kelly (the bride) to finally relax after her stressful past few months organising her big day. The spa we went to is one that I also believe to be quite well known - Aire de Sevilla. When you first go into the spa, you climb into the huge main pool that is at the perfect temperature. And next to the main pool is both a hot (boiling!) pool and a cold (freezing!) pool. Now what you're supposed to do is spend 5 minutes in the hot one and then move straight into the cold one. It's a very strange feeling but it makes you feel amazing as it's so good for your skin. After spending some time in the pool, you can then head either into the steam room or the hydro pool (which is basically like a high powered jacuzzi). I couldn't handle the steam room but the hydro pool was lovely. Once you've had enough in these two rooms, you can then head downstairs into the salt pool. I have to say, this was the most relaxing place and the majority of us very nearly fell asleep in there! When you've finished in that pool, you can then head back up to the main pool to finish your session in full relaxation mode...

Now even if you aren't a fan of spas, I really cannot recommend visiting Aire de Sevilla if you ever visit the city. They even have a website so you can book yourself into a slot to save yourself the hassle when you arrive (link here!). To find it you have to go down some winding streets and alley ways which makes it even more special because it's not so easy for everyone to find.

After the spa, we headed back to the hotel again for a nap before getting ready to go out for some dinner. The restaurant we chose is called San Marco which has more of an Italian feel to it than Spanish but the food was just lovely. And it's surroundings were beautiful too. My parents and I waited so we could get a spot outside because we couldn't pass up on eating outside in the warmth!

By the time dinner was finished, night had fallen and we took the short walk back to our hotel past the lit up cathedral.

Before we went to sleep though, we popped up on to the roof terrace to play a game of cards. Now this roof terrace is a popular place for many locals too, not just hotel residents, and I think that's very much to do with it's views...

After a quick drink and card game, it was bed time for me, ready for the wedding the next day!

(apologies by the way for the extremely long and picture heavy post... i hope you like the pictures i took though and well done for getting this far!)

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