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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Metropol Parasol, Seville

OK - I have vented my anger at the travel company and I am feeling a bit better. I want to share some of the really good sights we saw in Andalusia, starting with this, the Metropol Parasol in Seville.

The guide told us the locals called this building "The Mushrooms". It is a public space and a small food market. When B and I saw it, we stood looking up, mouth open, both saying "wow" and "fantastic". We know that not everyone on the coach trip agreed with us, we could hear the murmured grumblings, but we thought this was very bold and brave of the city authority to erect this very contemporary building.

These are postcards from the gift shop.

These are our photos.

Street level

Take the lift, step into one of the domes

Rooftop walkway

I liked this so much I bought the mug

Monday, 28 September 2015

Trip to Andalusia

We're back, safe and sound, from our coach trip to the cities of Andalusia. B has returned to work this morning, I am at home catching up on the e-backlog and sorting out the two bags of washing.

For the most part the trip went well except for a major disappointment. The flights were on time, the coach was comfortable, a good driver and a very good guide. We stayed in three hotels, one of which was decidedly tired but that was only for one night, at the third hotel we changed rooms as the first room really stank of stale cigarette smoke. Also, we now know not to eat the evening buffet meals at Spanish hotels, the quality of the food was very poor. On the other hand, eating at bars, tapas style, or at restaurants was very good.

A few photos, first, from Ronda.

Next, Seville

Then Cordoba

Finally, Granada

"What was the major disappointment?" I hear you say. Well... the last day was to be a visit to the Alhambra. This was to be in two parts, visit the Alhambra Palaces, then visit the gardens. This should have been the highlight of the trip and the visit we were really excited about. However, on day two of our trip, the guide announced that the gardens visit would proceed as planned, but the Palaces trip would be the night before, at 10.30.....10 ******* 30 AT NIGHT... and there was nothing to be done about this, the times are allocated by the Palaces' staff to cope with the numbers of visitors but not to worry, the site is floodlit and is a magnificent experience. (Floodlight my a**e) When we got there it was almost pitch black, the so-called floodlighting seemed to be a dozen 40 watt light bulbs. At some places, I could hardly see my feet, never mind the buildings. It was too dark to take photos, the palaces are too big for camera flash equipment. We really are so very disappointed and angry. We were not told by the tour operator that we may have to make a the night visit, I would not have booked the holiday if I thought there was a chance we would not see the Palaces properly. So I'm complaining to the tour operator (a probable waste of time) and I am removing Riviera Travel from my list of good companies to buy from. Never again.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Spain tomorrow

Hello, bonjour. I've not had much to say of late so, following my gran's advice (if tha's nowt for t'say, say nowt) I have been quiet for a few days.

Tomorrow we fly to Spain for a tour of the main Moorish sites in Andalusia. Seville, Cordoba, Granada. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

"45 Years"

Sunday afternoon trip to Cityscreen cinema in York and what a disappointment. "45 Years" has received very good reviews, many 5 stars. We found it to be dull and lacklustre, obviously two fantastic performances but the film seemed very long and tedious. Maybe we missed something.