Very seldom we get, some would rather say we take, the opportunity to be a tourist in ‘our own’ country. However sometimes visiting guests, friends and family help us a bit in the right direction. Like last Sunday when Elvira arrived at Sevilla Airport. We picked her up and decided to show her Sevilla a bit. After having strolled through the city for some time I was persuaded to do the ultimate tourist thing: viewing its historical highlights by carriage….. Being at our age people no longer make fun of you when you do this, so I agreed.
I must say it was very nice, on a quiet Sunday 25C the three of us (and SAM, being a tourist attraction himself sitting in the carriage) watching the beautiful sites Sevilla has to offer. The nicest spot was without any doubt Parque de María Luisa. Located between the river and the Plaza de España, the Park is a verdant wonderland. Long shaded vistas bisect the large park, which it is important to note is highly useable but doesn’t include much turf that I noticed. Instead, paths, alleys, trellises, benches, fountains and basins populate the gardens.
Parque de María Luisa, initially part of the private gardens of Palacio de San Telmo, was donated to the city of Seville in 1893 for use as a public park. In 1911 the gardens were rearranged into their present shapes. There are tiled fountains, intimate pavilions, ponds, lush plantings of palms, orange trees and Mediterranean pines, pretty flower beds, and even a cute little man-made hill. Of course many birds, like peacocks and parakeets, have made a home there, and as befits a true park, ducks and swans live in its fountains and lakes.
Besides Plaza de España, numerous other buildings were constructed in and around the park for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, some of them quite extravagant. The largest ones, near the south end of the park, now serve as museums, being the Archaeological Museum of Seville and the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville. (Plaza de España has starred in many films; best known are ´Lawrence of Arabia´, ´Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’)
Of course we have been to Hyde Park in London, Central Park in NY and of course the Amsterdam Vondel Park but this one is certainly something different. The shady atmosphere must become almost like a oases or even a fata morgana once the temperatures in the city rise to 50C within the next month or two.