Just outside Sevilla at a little place called Santiponce is Itálica, the remains of an old Roman city. Over the centuries much of it was raided to build other towns and cities and so it consists mostly of foundations spread out over a very large and dusty site. The site is slowly being excavated and parts of it rebuilt ('restored') but the only major structure of note is the amphitheatre. This is pretty impressive and, while you can't go up into the seating area, you can walk into the arena and explore the corridors and entrances under the seating. But it does have some amazing mosaics to show off. While the houses and other buildings are basically only rock and brick outlines on the ground, the rooms inside have some pretty terrific mosaic floors which are in remarkable condition. Not exactly in the same league as Pompeii and Herculaneum (which the brochure compares itself to) but worth the visit.
Sevilla was again a bus ride away from the campsite at Dos Hermanos to the south. We were told to get the M132 bus. What should arrive was an M132B... Well, everyone else was getting on it, so we hopped on board. Every turn took us in the opposite direction to the signs pointing to Sevilla. We enjoyed some marvellous industrial wastelands and factories before, to our relief and some of the others on board, turning towards the city. Fortunately we were deposited at the right spot in town.
The Alcazar is the oldest palace in Europe still in use with the Spanish Royal family staying there when in Sevilla. The whole building with its varied and blended styles is simply beautiful. All the superlatives in the world could not convey a true description - and neither can my photos which all seem to fall short of the real thing. I think I liked it better than the Nasrid Palace in the Alhambra - there is certainly more of it - though that statement is not meant to imply that the Alhambra is anything short of stunning!
The Cathedral is the 3rd largest in Europe, only exceeded in size by St Peter's in Rome and St Paul's in London, and it is in fact the largest Gothic Cathedral. Everything about it is enormous: the height, the columns, the chapels, the altarpiece. The Giralda Tower was once a minaret for the mosque that was razed to build a Christian church and is now part of the Cathedral. To get to the top, you have to walk up 34 steep ramps - better than stairs admittedly but still an effort. The last 20 marble steps take you to the platform where the bells are hanging - when they ring, and they do on the hour and half-hour, it's jump-out-of-skin time! The views are pretty good though, right over the top of the Cathedral roof and into the distance in all directions. Down is easier than up...
For the home trip, we just missed our M132 bus, and so with another half-hour to wait for the next, when the M132B came along, we took that one back!