Seville and Cordoba Holiday 2017

Continuing on from last weeks blog on Seville; I have a few more pictures to share with you. We went for a day trip to Cordoba, where you can see the famous Cordoba Mezquita or  Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Just as it sounds, in a beautiful grand Mosque a Reanaissance Cathedral nave was literally built into the middle of the Mosque in the 16th century. King Charles V of Castille and Aragon, who gave permission for the Cathedral nave to be built, reportedly said on visiting “”they have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city.” As I do not have a fancy camera I could not take very good pictures inside the Mezquita, but I urge you to take a look at this collection of images here.

In Cordoba we also visited the ‘Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos’ or Palace of the Christian Monarchs. This fortress was one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. This palace is much smaller than the one in Seville; but it is still worth visiting and has beautiful gardens.

Back in Seville, one of the most modern structures we visited was the Metropol Parasol, it claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It consists of six giant parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, which have a sky-walk and viewing platform atop; the underground levels house a small museum of Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site. The space underneath the parasols can be used for public events. I really liked the organic shape of this structure which offers (via a lift) very fine views of the city and the Cathedral.

(© Catherine Cronin)




Seville Holiday 2017

I had a lovely holiday in Seville in the first week of April; my second visit to this beautiful Spanish city. We stayed in the picturesque neigbourhood of Santa Cruz, the Old Jewish Quarter in medieval times; a few minutes walk from Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar.

The Cathdral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world; its bell tower known as The Giralda, is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule. The weather vane ‘El Giraldillo’ atop, is of a bronze woman dressed in Roman attire, both the vane and tower’s names are derived from the Spanish word ‘girar’ meaning ‘to turn’.

The Real Alcázar is the royal palace originally developed by the Moorish rulers; it is regarded as an  outstanding example of ‘mudéjar’ architecture. The term ‘mudéjar’ refers to the Muslims who stayed in Spanish territories after the Christian reconquest and who continued to practise their customs; this term refers to the mix of style between Christianity and Islam at this time in these territories.

The public Park Maria Luisa in Seville is a huge and beautiful green space set beside the Guadalquivir river. The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, was held partly within the park, and many of the massive pavillions which are now museums date from this period. A particular favourite is the Mudejar Pavilion, which is now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla.

Suffice to say I highly recommend visiting Seville, go for its wealth of history, beautiful buildings, friendly people, reliable sun, gorgeous ceramics, delicious tapas, and wonderful wines and sherries. I recommend a refreshing ‘rebjuito’, a cocktail of sherry (Fino or Manzanilla), lemonade or lemon/lime soda and mint. No visit is complete without seeing a flamenco show at the Flamenco Museum. Lasting an hour we were entertained by singing, spanish guitar, both female and male dancers, performing solos and as a group. It was thrilling.

I will be posting a second blog on my Seville and Cordoba holiday soon.

(© Catherine Cronin)



Gothenburg 2013

Last weekend was spent in Gothenburg with my good friend Dan; specifically to see another very talented friend on stage, Vee; who was brilliant in a Swedish version of Tony Kushner’s play ‘The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures’ at Gothenburg City Theatre. Though I can’t understand a word of Swedish, I could still enjoy the spectacle armed with knowledge of the story and its themes; and the play was visually stimulating with an innovative revolving set, and of course marvelous acting which transcends language.

Anyway I must also mention that the light in Gothenburg is so pure, as clear as the sound of a bell. The city is so clean and the buildings are so well preserved that I had trouble believing that some were as old as they were. Here are some of my snappily taken photographs:

Gothenburg Cathedral © Catherine Cronin

Gothenburg Cathedral 1804-1827

Gothenburg View © Catherine Cronin

Kronhuset © Catherine Cronin

Kronhuset – Crown House Arsenal 1643-1655

The Viking in Gothenburg Harbour  © Catherine Cronin

The Viking is a four-masted steel barque, built in 1906.

Oscar Fredrik Church © Catherine Cronin

Oscar Fredrik Church 1890s

Oscar Fredrik Church Altar © Catherine Cronin

Oscar Fredrik Church Altar

Gothenburg Church © Catherine Cronin

(© Catherine Cronin)

Holiday – Bay of Naples 2012

I recently travelled to the Bay of Naples, my first visit to Italy, and it was a trip full of ups and downs; thunderstorm soakings and majestic ruins; transport confusion and wonderful sea views; bad graffiti everywhere and picturesque fishing villages; half built constructions rotting away and sunny days; great food and bad food; lovely people and stray wandering dogs. A funny mix. There were signs of economic distress and long-term lack of investment everywhere. But I saw fantastic Roman ruins, sea views that fed the soul; and met lovely people . I will go back one day, as still so much to see and do. Perhaps I always try to do too much on a short holiday, we were there only 5 days, and we went to Pozzuoli, Pompeii, Procida and Ischia. So here are a few holiday snaps to share with you.

Pozzuoli – Third largest Roman Amphitheatre after Rome and Capua.

Procida – Pretty island in the Bay of Naples.

Pompeii – Roman ruins – typical stone paved street with pavement; food counter with intact fresco; public fountain head; villa bird floor mosaic; I think another fountain with pool – I couldn’t get closer; replacement statue in situ; architectural interior design intact in bath house.

(All photographs © Catherine Cronin)