Friday, March 3, 2017

Jerez and Sevilla, part 2

A second stop at the Torch Coffee Roasters cafe didn't disappoint - I love a beautifully done cup of coffee!

On one of our days in Sevilla, we took a day trip out to Jerez to do some sherry tours and tasting. 

The train station was so beautiful and unique!  After the short train ride, we walked around the Cathedral and Alcazar. 

Our tasting and tour was at Bodegas Lustau

While they make wine in 3 different cities in the "Sherry triangle," this is their main facility.  The winery was built in the 19th century.  

According to their website:
"Sherry is a fortified wine...meaning, additional alcohol is added to these wines to facilitate their extended aging process in American oak barrels."  Then, the wines are classified according to their age and alcohol content.  

After the tour of their beautiful facility, we were able to taste 7 of their different wines.

Following our time at Bodegas Lustau, we wandered around a bit more and then headed to Albores for lunch.

Lunch was delicious - fresh and tasty!  And the setting outside on their patio was lovely.

We enjoyed our day in Jerez!

Back in Sevilla, we had several things we wanted to see on our last morning in town.  We started with a tour of Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, the bull ring! 

The bullring took roughly 150 years to be built, from 1730 when the wooden construction began, to about 1881 when the stone structure and balconies were completed.

The tour begins with a museum portion, showing paintings and costumes of the bull fights of the past. 

The bulls' entrance.

On the left is the Price's box, reserved for the Royal Family.  

After the bullring, we got the combo ticket to go see the Church of the Savior and the Cathedral.  

The outside of the Church of the Savior is different from so many of the churches you see in Spain/Europe - it's pink!  And the inside was incredible.

It is Sevilla's second largest church, and has lots of Baroque altarpieces inside. 

A quick visit inside and we headed over to The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, or the Cathedral of Sevilla.  It's the largest Gothic church in the world.  

The bell tower, which was originally a minaret, allows you to climb to the top for some incredible city views.

Construction took over a century to complete, from 1401 to 1506, and stands on the sight of a former Mosque that was built in the late 12th century.  

"The Patio de los Naranjos dates back to Moorish times when worshippers would wash their hands and feet in the fountains here - under the orange trees - before their five daily prayer sessions."  source

From the patio is a beautiful view back up at the massive bell tower.

One final stop before heading to the airport - Mercado de Triana.  

We got some ham, cheese, and other treats around the market.

The stalls were large and colorful!

Including some furry rabbits!  All kids of veggies and meats.

Time to head to the next stop.  Sevilla, we loved you!  We will be back.