Friday, May 12
We both woke up around 8:00am on Friday morning, surprised at the sound sleep we'd gotten despite the party the night before. I noticed that one of the plugs in the bathroom was flush with the wall, so I decided to try out the power converter that I'd brought from home, just to see if it would work there. I plugged in my hair dryer, and it seemed to not be sending enough power to it for it to work right. I messed with the power buttons on the dryer, and within a few seconds, the converter sparked and started smoking! Almost in a panic, I told Kevin to open the window, and I sat the smoking and horribly unpleasant smelling converter outside. Well, so much for that.
We popped our heads into a Starbucks for breakfast, and I ended up with a sun dried tomato and mozzarella sandwich on focaccia and a drink that equated to a chocolate milkshake. Kevin got a muffin and some sort of frozen coffee drink. We grabbed a table and people watched for a bit, then decided to use a computer in the print shop next door.
Soon it was time for the Alcazar to be opening, so we were there at 11:30. There was a big line of people waiting to get in, but the line moved fairly quickly. We only rented one audio guide for the two of us, but two would have been nice so we could have wandered around at our leisure. After a while, we started using headphones so both of us could listen at the same time.
Our entire tour took about 3 hours from start to finish. We took as much time as we wanted to wander through the rooms, gardens and courtyards, including walking through the hedge maze for a bit. Though the history behind it got a bit dry at times, the alcazar itself was gorgeous, and I got dozens of beautiful pictures of it. It also seemed so much bigger from the inside than it looked from the outside. All you could really see of it from the outside was the entrance, but if you knew where to look, you could actually make out other walls of it all through the Jewish area of town. Overall, I enjoyed my alcazar tour more than I thought I would!
Kevin in the Alcazar Real
Intricate tiles in the Alcazar Real
Flowers with red, pink, yellow and orange all on the same flower
Kevin in the alcazar's hedge maze. No, he is not peeing in the hegde maze!
Kevin went on a destructive rampage while in the alcazar, as can be seen in this photo
Funky walls in the alcazar, with evidence of Kevin's destructive rampage
The final waterfall area in the alcazar
When we left, Kevin wanted to do a tour of the cathedral also. I agreed, but wasn't too keen on spending forever in there. Once inside, I didn't like it at all for a variety of reasons, the main one of which is how prominently they display their Guinness Book of World Records certificate for being the largest cathedral in the world or something like that. I found the whole thing to be extremely tacky and disrespectful, and was very glad to leave.
The tomb of Christopher Columbus
The crown jewels of Spain
The next thing on the agenda was to visit Isla Mágica for a bit. Leaving the cathedral, we found this tiny little restaurant that served fresh potato chips. We stopped in and ordered the fried shrimp, which was served in a paper cone, and a medium bag of fresh chips.
Aside from being very greasy, lunch was very good, and it was enough for both of us! The place was set up like fast food, where you order, wait for it to be cooked, then pick it up at the counter and sit and eat. But this place wanted us to wait until after we ate to pay. Not something I'd seen before, but ok!
When we were done with lunch, we walked down to the edge of river and caught a tourist bus that circles the city. It took quite a while to reach the park, but we passed some interesting stuff along the way. The bus stop was almost directly in front of the park, which was very convenient! Since it was about 4:00 by the time we arrived, our admission was half price.