Seville!

Here in Tavira, the southeastern corner of the Algarve, we are just a few minutes from the Spanish border. Seville, the capital of Andalusia is an hour and a half drive. Iza had some shopping to do there and invited us to accompany her one day last week. It was the end of January and the sales were still on. Iza always buys her shoes in Seville!

Our first stop was a lovely old cafe where we fortified ourselves with coffee and a pastry.

We had a lot of choices. Spanish sweets are extraordinary.

Iza took me to the Camper store where I bought a pair of shoes just like the ones she wears. I had been admiring them ever since we arrived in Portugal. I got a great deal on them. We opted to do some touristy things for a couple of hours while Iza continued her shopping.

The Cathedral of Seville is an elaborate building which to me looks like it could be either a mosque or a castle just as easily as a Catholic church. Our main interest was to visit the Real Alcázar, one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain, just across the road from the cathedral.

The building was constructed by the Muslim kings of Iberia in the seventh century and is, along with the Alhambra, a most beautifully preserved example of Moorish architecture in Europe.

If it looks familiar, it's because it is the location for the palace In Dorne of the Martell Family in Game of Thrones.

This photograph of Jamie getting ready to negotiate his niece/daughter's return to King's Landing was borrowed from here.

We first visited this extraordinary building ten years ago. I find everything about it absolutely glorious. I've never been in a palace I'd rather live in.

This time of year the crowds are at a minimum. Since Seville, in summer, is the hottest place in all of Europe, and since January and February generally offer lovely weather, I think this must be one of the nicest times to visit Andalusia.

The palace itself is mostly unfurnished, which means there are very few guard rails to encumber you as you stroll around from one spectacular room to the next.

The Spanish royal family still retains parts of the palace for their personal use.

The tile work is outstanding. My favorite wall is this one in gold and blue.

There is an extensive garden with fountains and several "rooms."

Carp in the largest fountain.

One can climb up to a balcony from which to get an expansive view of the gardens.

It was an extremely pleasant day in Seville. We were home well before dinner time.