Time in the saddle: 4hrs 15min
Well today was always going to be a 'practical' ride rather than one of interest. The gap between Jerez and Seville doesn't give many options for scenic routes, nor did the cool wet mist allow it even if it were. It was on average 'rolling'* , aka boring, and so it was very much a day for putting hands in the drops and just time trialing it to get it over with as soon as possible.
There were moments, such as when a town came in to view through the mist, it's church and castle outlined on the horizon, sun beams bursting through..that it had its picturesque moments..if you ignored the telephone and power lines oh and the powerplants too...
So no stops, straight to Seville, whose location I could tell by a huge looming cloud/mist/smog to the north. This was not a good first impression. Nor was the huge amounts of traffic in three lanes that had to be dealt with before the cycle paths kicked in.
Anyway I got there in the end. Grumpyness still lingered though so I headed into the centre to find some ice cream to fix that. Now I have to confess I know nothing about Seville, I meant to read up before I came but just didn't get the chance. Some helpful chap said they eat a lot of oranges here, am not sure that's the case. Quick look on trip advisor for top places to go and all seemed in the same direction, so off I went.
It was totally not what I expected, very beautiful and restful..completely the opposite of my first impressions. I had to first pass through the tranquil Parque de Maria Luisa, and then came across the magnificent Plaza de Espana.
Next what turned out to be the university building..I thought was the castle or state house or something! Castle itself I couldn't see..all Seville seems very low, even the castle. Anyway the q to get in was down the street so I avoided that. Past the Gothic style cathedral and into the back street maze where all the flamenco hoves and bars lie. Taking no chances here I was using my phone GPS to try not to get lost. Quite difficult when you have no idea where you are trying to go in the first place!
Stumbled across the start of the Easter procession at about half 3/4pm. Poor souls were dressed in black capes and hoods in 30 plus heat. I didn't envy them. The whole city seemed to be building up for the evenings entertainment. Hoards of people heading inwards and streets being blocked off. Time to go home for a break.
In the evening the procession was still going strong, with candles lit and never ending brotherhoods emerging from the cathedral. I still need to find out whether it is the same every night or whether it changes day by day. either way the numbers each night don't seem to deminish. I have heard that the Sevillians are quite the party people and that on Friday morning I should expect quite a few revelers to still be going when I leave! So not like our Easter back home in the UK!!
- there are different terms for the different gradients:
Mountain climbs - long usually average between 5-8%
'Undulating' - hills that you notice and hurt but are short.
'Rolling' - ups and downs but barely register extra effort
Flat - exactly what it says on the tin.
Probably there are better and more accurate descriptions but this gives you an idea