Friday, October 1, 2010

A Day at the Alcazar

Posted by Maggie

We had a very full day yesterday. We began with a short river tour on the Guadalquivir, from which we could see many interesting buildings and bridges. Then we went back to the gardens at the Parque de Maria Luisa, as we had not seen nearly all of it the day before.

The park is a beautiful place, with a number of really interesting buildings on its outer edges, including the beautiful Plaza de Espana. Inside the park itself you would not know that you're in the middle of a busy city, as all you hear is the screeching of parrots and songs of other birds. We enjoyed exploring more of the park, and found some possible painting locations if we bring the group here next year.

After a late lunch we decided to go the the Palace of the Alcazar. We had explored the area outside the palace, and we thought it was not likely that we could take the group inside for painting, as there would probably be crowds and we might not be allowed to set up easels. Still, we thought it could be a good place for sketching, photography, and a good addition to the tour of Andalusia.

I had read that there were gardens connected to the Palace, but as always the photos and descriptions don't necessarily tell you what to expect. I actually enjoyed the gardens far more than the palace itself, as there was a wonderful combination of trees, bushes, palms, flowers and buildings. There were also fascinating arches and structures that weren't quite buildings but incorporated into the gardens in a way that could make wonderful compositions for painting. There were more colorful buildings and structures in the garden or visible from the garden, which could be really nice elements in a painting as well.

Some of the buildings in the Palace itself reminded me of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, where we took the group on our last Spain workshop and where we will go next week with the group. There were a lot of similarities in the architecture, but overall the Alcazar is not as crowded and not as large, so it would be possible for people to see more of it. I think it will work out well to change our itinerary for 2011 to have a day trip to Seville instead of to Granada. We'll have a shorter bus ride, and more time to explore and paint or sketch, and to see a little more of Andalusia.

By the time we left the Alcazar, we had walked for hours. We walked a little further to a restaurant that we had noticed on the other side of the river. The outdoor seating area was on the second floor terrace overlooking the water and with a view back towards the city. Because we arrived at the unfashionably early hour of 8 p.m., we were able to get a table right at the railing, and watched the sunset change the colors of the buildings and the lights beginning to reflect in the water. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

No comments:

Post a Comment