Travel time, now the journey really begins. We leave Bath on January 13th and drive to Portsmouth where Paul arranged to meet up with an old professor he knows. We do a short run on the waterfront then Paul goes visiting. I watch the sunset, drink hot chocolate at a cafe and stroll around the Southsea  shopping area. We meet up with Paul’s family at a camping spot, Dible Park, outside the city. Paul rides his bycycle to get us a tasty fish and chips dinner.

We wake up early and head to the ferry. All of us line up and the ferry is on time for an 8:15am departure. (that’s Lynda and Derek’s van in the first picture) The ferry itself is surprisingly cozy and clean. It has a restaurant, 2 theaters, game room, shopping and more. I especially like sitting on the top deck, relaxing on a bench in the sun and wind. Very peaceful. After a 5 plus hour journey we arrive in France. We head south to a rustic Aire and camp for the night. Up early before the gang is awake and head out on our own.

We do a long day of driving before stopping at a free Aire in Briviesca, Spain. Hard to find at first but it was next to a bull fighting ring and soccer field. Some kids threw mud balls at the van but other than that it was quiet, police patrolled and had just one other camper.

One more day of driving and we arrive late in Seville at Hacienda el Burgo the home of Rodrigo Charlo. We get shown around his amazingly beautiful home and then escorted to a guest room. He would not hear of us sleeping in the van and we were easily persuaded. At about 9pm (Spain’s dinner time) we head into Seville for Tapas with his son Rodri and daughter Bebe (Angela). Our first glimpse of the city and I am excited to explore more. Back home after midnight .

Our time in Seville was brief but we enjoyed it immensely. Here are some photos of highlights.

Metro Parasol created by Jurgen Mayor H. in 2011,  at the Plaza de la Encarnacion

Plaza de Espana, tile work, fountain, a must visit and next to Parque de Maria Luisa

The Real Alcazar, this palace is crazy big and has labyrinth rooms and gardens that are so much fun to explore.

This palace has also been in Game of Thrones, as the Water Palace of Dorne

A view from the Seville Cathedral. Needless to say, Paul did not climb up the tower with me. The views are incredible and the interior breathtaking.

Lunch at Mercado Lonja del Barranco was tasty then we crossed the river to Triana.  We checked out Mercado de Triana but it was closing time. Good thing the Centro de la Ceramica de Triana was open. Very inexpensive to enter and we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit on the history of tile making in Triana. plus there are remnants of the old factory, kilns etc.

We want to thank Rodrigo and his family for welcoming us in their home. Also, to my sister Bridget who is Rodrigo’s longtime friend and our connection. Thank you Rodri for playing some original music for us at dinner one evening.

On our last night Rodrigo took us to eat at Puerte Galeta where he has his photos from Africa displayed. Delicious tapas and much vino. We love Seville!!!