Day 4. Seville and the Semana Santa Festival

 After breakfast we checked out of our accommodation in Malaga and on the way to the railway station, stopped to take a look in the Malaga indoor market.  Here one can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish and it was busy this morning with locals buying their fresh produce.

Our train to Seville departed at 10.10 am and the comfortable, media distance train took two and a half hours to reach Seville’s Santa Justa station.

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Toddler dressed for parade
From here we caught a bus to the old town and soon found our accommodation, ‘Tempa Museo‘  which was located on a narrow cobbled street.  The building had retained its original facade but on entering we found ourselves in a very modern building.  Our apartment was even better than we had expected,  furnishings were stylish and very new and front desk staff helpful.

After settling in, we set off with our guidebook to explore Seville.   As we were staying on a quiet street in the old town we could walk everywhere.  We headed to the river and enjoyed lunch in a tapas bar along the waterfront, ideal for people watching as well as being able to see pleasure boats and canoeists sail by.  Our walking tour then took us alongside the Alcazar and the huge gothic cathedral.

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Seville
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Alcazar, Seville
Seville seemed much busier than Malaga, there was frenetic activity everywhere as viewing platforms were being erected in any available space and piles of wooden chairs were tied to lamp posts.  It’s the week before Easter, Holy Week, and in Seville it’s known as ‘Semana Santa‘ which is one of the largest festivals held in Seville each year.  Each day there are church processions through the city with people wearing strange tall pointed hoods with eye slits, called capirotes.  Around 70 churches participate in the festival and carry some elaborate floats depicting scenes from  ‘The Passion’.  Each day from 12 noon between 6 and 9 churches take part in the procession and with each church having up to 3,000 members it can take more than an hour for each group to file past.  The congregation, all wearing the tall, pointed hoods, carry crosses and candles whilst others play instruments.

After dusk, we returned to the route of the parade, crowds had already gathered but we managed to view some of the procession for ourselves.  It was unbelievable to see the size of some of the floats being carried and how difficult it was for these floats to be taken along narrow roads with tight corners.  Often we watched as the edifice being carried had to reverse and alter its position in order to turn a corner.  As the evening stretched on, the crowds seemed to increase and it became difficult for us to move anywhere.

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