No early start for us today--we puttered around our apartment until about 10:30, then started our day by walking several blocks to the Plaza de Armas bus station. Our plan for tomorrow includes a bus trip out of Seville, so we wanted to do a "dry run" to make sure we could find the station, and also to double check the bus times.
We first came to the old bus station--which has been converted to a small, pretty shopping center. It's a great old building, and they've made good use of it:
After a quick cruise through the old station, we walked across the street to the new station, where a nice gentleman in the information booth printed a current schedule for us, and told us where to catch our bus.
With that out of the way we continued our day, walking across the river towards the Mercado Triana. We noticed this great street art on the back of the new bus station. Pat--this is for you!
We walked along for several blocks and soon came to the market. This was the same market we visited on Thursday, but we really hadn't looked around much and a micro brewery we'd wanted to see had been closed. We did a thorough look around today, and stopped by the brewery to buy a couple of bottles of beer.
Our plan for the day was to explore this side of the river. We strolled along a main shopping street, which was quite busy with Saturday shoppers and families out enjoying the sunny day. We stopped at a small outdoor cafe for dessert and an espresso. Yup--dessert before lunch, we're on vacation, you know!
We walked along, turning down a few side streets, and we weren't finding much of interest to us. We eventually realized that we just weren't in a wandering kind of mood today. We found another cafe, sat down for a cold Coke light, and consulted our handy tourist map to find something different to do with the rest of our day. We decided to head back across the river towards Plaza de La Encarnacion located in the old quarter of town. We hailed a taxi on the street, and were taken for a ride--literally and figuratively! I think the driver definitely took the "scenic route!" Oh, well….
The plaza has an interesting history--from the late 1800's it had been home to a large covered market. The market was closed in 1948, and eventually the building fell into disrepair. In the early 1970's the building was torn down, and the site was empty until early 1990 when the city decided to build an underground parking garage on the land. During construction Roman ruins dating to the 2nd and 3rd century were found and the project came to a halt. In 2004, the city again decided to develop the land and held an international design competition.
After much controversy and several delays, this is the final result--The Metropol Parasol:
It is actually very pretty! I love the sensuous, curving lines and the contrast between the ancient and the modern.