What a long, tiring, fulfilling day. I didn't get much sleep last night, and the forecast today was for rain - so when I got up and saw that it was sunny out I fully expected to be coming home for a nice siesta in a few hours. Yesterday was really miserable (photo from the top of the cathedral tower from yesterday below), and most of the sights in Sevilla are outdoors so it's not a lot of fun to sight-see when it's pouring out. Turns out it was really nice all day, and I really loved the city and couldn't bring myself to come back to the hotel.

My fist stop was at the Alcazar. The Alcazar is the Spanish word for castle - and although it isn't the largest or most prominent alcazar in Spain, there is a ton of history there. It was built in the 11th century by the Moors, and then claimed and built upon by the Christians during the Reconquista. La Alhambra in Granada (which I saw last week) was actually built the the Muslims to replace Seville's Alcazar after it fell to the Christians. The place was amazing, especially the gardens (photo below). I had a chance to get lost in my first real hedge maze. The thing that was probably the most notable for me was the Alcazar was where Columbus met with Ferdinand II and Isabella I after his second trip to America.

I spent a good 3-4 hours walking around the Alcazar and even found a place to take a quick afternoon nap in the garden.

After that I took a tour bus ride around the city. I figured that I probably won't stay another day, but Seville is Spain's 3rd largest city, so I needed to get a good, quick overall view of the city. The tour wasn't anything special, but I'm glad I took it. There was a ton of stuff I wouldn't have seen - such as the bullfighting ring and the Expo '92 site, which was unbelievable. I also learned a bunch about some places that were more accessible to where I was, so after the tour I went for a long walk to take some photos and hang out a bit & enjoy the weather.

The plan is to take an earlier train out of here tomorrow and I think I'm going to stop for the day in Cordoba, which is on the way back to Malaga. If the weather is crap I may skip it.

In any case, I loved Seville. I will definitely make a point of coming back here at some point in my life. I can't wait to get back and get some photos off my camera (the iPhone pics really don't do the place justice).