Friday, 28 March 2014

27th March - our last day.

Reluctantly, we left Granada where it was a bright but chilly day.  Our destination was Seville about 3 hours way but via 2 points of interest.

Incredible karst scenery
Our first stop was El Torcal park, a park famous for its dramatic karst limestone scenery.  The guidebooks weren’t kidding – it really was incredible.  We followed a way marked path which took us about 1.5 hours and gave us a good flavour of the natural rock formations.  On route we say a large wild goat plus rock buntings and redstarts.  There were also 2 different but very beautiful Euphorbia growing profusely here one of which I’m almost certain was E. Wulfenii.

After the walk, Chris did some running repairs on the car.  He’d already established the cause of the car’s sudden loss of power.  A large hose in the engine had got a big split in it and was letting air into the engine causing the problem.  Chris took the hose off and wrapped a load of tape around it, and thankfully it’s made all the difference.

We then drove on the Laguna De Fuente Piedra, which has the 2nd largest colony of breeding flamingos in Europe.  The visitors centre was shut but from there we got a good view of the lake which is huge. Luckily for us, the flamingos were at this end of the lake so we got a god view of them albeit it from a distance.  We then wandered along some boardwalks and I identified black winged stilts, coots and northen shoveller ducks.

The mushroom.....
After that we drove to Seville.  I’d booked us an apartment in the back streets of the old town.  We had a somewhat hair raising drive as the streets were very narrow and our sat nav. didn’t know about some of them being one way or blocked due to road works.  Anyway, we got here in the end!  The receptionist recommended that we go and visit the “mushroom” a new and bizarre building, which has a walkway giving good aerial views over the city and only 10 minutes walk away.  She was right – it is a very strange structure and looked as it was built with balsa wood, which turned out to be curved steel plates all bolted together.  In the bottom of the structure were the remains of a Roman town, which we toured and then above there are supposed to be shops on a couple of the levels.  We went straight to the top and after a drink, toured the walkway which was a bit like a roller coaster.  We all loved the “mushroom” and thought it a very apt name.

After that, it was tapas time.  We found a very nice one to start in and then moved on to a very crowded one which the receptionist had recommended, which was fabulous.  Hanna kindly treated us to the last night’s tapas as a thank-you for driving and organising the trip.  It really was a great way to end our holiday, so thank-you Hanna!!

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