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30th November, 2015

Huelva, Spain

Huelva is a busy port in the extreme south-west corner of Spain at the mouth of the River Odiel. Evidence of Phoenician, Greek and Roman occupation has been found here, but few buildings today predate the mid-18th century as the city was wrecked by the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon.

It had been several years since I had made my last, and only, visit to Huelva. 8 years in fact (almost to the day) and it was on Saga Rose, I was Staff Captain sailing under Captain McLundie on our first ever Mystery cruise - it really is amazing how time flies!

Huelva, not only being a charming city in itself, also offers the opportunity for a visit to Seville, the capital of Andalusia, and indeed our most popular excursion today was entitled ‘A Day in Seville’. This excursion featured a comprehensive city tour taking in the main sights in the company of an expert guide. Having been transferred to the city our guests visited the ornate Alcazar, Seville’s most treasured building. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was originally a Moorish fort, and over the centuries subsequent monarchs have added their own additions, creating the expansive and highly decorated royal palace which stands today. Moving on, they visited the Santa Cruz quarter, regarded as the heart of Seville. This charming district is a maze of lime-washed houses and pretty squares, and in the Middle Ages was the city’s Jewish quarter. Having admired the Gothic cathedral here, our guests enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant in the centre of the city. Afterwards the tour concluded with a panoramic drive through the streets of Seville where the guide pointed out other sights of interest including Palm Tree Avenue and Maria Luisa Park.

As today was St Andrews day, and yours truly being a true Scotsman, dinner this evening had a suitably Caledonian flavour to it, and I must thank passenger Dr John Lochrie for addressing the Haggis with such flair. Our dear Cruise Director John Parton joined in the fun, sporting his kilt-otherwise known as the ‘McParton Tartan’ - it takes a lot to put me off my food but I must admit the sight of John’s legs came close………

Captain Wesley Dunlop

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