After being picked up by Stan and Judy in their rental car, we headed off to the outskirts of Sevilla where there were the impressive Roman ruins of Italica, at a town called Santiponce. However, due to the particular day of the week, we were not impressed when we found out that they were closed on Mondays. We took a few pictures through the fence and headed off.
From there we took the back roads, through some impressive farming land; buying some oranges from the road verge along the way, to the old Roman town of Carmona. The Roman bit comes largely from the fact that the Romans laid out the street plan, which still survives to this day. Begs the question – What did the Romans ever do for us?
We wandered the old town, stopping for lunch at Bar Goya, as recommended by Lonely Planet; and continued up the hill to the Hotel built inside an old castle. The views were magnificent, as was the chocolate cake that we consumed on the balcony restaurant overlooking the valley.
Full to the brim with an interesting mixture of Tapas, Beer and Chocolate cake, we walked back down through the old town and out the gates to the car, before driving back to Mazagon for the night.
Next morning, it was back in the car and off for a bike ride on the Via Verde de la Sierra – one of 42 Via Verde’s ( Spanish for green way) around Andalusia. The drive to get there was impressive, passing through rolling hills and past lovely looking White Towns, which the region is known for.
This 36km bike ride goes along a railway line that was built a while ago, but never saw a train. Stan and Judy rode their fold up bikes and I hired an off road bike, which was quite reasonable. There are 30 tunnels and 4 viaducts along the 36km – that’s a lot of overs and unders. It did however make for a very flat ride, going slightly uphill from Puerto Serrano to Olvera, where we had lunch at a restaurant looking into an indoor equestrian ring, and then back again. Judy was the only one that took a torch, and whilst the tunnels are supposed to have automatic lights, lots didn’t. There was one over a 1km long, with only about half lit – that was a bit eery. The back again part was quite quick, which was a relief as my legs weren’t really used to a 72km bike ride.
The beer at the pub at the end tasted really, really, really good.
For photos of Carmona see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4667037406829.1073741850.1620379103&type=3
For photos of Via Verde de la Sierra see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4667044927017.1073741851.1620379103&type=3