The Museum Park of Seville.

My penultimate day in Seville and the outside temperature at noon is approaching 40 degrees, both reasons to meander through the museums including

The Museo de Belles Artes

It is indeed worthy of that name and has an overall atmosphere similar to the Art Gallery of SA, albeit on a much smaller scale. The most famous painter of Seville was Murillo, about whom I knew absolutely nothing until today.

The handsome security guard indicated that I should place my backpack in a locker, then with a somewhat unexpected giggle pointed in the general direction of my crutch and in sign language made it obvious that I should tuck it in. I gasped and for a momentary modest minute assumed my fly was unzipped (an increasingly common failing I admit). However thankfully he twiddled with the elastic long lanyard that secures my iPhone to trouser waist and thence into pocket. It was indeed dangling on my outer thigh. He giggled some more and did a charming demonstration of a pirouette of his hips, worthy of any picador to make the point that were I perchance to swivel in close proximity to a naked male marble statue, I may at worst catch the lanyard on it and bring it crashing down around me. Suitably touched and admonished, I did as told and meandered safely amongst the marble.

A special exhibition devoted to the paintings of Murillo

One of the many cool courtyards in the museum

The Museo de Artes Y Costumbes Populares,

is a basic simple museum that explores aspects of Spanish life over the last few centuries- it had the feel of the delightful museums that are lovingly maintained by volunteers of the local historical society in the country towns and villages of Australia. Perhaps more professionally curated though.

I have no pictures of the inside or displays, but a few shots of the exterior and park grounds

Tomorrow I visit a National Park then train to Madrid to catch the flights home

Gdansk – a sunny cold start

Gdansk Sunday

A brilliant start to the holiday – having fallen into bed around 7pm ( 4am Sunday Adelaide time) I woke around 6:30am, to clear blue skies and once outside, a bracing, biting breeze. I wandered around the waterfront of the “old town”- fascinated by seagulls that appeared to be ”walking on water”or at least standing on water in the sunlight of a new day. With that introduction, the more astute of you will realise that the birds were walking on ice!

So I explored the waterfront till about 7:30 then returned to the Q Hotel for a worthwhile breakfast, before warming my hands to venture back and explore the “old town “.

That is ice on the river!

The lone seagull is standing on ice. Look carefully

The home of the Gdansk Philharmonia concert hall

A few pictures of the old town….

The Polish people also sent children, mainly Jewish, away to foster homes in Britain just before the invasion and this is a tribute outside the main Gdansk railway station. The more observant will note the faded ex KFC logo on the original old railway administration is still. KFC outlet – I positioned the camera to block out the yellow M!

The Gdansk railway station

The Amber Museum in one of the medieval towers of the town wall

In the afternoon I spent the part of 6 hours in the Museum of the Second World War. It was opened in 2015 and is one of the most compelling, confronting exhibitions, housed in an architecturally stunning building all coming together in a technological multimedia experience. There are 20 rooms that start with the seeds of war – the direct consequences ultimately of the loss of WW1, by the Germans. Thence the rooms follow a logical sequence based on the time line as well as the many theatres of the conflict. The use of modern interactive technology is awesome. To give one example, the audio devices automatically sense when you pass the entrance to each of the 20 rooms, activate the introduction, lead to the various displays then end by saying something like

feel free to take your time and wander around the exhibits and when you have finished leave by the door on the left above which is a huge picture of Hitler and I will be waiting for you in the main corridor.”

Then the audio guide detects that you have entered the main hallway and asks you to turn left or right as the case may be into Room X. In fact so intuitive is the system it detected I had entered the women’s toilet and gently questioned whether I had made a mistake. As to whether it’s query related to the fact that either the female toilet was not part of the exhibits, or rather cleverly that I was in fact, male, is a moot point.

Put Gdansk and this museum on your bucket list.

It is 4am and I am disturbed from a restful sleep by noisy laughing people in room 103. They are not speaking a recognised European language and to minimise the risk of accusation of racial prejudice, I say for a fact that room service has just delivered breakfast of steaming hot fried rice and soup. I think it only fair now that I am wide awake , I should do some Recorder practice.

Today I head by train to Poznan.

The main hallway of the museum with the rooms on each side