The contrast between Sevilla and Madrid is unreal. The streets of Sevilla are lined with orange trees, bright pink bushes grow on porches, and purple trees line the river. The sky was bright blue and there were beautiful fountains at every corner.
Our visit started wonderfully with our arrival at the hostel. The reception was bright and sunny, and the walls were decorated with pretty tiles. After throwing our stuff in the room we went upstairs to check out the roof top terrace. There were chairs for tanning, a couple of tables, two couches, and a group of hammocks for relaxing. It was a really fun place to hang out.
On the day of arrival we spent quite a bit of time on the roof talking with a couple of Canadian guys. They were really proud of Edmonton, their hometown, apparently health-care is completely free, and the taxes are really low. I’m not really sure how that’s possible, but it was interesting listening to their stories.
After talking with them for a while, we went out to explore the town. We walked along the river and were amazed by all the plant life. It was beautiful. We also visited Plaza de España where, according to the Canadian guys, Star Wars was filmed. On the plaza we had fun taking pictures with a collection of parade floats.
The next day we visited the Sevilla Cathedral. According to Wikipedia it’s the fourth largest cathedral in the world, and I believe it. It was huge! There were at least 40 chapels lining the walls of the church, a huge choir area, and two altars. It was built between 1401 and 1507 on the site of an old mosque. Interestingly,this is the burial spot of Christopher Columbus.
After the Cathedral we wandered around Barrio de Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter. It was a little area with narrow-winding streets, tapas bars, and lots of tourist shops.
That night we went to a flamenco bar. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was lots of fun. There was only one dancer, and she didn’t have on the full costume, but she was very passionate about the dance. My favorite part was a cute little girl sitting in the front row. She had on a flamenco costume, and was totally entranced with the performance. Every once in a while she would stand up and do a little dance herself. I’m really glad we were able to watch a flamenco performance.
The next morning we woke up and headed to Alcázar, the palace in Seville. It was founded in 913 as a Muslim fortress, but has been adapted through the years to be a royal residence. It was absolutely gorgeous (just like the rest of the city.) Josh and I were lucky to take a tour of the upper palace. No one else had signed up for the tour, so it was basically a private viewing. The rooms were magnificent, and the furniture was beautiful, but the ceilings stole the show. They were made of wood and had designs carved from them.
What was even better than the inside of the palace was the outside. It was like being in a Disney movie. The trees and plants were so colorful, and they were lots of cool fountains. I could have easily spent half-a-day exploring the gardens.
Next we went to Parque de Maria Luisa. I felt like I was walking through a tropical forest, I was expecting to see a toucan fly over head. There were lots of palm trees, other trees, ivy, and colorful flowers. It was a great park.
After the park we decided to partake in a typical Spanish tradition and took a siesta at the hostel. Most things close in Sevilla between two and five, so there wasn’t much to do anyway.
After our nap we went to a Moroccan restaurant for dinner. I’d never had Moroccan food before, and I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out to be delicious. I’m not sure what it’s called, but my favorite was the first dish, made with chicken in a thin dough and topped with powdered sugar. The meal was definitely a good ending to our time in Sevilla. We’re now on the train to Barcelona. I’m very excited, I visited in March and loved it, so I’m glad I have the chance to return.