My second real day in Seville was actually spent in Córdoba, a venture that could have been even more amazing if I had the good sense to plan it better. My third and final day, I marked all the sights I hadn’t seen on my Maps.Me in blue and began to walk. My breakfast was a lemon granizada made from only fake lemon syrup so it was a bit unfinishable after the amazing real fruit ones I had been having.
The first stop was Plaza de España, Seville’s well known sight. Rightly so, it is grand, beautiful and breathtaking. Like all of the city, it is dripping in romanticism and storytelling, and so easy to walk around feeling like a courtier. Although it looks like a royal palace, it was in fact built for a world fair exposition in 1928. I still decided I’d rent it as one of my palaces when I’m queen.
I don’t know how many people carry on through Parque de Maria Luisa, but I didn’t see that many people. The park is pretty, but the gemstone is Plaza de América. Separated by a beautiful pond are two stunning buildings – the Museum of Popular arts and the Archaeology Museum. It is beautiful, regal and much quieter than the Plaza de España.
I began to slowly walk back, stopping for a pasta lunch at an Italian place. I know, I know. Why am I eating pasta in Spain? The answer is because I wanted pasta.
I ate and then continued on to see churches and churches.
The first was the Hospital de la Santa Caridad. It’s €5 entry and I was kicking myself for spending so much, giving such a big endorsement to the Catholic church when I saw all the renovation works. I just seemed a bit shit.
Determined to get my money’s worth, I explored all the little rooms, shrugging that I guessed the art was nice, until finally I found myself alone in a little church. It was dramatically beautiful, and beautiful dramatic… and yes, I may have play acted walking down the aisle. What of it!??
The next Church was the big one. The Cathedral I hurried out of when I realised my attire wasn’t quite Cathedral chic. I returned with covered shoulders and knees, and it was a bit of a task to find the entrance where tickets could be purchased. I asked an Italian couple whether they had already bought their tickets.
“No, but we don’t think you have to pay to get into this church!” They said incredulously.
When they saw the €9 adult entrance fee, they left the queue.
I would say, it’s a lot more than I enjoy paying but you get a lot for your money if you enjoy that kind of thing. The Cathedral is enormous, and although I found the main gothic chapel boring, and only impressive because of its size, the art and artefacts were pretty.
You gain access to the Giralda bell tower which is truly something. In that it’s thirty five, thirty five, ramps high. When I was on the fourth ramp I told myself – delusion of all delusions – there would only be sixteen ramps. As I was on the twentieth ramp, I began to consider the very possible reality I’d be climbing to the top of the bell tower for the rest of my life. The view is not really quite as good as from the Metropol Parasol, but for €9 and the opportunity to stare in the face of the bells that woke me up at 6AM each morning I was climbing those ramps.
In addition, the ticket price included entry to Iglesia del Salvador. For €9, rightly so, for that money I want a first class ticket to eternal salvation. Iglesia del Salvador is small and attractive, with rainbows reflecting on the sparkly highly decorated altars.
The final stop would have been Hospital de Los Venerables, however I realised it closed three hours ago so I bought nine pairs of earrings from the Ale-Hop cute cheap shop, a souvenir and went home to rest before evening.
The evening was a more peaceful one than the last, sitting on the hostel terrace whilst my multi-talented American friend from the first night made the evening more beautiful with jazz piano. It was better than a siesta, but I had to say one last goodbye to the Seville night air. The Italian guy I walked home with the night before recommended the Plaza de España at night, so I planned to get dinner and walk there, I just didn’t know what I had a taste for.
I went into a small place that sold cheeses and meats and a guy tried to get my attention by calling me only “tan morena”. It was a weird situation that kind of freaked me out how I was starting to respond to “brown girl” as my name and I didn’t understand enough to know what he was asking or telling me, so I just left and went to the Plaza de España.
At night it’s still fairly busy, and there are plenty of Italians taking family pictures, but the lamps reflecting on the water have a still kind of beauty that was perhaps more sultry and romantic than the day, maybe because I was in love with the Seville night.
I went back to the old town, still aware that I had gone out to get food, and settled for a final granizada before returning to the hostel to conclude my time in Spain, finally play with un chien andalusia, to say my farewells and slip into bed to catch the airport bus in the morning.
Seville by day has so much to offer in terms of beautiful sights, curious alleyways and places to eat, walk and photograph. Seville by day was what I visited and expected and although it surprised me in how much I liked it, Seville by night is what I will keep in my heart. The warmth, the buzz and sultriness of a city that stays alive and social well into the small hours, but in a way so unlike the big metropolises of London and New York. A quintessentially Spanish, Seville way that charmed me entirely.
Hotel: Seville Kitsch Hostel
It’s evident which word in the title sold it for me, right? There was a cheaper hostel but I was compelled to keep looking and I’m so glad I did because the hostel was absolutely aesthetique!
Positives: Pretty, great terrace, very social, no breakfast but free cookies in the morning and free sangria at night
Negatives: It seemed a little like they had found ways to monetise things I was used to being free. Like €2 + €10 deposit for a towel, €30 fine for handwashing and so on.