Seville had been on my list of places to visit since I was eighteen and planning an interrailing trip that never was.
My time in Mojácar had come to an end but I knew I still wanted to be somewhere that wasn’t London. I booked the five hour onward train to Seville and arrived as the night was approaching and cloaking the whole city in a beautiful golden light.
The night atmosphere in Seville is wonderful, with guitarists and belly dancers lifting the energy as people take their late night dinners outdoors.
The city by day is no less vibrant. I had a checklist of items to do this day, starting with the Alcazar but only the part I didn’t have to pay for.
The Jewish District and Calle San Bartolomé, which was interesting and sad to see the cramped spaces Jewish people were forced into, but the district itself is a bit overtouristed, I preferred San Bartolomé. The Jewish history was what I came for, but I preferred many other places in Seville.
I accidentally saw Basilïca de María Auxiliadora. A Spanish man called Fran invited me on a date at 6pm but he spoke only Seville Spanish and even with my limited Spanish and only nodding he didn’t give up. So I took his number and didn’t call him. Sorry, Fran.
Basilíca de Santa Maria de la Esperanza Macarena is excellent. Very beautiful and majestic.
I made my way back towards the river, at this point tired and thirsty. Due to the Feast of the Annunciation, a Catholic festival and a Big Deal, or perhaps the siesta time, lots of places were shut.
One place that wasn’t was the Metropol Parasol. It was a tricky one, because at first I climbed the stairs and thought “so much for the spectacular view…” but realised I had to go down a level, find the entry to the Antiquarium where there’s a lift to the top. Entry is €3 and you get a freebie (yay!) with your ticket. Mine was a free drink. They mean downstairs, but once you take the lift, you’ll see a café and they’ll give you a euro off a drink – including their Calippo Slush Puppies! Amazing!
Walk the walkway of the parasol for truly phenomenal views.
My phone was beginning to die at this point and the heat was melting me, so travelling by way of a cute accessories maker store, I headed back to my hostel to rest and siesta a la the Spanish.
I’ve never been able to nap in a hostel and I don’t know why I thought now would be the time to begin. I got chatting to an American girl and an American guy who invited me to dinner. Too shy to confess my uncultured roots by saying “mate I was planning to get a bag of churros and a plate of pasta” I agreed to go with him to Mammaracha, a little swanky Spanish place. The issue we soon learned was even if a place was open, it didn’t mean it was open – and we had to wait an hour to order food. The plan was to leave, but as it happened we stayed chatting and getting into the particulars of life, and we ordered food anyway. He took calamari with ginger and cilantro (my old friend from Asia) and I ordered pork with cheese and tomato. It was basically a pizza with a base of pork. Perchè anche il mio cibo spagnolo è italiano. I can’t help it. I quite liked my dish, but he said his really didn’t taste of anything. I tried the dish and I can agree but for that I was grateful because my reaction to cilantro that I can taste is not glamour.
I mentioned that Seville is a beautiful night city and although I was still tired from my day and lack of siesta, the two of us walked to Triana where I heard there was a good night scene. I was kind of wrong, it was mostly huge amounts of Spanish people drinking outside bars around plastic tables, but we found a place to perch and chat about life, and the directions we might take. It was an easy and still night, so we walked to the river and watched the stray cats play and the teenagers walk by. Being around Seville at night felt like a long hug, and even as the morning crept upon us and it passed midnight, the gelaterias and corner shops were still open like nothing changed between daylight and nightfall. Seville at night was a dream.
I hadn’t expected my first day in Seville to be like this. I had expected one thing, and although Seville had the charm and romanticism I had imagined, there was something about me being there at that point in my life, something inexplicable that was beyond the city’s sights and architecture. It was that the atmosphere really also worked for me.