Seville by Kavita Kumble

Seville. Looking back, it feels like some sort of a beautiful daydream, but the colourful buildings, lunchtime Rioja (popular wine from Spain) and orange tree festooned streets were, in fact, real. I think it’s that Spanish light – so bright and clear that it makes everything seem extra special. Can you tell I’m excited to share with you my Seville Travel Guide?

It’s funny. When we did our Spain trip, we visited many of the major cities in the region and I kind of thought they would all be quite similar, but that was completely wrong. Each city we visited had a completely different essence, and when I think of them all…Seville had to be my favourite. Not only did it have the traditional Spanish attractions of Tapas and Flamenco but it also felt like a real functioning city with a bustling student population and businesses going about their everyday. I couldn’t help but fall in love with those orange tree lined streets and pristine courtyards.

Seville is bright and colourful and it’s everything I love about Spain. It was one of the places that makes you fall in love with this country. If you ever visit, you will know why Southern Spain is one of the best! Because Seville is so classically beautiful, it means it’s popular. It’s like the Florence of Spain and come summertime, boom it’s busy busy busy. I am not at all a fan of crowds and people. Living in a city like Mumbai in India, all you want is less crowd and people around. But if you go in spring or summer time in Spain, it gets crowded. So try and go there in early May when spring is just setting in and there are less people around.  But here’s a secret, if you are an early morning person (I am not) then you should walk the squares and roads early mornings. 8 am in Spain is like 6 am in the rest of the world – It’s dead out and you will have the place to yourself.

And the place is all about walking around, which I was happy to do. Perhaps one should also brush up a little with Spanish too, as I found it very tough navigating the roads and finding places as very few people understand English. Google Maps will come in handy here and that’s the best way to find your way out there.

I hired an Airbnb in the old town next to Casa de Pilatos which is a centre of attraction in Seville. It was just a 5-minute walk from the place I stayed up. So obviously, it was my first stop. The palace has an old world charm. Built in 1500 AD, it’s an outstanding building with a lot of colours and houses some sculptures of Greek mythological figures and paintings of 16th to 19th Century. Admission is 8-10 Euros depending on how much of the place you want to see. You can easily spend half a day here exploring the place in and out of the palace and clicking some colourful pictures.

The second place I visited here is the most famous Plaza de Espana. I walked through the Old Jewish Quarter to this place which took me a good 45 minutes. On the way, you will find a lot of iconic places like the Cathedral, the University, beautiful gardens, and fountains. It’s filled with small winding streets and is generally regarded as the most charming part of the city, but it is also touristy.

Originally built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Expo, Plaza de Espana epitomises the Renaissance Revival style of Spanish architecture. Designed by Aníbal González, the building combines Art Deco with mock Mudéjar and Neo-Mudéjar styles. Among the plaza highlights are the Alcoves of the Provinces, intricately designed sections that represent each province in Spain. You can enjoy the evening with a quiet boat ride which you can hire for 30 minutes, enjoy the sunset along the water fountain and catch a Flamenco street performance.

Talking about Flamenco, this traditional dance art originates from Seville and catching it there will be a treat. I caught it at the only Museum of Flamenco Dance in the world at Seville. The tickets are around 24 Euros each.  It’s an hour long and the music will entice you along with the woman flowing in with great thumping steps. This is a great place to not only see flamenco in Seville but also to get a sense of the history and culture. No photographs or videos were allowed out here, so I could not click any.

Last but not the least, if you have the adventure streak in you then you can try out skydiving in Seville too. It’s on the outskirts of the town which is an hour long cab drive costing around 40 Euros. You can pre-book a slot on their online skydiving site for the dive. Try and book the morning slots as there is a long wait there once you reach on the booked slot time and you get to jump only post approximately 3-4 hours. I was surprised to see so many Indians when I reached there. The adrenaline rush is something which you cherish for a lifetime. Though nervous as hell, I managed to jump off that plane and land safely too. This will almost take one entire day of yours and you will be lucky if you don’t suffer from headaches and body pain post this. Pop a pill and go to sleep to cure that throbbing head.

I so wanted to catch the Alcázar too where Game of Thrones was shot but there was no more time to visit so missed it.

There is more to Spain than what meets the eye, the Paella, Tapas, endless Sangrias and walking those streets. You will love every moment out there. Go explore and discover it for yourself… Adios!

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