A September 2006 trip
to Seville by cr008k
Quote: Seville, Spain Trip.
I came to Seville after visiting Barcelona, Madrid, and Costa Del Sol. I really expected it to be somewhat more similar to Costa Del Sol than to Barcelona or Madrid, both of which are much bigger cities. I pictured a tiny town on the sea, tucked away, offering very little other than beautiful views and a great beach to relax on (much like in Costa Del Sol).I was somewhat surprised because Seville really did not fit into a category. It was a city with its own unique personality, and its own unique characteristics. And it was a truly lovely one at that.
Seville is one of the largest historical centers in Europe. It features the minaret of La Giralda, which is one of the largest Christian Cathedrals existing in the world (at least according to the tour guide we have) as well as an "Old City" sort of in the center of the town that is absolutely filled with beautiful, architectural, and historically significant buildings. There is an old palace (Alcazar) and a tower which offers an absolutely amazing view of the city (the tower I believe is called Giralda, I didn't label my pictures and of course now I am having a hard time remembering- I hate when I do that). There is an old 16th century mansion which is beautiful and has fantastic old world architecture that made me feel as though I was in a Disney animated movie because it was so huge and intricate and exquisite (Pilatos).
The Triana Bridge over the river is a beautiful place to visit, and you get another great view of the city and the several blends of architecture that Seville is famous for (I am not an architecture buff, but if you are, you will know the Edwardian and the other famous one and you will be super impressed with the exquisite examples of these periods that are all over the city).
There are also tons of great restaurants where you can linger for hours, try tons of stuff, get to know the owners (everywhere we went people were friendly, suggesting things for us to eat, sometimes even sending over a delicious treat to try).
Overall there are tons and tons of stuff to do, that is historical as well as relaxing and fun!
Be sure to go out for tapas, which Spain is famous for. For those who do not know, tapas is sort of a bunch of appetizer style food that you have. There are lots of different things, mostly meat but there are some vegetarian options as well. The best thing to do is to order a whole bunch for the table and get to try everything. Often, tapas can even be better than the meal and you can make a dinner in it in and of itself, so I recommend you do this at least one night. Also try some delicious fish soup (this seemed to be offered everywhere, had a delightful red broth base and used lots of fresh seafood).
Do not miss the Old City, and Alcazar. Not only is it a beautiful palace, it also has absolutely amazing gardens. Even if you do not like history, you will be impressed by the old city because it is just so beautiful. If you do like history, try to take a guided tour (available through your hotel or tourist areas, they'll show you all the sites in Old Town and explain everything, like when they were built and by who and why they are important and why they are still there...) At a minimum, do your research so you can know what you are seeing as you see it and understand what you do not want to miss.
Triana is a very lively area of the town to visit. There are tons of restaurants and quaint little streets and shops and it is almost more the place to go for nightlife (and nightlife here can be really fun if that is what you are in to, people go out and stay out late and party hard).
Remember, a lot of places in the city still close up for a few hours in the afternoon for siesta, so take advantage of this great tradition to rest up a little before tapas. Don't expect the restaurants and stuff to be open during this time. There is also great theatre here, especially if you go during April (which we did not this time but we'd love to go back) when they have their famous festival.
Overall, enjoy the city, the people, the culture, the friendliness of everyone, the great restaurants. There is something everyone here will enjoy.
San Francisco, California