Spain: Seville

July, 2018

Baby it’s hot!! Daniel and I sweated our way through 4 hot days in Seville where the temperature hit 37 most days. We totally changed our routine in order to survive seeing the sights, getting up early and then returning to our accommodation in the afternoon to nap. We’d then have a late dinner before heading out again to explore at night.

Getting to Seville

We tried something new with this trip and booked out first BlaBla Car. To get the bus was going to cost €90 for the two of us and take 8 hours. This seemed a bit rediculous so I started to look at other options. Flying cost about the same, but baggage doubled the cost. Trains were rediculous, as usual, so I finally explored BlaBla Car. Someone had mentioned it earlier in our trip but you needed a number/sim card to sign up. When I looked at the price and time, it quickly became obvious that it was worth getting a Sim card for.

BlaBla Car is a ride share service, a bit like Airbnb for cars. You can buy a seat in a car going on the same journey as you. Drivers often use major bus/train stations as pick up/drop off points but you can always negotiate. Our BlaBla Car to Seville cost about €30 less and took half the time. Granted, it’s not as comfortable as the bus and 5 people in a Honda Civic is pretty cosy but it was great fun. We chatted to interesting people the whole way and even stopped for a beer half way. I think we’ll be using it a lot more!

Accommodation in Seville

Did I mention the heat? Well I highly suggest accommodation with air-conditioning. We didn’t have that and it was super hot at our Airbnb. In fact, the only way to sleep was like a toddler with a fever, wrapped in a damp towel. Aside from the heat, it was cheap, cheerful, CLEAN, and an easy walk into the city.

Highlights of Seville

Seville was our second big city in Spain, first in Andalusia, and it was utterly beautiful. We spent two of our days here wandering the streets and enjoying the architecture. Our biggest failure was not seeing flamenco that wasn’t designed for tourists. We tried 3 times, the first night we were way to early, the second we fell asleep and the third we were too late!

Plaza de España

Built in the early 1900’s for the 1929 Ibero- American World Fair Expo, this beautiful structure stands over an ornate plaza below. I don’t know how to describe it other than breath taking and utterly Spanish. Standing by the canal, looking up at the intricate build while Spanish guitar floated around us will be an enduring memory. The main building currently houses part of the Spanish government.

Maria Luisa Park

In front of Plaza de España, a large park area stretches towards the river. We visited the park after the Plaza just as the day was starting to get hot. It was lovely to wander beneath the trees and take a rest on one of the many decorative benches. Horse drawn carriages and police on horseback trotted around the park and teenagers posed by waterways with fancy ducks. There are also many little rotundas throughout the park to discover.

Seville Cathedral

This is the largest gothic cathedral in the world, and third largest Cathedral. We were super lucky to be first into the cathedral when we visited. We arrived half an hour before opening and skipped small exhibitions near to the entrance so we could have the whole space to ourselves for a few minutes. It was crazy to be in such a massive space all by ourselves.

Entry includes the bell tower and it was definitely worth climbing 30+ floors for the view of Seville. You can see the city from all directions. Unfortunately one side was under maintenance during our visit so we saw only 3 directions. Another pro of the climb is the slight breeze you can feel at the top.

At the back of the cathedral is the orange courtyard. This is a lovely shaded space with symmetrically planted orange trees. Many people were just standing around enjoying the serene space.

Real Alcazar de Seville

The Alcazar is a fortified palace that was built over different periods. This is a ‘must do’ they we skipped. It was €25 for both of us and the cues were huge. If we weren’t going to the Alhambra I’m Granada we would have definitely visited but chose to visit the Cathedral instead.

Day trip to Cádiz

When it’s 37 degrees in the city, the only sensible thing to do is visit the beach. As we are sensible people, we did just that. We booked a BlaBla Car for each way and headed to Cádiz early one morning. It is a 1.5 hour drive from the centre of Seville to Cádiz and BlaBla Car was the main option as there was no bus and the train was expensive.

Cádiz was much larger than I expected. It is also a very popular beach destination. There were heaps of people there, all for the same thing, to hit the sand and salty water. We had a brief walk around the city, looked at the Cathedral from the outside, found an amazing market to buy some delicious cherries and then joined the crowds on the beach. In reality it wasn’t the best beach experience because it was so busy but it was so lovely to be by the sea and cool off in the water.

Apparently there are some really nice secluded beaches further up the coast but we weren’t sure how to get to or from them without our own car. Turns out our driver to Cadiz was going to one of these paradises, and back to Seville but I’d already booked a return ride!!

Nightlife

Because it is so hot during the day, Seville, like much of Spain, comes alive at night. I meant night like midnight, not like 8pm. The Spaniards often don’t have dinner till 10pm and then they head out to catch up with friends, have a drink or take the kids to the park. It is so weird to see small children on playgrounds when it is dark and past my normal bedtime. We really enjoyed heading out for a drink or gelato in the evening. It is so much more gentle than at home where people are stumbling around loud and drunk. In Spain they are just our and having uncomplicated fun.

Also this marked my first European gelato. We found an ice-cream bar that offered gluten free and dairy free gelato. I had two different chocolate ice-creams in Seville at Porto Bello.

Thanks for reading this post. We hope that you enjoyed our stories and Daniel’s pictures. Please like, share and follow us and check us out on Instagram @twokiwisgoroaming

Next up, Granada

Chloe and Daniel xxx

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