“Are you going to Granada!?” “Are you going to Seville?!” “Oh my God, I LOVE Granada!” “Oh my God, I LOVE Seville!” We have met so many people who have studied in Spain or worked in Spain or lived in Spain and these two Andalusian cities are always at the top of their favorites lists. We did not fall in love with Granada, but we went to Seville with open minds, hoping we would see what other travelers see. We took a ride share and arrived at the bus station in Seville where we locked up our bags (our check in was later in the day) before heading out to Plaza España.
We have been to A LOT of plazas in our three months in Europe so far, and Plaza España in Seville is one of the prettiest. It is covered in amazing painted tiles and it surrounded by a moat filled with little rowboats. There are tiled benches that are painted to represent each of the regions of Spain up against the giant building, which is similarly covered in tiles. Even undersides of the bridges are covered in beautiful painted tiles. The Plaza is set in a beautiful garden and had we had more time we could have spent hours walking around the greenery.
After checking into our Airbnb we headed out to lunch at the Alameda de Hercules, which is a giant square filled with cafes and restaurants that was right down the street from the apartment we were staying in. We grabbed some “Mexican” food (which was not really Mexican food) before heading back out into the city. We paid the 3-euro to go to the top of the Las Setas (the mushroom building) for a great view of the city. The building is very strange, almost ugly, but very unique and worth the small cost. Included in that 3-euro admission fee was a small drink (we got beer), which we enjoyed while overlooking all of Seville.
We were planning to do a little shopping after our beer (for Morocco/desert clothes) but it was some sort of holiday (there are A LOT of random holidays in Europe), so everything was closed. Instead, we headed back to the Alameda de Hercules for a drink and dinner. We got tapas for dinner at a restaurant called Al Algibe and it ended up being the best food of the ENTIRE trip. We got tuna tartar with garlic cream sauce, salmon sashimi with yellow pepper and tamarind sauce, sardines with avocado and red pesto and, le piece de la resistance, passion fruit and salmon ceviche. The food was absolute heaven and Logan says that the passion fruit and salmon ceviche is the best thing he has ever eaten. He literally ate it bit-by-bit and stared at it like he couldn’t believe such a thing existed.
In the morning we walked to the old city center to see the giant gothic cathedral (the largest in Europe) and the Alcazar. On the way we stopped by a giant H&M where there was a huge sale. We both bought a few essentials for Morocco (Logan got some linen pants and I got a long, Muslim country appropriate dress and a lightweight long sleeve) before moving on to the actual sightseeing for the day.
We decided to save some money and admire the cathedral from the outside only (we are pretty burnt out on churches). It is gigantic and magnificent and Logan’s love of the flying buttress made this one of the most interesting cathedrals we have seen so far.
We did pay to go into the Alcazar, which was more than worth it. It is similar to the Alhambra, but it is far more colorful and bigger (or it seemed bigger). We spent a couple of hours wandering around the complex, snapping tons of pictures along the way. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful and interesting. I loved the Alcazar. I thought it was more beautiful than the Alhambra and far less stressful and structured.
We ended our sightseeing day with a stroll through the old Jewish part of the city. This area is pretty touristy, filled with shops selling fans and tiles and flamingo costumes. There are, however, hidden narrow streets where the buildings are so close you can touch your neighbor across the street from your stoop. We did not actually see these streets, as we were really hot and in need of a siesta. Ironically, it was only 90 degrees, which is not hot at all in Seville, the “frying pan of Europe.” We needed a siesta anyway.
After a few hours relaxing by the fan it was time to go out for food. We briefly considered finding another restaurant to eat at, but our food the night before was so delicious that we decided to go back for round two. This time we each got our own ceviche, plus the sardines and tartar from the night before. This meal was the perfect way to end our time in Spain, where the food is delicious and the sun is always shining. We really loved Spain. It is one of our favorites so far, and we will be back. Adios Spain!