A short 2 hours away from our condo in the Algarve and we were in Seville. The drive would have been shorter if Jim could have maintained his Portugal speed of 160 kmh, I gather they actually have speed limits in Spain. We also went into a little bit of shock when we ran into traffic. All our drives from Lisbon to the Algarve and around the Algarve and we had never seen any traffic. Thankfully our gps took us right to our meeting point where we met Adris our AirBnB host. Parking came with our apartment or we might still be there driving in circles. The apartment was great, totally renovated, lots of room, comfy beds. Adris gave us a map of the area and highlighted all the must sees. The location was walking distance to everything. Including some great little cafes and restaurants just steps away. Our first stop was at El Rinconcillo, a popular Spanish restaurant just steps away.
After a quick tapas lunch (of which we had no idea what we were doing), we set off to explore the city. Pretty well everything we wanted to see (and had time to see) was walking distance from our apartment. Seville is full of beautiful old buildings and so clean and friendly. We did get lost a few times but were always able to find our way home.
We headed down to the Real Alcazar Palace (where some of Game of Thrones was shot) and the Seville Cathedral but couldn’t get in, as they were sold out for the day. First stop on the way back was to book a tour for the next day. Thank goodness we did, even though it was Tuesday it was crazy busy the next day too.
We also tried to get a horse and buggy ride, twice and both times even though there were tons of buggies around, it was 5 pm and that is quitting time. So Wednesday morning we made a point of doing the buggy ride before we headed back to Portugal. They tour all the important areas of the old city. Just lovely.
Santa Semana is the name for the Holy Week celebrations. All the churches have a brotherhood and different costumes (which have been around for centuries, see pic below) and carry their priceless centuries old relics through the town to celebrate Easter. Our first night there we came across 12 men carrying an 8 x 8 platform full of cement. They were practicing for the procession. They were tightly packed like a can of sardines and it was so heavy they could barely make it 10 feet without stopping. Seville is known for their celebrations. The town was busy putting up stands and cleaning up the city. It would definitely be quite the experience.
Every corner had street buskers on, from flamenco dancers to solo musicians to whole bands, the city was bustling with activity. Torre del Oro was calling us on our walk, the Tower of Gold, it was the last building built by the Muslims and supposedly is where the Conquistadors hid their gold when they returned from their conquests. And bonus it was free on Mondays, so Jim and I climbed to the top where we had a wonderful view of the city and the river.
Time to head back to our room for a break before we headed out to dinner. 10,000 steps so far. On the way back I was attacked by a cobblestone and twisted my ankle. Well suck it up buttercup I was only here for 2 days I wasn’t wasting it. I have been making up for it with lots of whining since I have been home. Final count over 17,000 steps for the day.