… “you don’t need magic to disappear, you just need a destination”
Seville was just that! A pit stop for the soul. I say pit stop because, all we could manage on our road trip from Granada to Portugal, was one night in Seville. So… we decided to make the most of it!
Have you ever been to a party where most of the old folk are dancing and being crazy …. where they have way more energy and zest for life than the youngsters? That’s Seville… Its an old town in years but its bustling with life like young blood flowing through its veins. Its aged gracefully with stories to tell… full of culture and color.
We reached in the evening and that probably was the best time. Seville was lit up even though it was on a hangover from Christmas and the festivities… ready to party on into the new year. Bright red swirls of Christmas flowers and fairy lights against magnificently lit up cathedrals and towers. Bustling streets with happy people- clearly there was a party at every corner!
After a quick swig of a very good year of Lagavulin malt to get rid of the stiffness from the drive, we decided to walk up to the cathedral plaza. In my head all I could think of was… the flamenco … the flamenco… Don’t miss the flamenco! … and on cue there it was… Casa De La Memoria
I have never watched a live flamenco recital before and I found that it was not just about the dance or the dancers but also just as much about the Spanish guitar and the folk singer. The precision of beats, guitar, song and each swirl, tap of the foot, clap of the hand and the shout outs of OLA were almost mathematical! A few drinks down later that evening I tried it too… Lets not get into how that went! 😉
Here’s a tip for almost any place in Spain… If you don’t know where to go for the best food and drinks in the evening always head to the Plaza Major or a Plaza around the cathedral…. which is exactly what we did. After walking around the lit up cathedral and through many cobbled streets that led back to the plaza we decided that it was time to wet our gills and we found just the right place for it. Taberna Alvaro Peregil was a hole in the wall tapas bar with only a string of garlic for décor! If you are not into standing tapas bars that date back to 1950 don’t go here… If you love authentic food and drinks like grandma made em… this is the place for you! Nothing fancy nothing pricey… Just an orange tree to stand under and some wooden tables!
I tasted for the first time vino de naranja or orange wine which apparently is sipped like a good glass of scotch and tuna jamon which I think we had quite a few plates of! If you like cold soups, they also serve a mean bowl of Gazpacho or cold tomato soup. This place comes with the proverbial fat chef, his handsome son and a singing waiter!
The morning after I had a big fat smile on my face reeling from my one night stand of Seville… and I was ready to head to discover the cathedral before we drove out. But first… ravenous… yes still…. Food!
We discovered this little patisserie around the corner of where we stayed called Pikislabi. I hear most patisseries have amazing baguettes with jamon (ham) sandwiches and the one thing I couldn’t stop eating napolitana de chocolate (chocolate croissant)- to die for! But of course we ate under an orange tree!
Now that I was well fed (read- stuffed!) it was time to discover the Seville Cathedral
The cathedral of Seville is the third largest church in Europe and also boasts of the largest altar piece in the world. I was especially intrigued by the distinct dome that seemed altered to a spire. This church like many others was built on the site of an Almohad mosque. The whole thing is quite overwhelming and like the audio book dictates the words of the rulers… “we shall have a church of such a kind that those who see it built will think we are mad”
Magnificent as the church was I have to admit I enjoyed the courtyard of orange trees (patio de los naranjos) more. This was just straight out of a school sketch book for me…. I remember drawing swirly orange dots onto trees but I never thought I would ever see so many of them in one place!
I mean honestly, doesn’t the church look so much prettier with the oranges! 😀
If you have the energy to climb a few (!!) floors… make sure you go up the bell tower! The view is to die for! I got up there just in time for the bell toll and lets just say that both that and the view blew me away! 😉
Christopher has already summarized it for me…..“The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.” ~Author: Christopher Columbus