“Seville”, wrote Byron “is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women.”
We took the bus into Seville today and first stop was Seville Cathedral, built upon the huge, rectangular base plan of the old mosque whose minaret, the Giralda, now serves as a bell tower, it was given the extra dimension of height by the Christian architects. Inside the Cathedral it is vast, huge height, lots to see and you can also climb to the top of the Giralda for views of Seville.
We walked around the Bario Santa Cruz area, its narrow streets and whitewashed houses, the windows barricaded with rejas (iron grilles) behind which girls once kept chaste evening rendezvous with their paramours who were forced to comer hierro (“eat iron”) as passion mounted!
We stopped for some tapas and a beer before taking a ride on the open top bus. We got on the bus expecting a sedate guided tour of Seville, the guided bit was OK with our headphones switched to English but the sedate part turned out to be, it seemed, a race against time. I think the driver drove to make up time for a rest at the end of his circuit, so much so, that we stayed on the bus for another three quarter circuit that was a lot more enjoyable!
On the second circuit we got off the bus at Barrio Macarena. “The Macarena now as it always was, is the abode of ragged poverty which never could or can for a certainty reckon on one or any meal a day”. Things have changed considerably for the better since Ford was in the barrio Macarena in the middle of the nineteenth century; and since Murillo used the barrio’s beggars and urchins as models for his paintings. Today it is an area full of character, with many attractive cobbled streets.
Loved Seville, today was a good taster and Tony did well to last all day but I would like to come back again for a long weekend to explore the areas even more and experience the flamenco and nightlife! A great weekend city break.