We arrived in Seville on Tuesday afternoon and after dropping Alan and Gloria off at their luxury hotel, we found a car park within easy walking distance of the city centre, 10-15 minutes to the Cathedral, with no facilities in which to base ourselves for the next 3 nights. We had planned for this by filling up with water, emptying the grey waste and having a clean and empty loo before we left Cordoba! The car park is situated on Av. Presidente Adolfo Suarez, 41011, Seville.
We met Gloria and Alan by the Cathedral and bought our tickets for the following day so that we wouldn’t have to queue and hopefully beat the crowds. We walked through the Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville’s medieval Jewish quarter area at the back of the Cathedral, its narrow streets and whitewashed houses, the windows barricaded with iron grilles. We had dinner in Plaza Dona Elvira and where serenaded by three students from the university, all in traditional dress. They were worth a tip!
The following day, we were able to enter the Cathedral dead on 11.00, skip the queue for tickets and beat the hordes of tours, giving us a lovely space in which to enjoy the awe-inspiring size and majesty that the Cathedral has to offer.
We climbed up to the belfry of the Giralda, the ascent of which is quite easy as a series of ramps goes all the way to the top, built so that the guards could ride up on horseback! At the top are super views over Seville and of course the bells themselves.
At the exit of the Cathedral we purchased a two day open top bus ticket, much to Alan’s uncertainty of travelling on a bus! We took advantage straight away and headed for the first bus stop. It was a hop-on, hop-off bus giving you plenty of opportunity to explore a variety of Seville’s areas. We got off at the district of Macarena and headed for the oldest and apparently the first bar where tapa was created 345 years ago, El Rinconcillo. We shared some tapas in the traditional way of standing around a beer barrel whilst supping red wine, and beer.
We walked from El Rinconcillo to our next sight-seeing icon, the Metropol Parasol in the Plaza Encarnacion. Opened in March 2011, it claims to be the largest wooden building in the world. Its roof is held up by five giant mushroom-like pillars and entry via a lift can be found on the lower ground level. Once you reach the top there is a panoramic walkway with city views. It certainly is a weird looking construction but one you should take the time to visit whilst in Seville.
We continued our walk from Plaza Encarnacion to pick up the bus again at Almeda de Hercules, once a no-go area but these days is filled with trendy bars and is also Seville’s main gay quarter.
After a couple of drinks at the roof top bar of Gloria and Alan’s hotel, we walked back to Barrio de Santa Cruz to spend the evening.
The next morning, we queued for tickets to the Alcazar, originally founded as a fort for the Cordoban governors of Seville in 913, it has been expanded and reconstructed many times in its 11 centuries of existence. The Palacio de Don Pedro’s decoration is very reticent of the Alhambra in Granada mainly because Pedro had a long-standing alliance with the Muslim emir of Granada, Mohammed V, so when Pedro decided to build a new palace within the Alcazar, Mohmmed sent along many of his best artisans.
The gardens are wonderful to walk around (although this time of year, lacking in a bit of colour other than green) are best viewed from the Galeria de Grutesco, a raised gallery with porticoes created in the 16th century out of an old Muslim-era wall.
Time to hit the open top bus again and get off at the Parque de Maria Luisa and visit the stunning and amazing Plaza de España with its fountains and mini-canals, built for the 1929 Exposicion Iberomaericana, featuring Seville tilework with a map and historical scene for each Spanish province. A wonderful background for your wedding photos too!
Gloria and Alan headed back to their hotel for a swim, no such luxury for us, we took the bus again for another tour and decided to visit Seville’s bullring. A guided visit takes you into its museum and then into the ring. We took a walk around the El Arenal area where the bull ring is situated and it had a really nice feel about it, worth a meander.
Time to meet Gloria and Alan again for something to eat before getting back on the bus for the night time tour! Not the best of tours but it was rather funny when Alan shouted to passers-by “Help, get me off this bus”, particularly when he had to dodge the overhanging tree branches.
On our final morning, we met Gloria and Alan at Seville’s Confiteria La Campana, a bakery that has been in existence since 1885. It would have been rude not to try a cake and a coffee, so that is what we did. The cakes were rather luxurious looking and tasted delicious! We left Gloria and Alan in Seville as they were not flying back to the UK until the evening and we have now arrived in a campsite in a small town called Isla Cristina on the Spanish side of the border with Portugal. I have been trying to fight off a sore throat and after all that site-seeing and walking, am more than ready for a rest.
We have had a great time exploring, Granada, Cordoba and Seville with Alan and Gloria, it has given us a real insight into being able to stay close to city centres, using just our own services on board and I can recommend the car park that we stayed in Seville at €10 for 24 hours as it is walkable to the centre, used by other motorhomers and felt safe. The only downside is that it could be noisy at night but only one night that we experienced as there seemed to have been an outside disco set up over the other side of the river. One out of three nights is not bad.