Seville

Onwards to Seville! Each post threatens to be twice as long as the last – this trip really gains momentum as we get deeper into Andalusia.

I had high expectations for Seville after hearing my siblings rave about it, and happily it delivered. Again, there is so much to see and do in Seville, even before you factor in long tapas lunches. First up we spent the afternoon getting a feel for the place and checking out the Plaza de España. You know you’ve been living in Denmark too long when a sunny 15 degrees day sees you getting down to shirtsleeves…

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Plaza de Espana
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Plaza de Espana
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Plaza de Espana
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Tile work to die for
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Monumento a Cristobal Colon

Seville has such a distinct feel and architectural style that carries over into the accomodation. I was instructed to stay in a place with a luxurious palm-filled courtyard, which turned out to be very easy to achieve.

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Returning home to our dramatic entryway

Day two saw us heading for the Cathedral (don’t worry, there is of course an alcazar coming up too, for those on Team Alcazar). We were given a hot tip that you could skip the gigantic lines at the Cathedral by visiting another seldom visited church – the Iglesia del Salvador – and buying a combined ticket… this church was promisingly described to me as being a ‘hot mess of over-the-top bling that no-one really goes to’. Unfortunately, by the time we visited a lot of other people had cottoned on to this sneaky trick resulting in quite a long line (still less painful than the Cathedral lines though).

Fortunately, we are apparently quite into hot messes of over-the-top bling, because we really liked this church. We’re also still laughing about the joyless person who gave this church a one star Google review along with the comment ‘I’ve found many other churches, way more interesting (sic)‘. I particularly like how it reads like the start of a very bad poem thanks to that stray comma…

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One star?!
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Best monstrance of the trip
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Excellent nativity action
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Jesus wondering what more this church has to do to please the one star reviewer

Once we had our fill of the non-interesting, one star hot mess bling church we went to see the main event – the Seville Cathedral (or Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, or Catedral de Santa María de la Sede). It was pretty good – I would give it more than one star, at any rate. It was fun to go up the bell tower (the Giralda) because the city of Seville is beautiful from up high. It’s also where Christopher Columbus (or as we now like to call him, Cristobal Colon) is buried.

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Oranges everywhere
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The Giralda
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Tomb of Cristobal Colon
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Tomb of Cristobal Colon
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Second monstrance of the day – what a treat
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Looking south over the Cathedral
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Looking east over the city
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Looking west to the Plaza de Toros

That last picture brings us neatly to our next port of call – the Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, aka the bullring. I’m really not on board with the animal cruelty elements of the fights, and feel like surely there is some alternative spectacle they can come up with for modern times… however I am very on board with the amazing costumes and larger than life matador characters. It was a tricky place to visit, but at least it’s open for free one afternoon if like us you feel a bit weird giving the sport money but at the same time want to learn about some of it’s history…

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In the ring itself
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Can we end the sport but bring the clothes into everyday use?

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Dream outfit
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Ant unintentionally wielding his jacket as a cape…
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I want to know who this lady is…

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Many restaurants in Andalusia have you eating under the heads of famous bulls

I’ll admit we got very obsessed with the life story of a few matadors and spent a lot of time googling them while eating tapas. Our favourites include Manolete, who died a tragic death at the horns of Islero, and especially El Pirata the one eyed pirate matador (previously the Cyclone of Jerez). Click through to that link about El Pirata to read some of the manliest statements ever written, including the following:

‘last October, in the same bullring where he lost his eye, a bull gored him in the same eye-socket [Editor’s note: WHAAAAAT!?!], but somehow, Padilla suffered little more than a concussion’.

Ok, moving on from the bloodbath that is bullfighting to the bloodbath that is Game of Thrones… heaps of the scenes in Dorne are filmed at the Alcázar of Seville, so we dutifully pre-booked tickets, including some sneaky tickets to see the rooms currently still in use by the Spanish royals today. I think I said this in the Madrid post, but it’s really worth pre-booking most attractions in Andalusia at the moment – there are SO many tourists in the region and any blog from a year or two ago that advises that pre-booking is not necessary is just totally wrong. I’d advise you lean in to being a lame non-spontaneous loser tourist and book stuff, because otherwise you’ll end up spontaneously standing in a queue for 4 hours…

Anyway, the Alcazar! It was very lovely – even more ornate than the one in Cordoba, and surrounded by hectic gardens. The mudéjar architectural style is very cool – basically when Christians took over the place in 1400s they decided to stick with the mad Moorish architecture because it looks so cool. Good call. Unfortunately this was the only time in our whole two week trip when it was a little overcast, but even so it started to clear towards the end of our visit…

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Underground baths

Finally, to round out this post a food highlights package. We were in Seville for around 3 days I think, which was long enough to acquire a few favourite places to revisit, and it was also where we really worked out the point of tapas and how it all worked…

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Bar Alfalfa – around the corner from our accomodation and very excellent
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So much jamon…
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Breakfast of champions – tomato and olive oil never tasted so good…
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Highly recommended – Bodeguita Romero, location of choice for Ant’s birthday lunch
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PRINGAS – a revelation at Bodeguita Romero. I ate SO many.
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Half grocery shop, half bar, all excellent
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Old school in Casa Moreno
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Sobrasada and smoked cheese tostaditos

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Authentico
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Very good breakfast churros at this joint, and also open very early…

We also had a few sweet treats, the first being Roscón de reyes – a typical new years cake eaten on January 6th (King’s Day). Despite a long and abiding love of cream buns the version we had was a tad underwhelming…

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Roscon de reyes

What were not disappointing were the convent sweets – especially the yemas. Despite actually being made by nuns, these are some unholy mix of sugar and egg yolk and not much else… Ant was obsessed, I would have needed to stage an intervention had we remained in Seville any longer.

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Yemas

That’s about all for Seville. I’l leave you with a picture of their apparently polarising attempt at modern architecture – the Metropol Parasol, aka Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnation’s mushrooms). I quite liked the crazy mushroom structure, although not enough to actually go up there and take in the view (i.e. get gouged at a tourist bar)… eating pringas definitely took priority.

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Shrooms
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6 thoughts on “Seville

  1. This is my favourite Spain post so far…I love every picture! Especially as around the 9th photo of the Alcazar I was convinced I was back in Morocco taking that exact photo at a mosque! As much as I love these travel pics…another bump selfie please? Sorry I’m sure you’re sick of these requests! Hope you’re all happy and well! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so epic… plus we’re not even at the craziest one yet! There is still the one that broke my camera through overuse to come…

      Like

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