There were a few things we didn’t know as we stepped off the train in Seville. We didn’t know where the bus stop was, nor did we know how to get to our hotel. But the biggest thing we weren’t prepared for was how unbelievably hot it was.
Tapas, Sangria and Cerveza
It was early September and one would expect some leftover summer heat. As I stepped off of the train I thought to myself, “It’s bloody hot!” It was not as hot as it was in Budapest, but it was damn hot. I tried to console myself by remembering we were back in the land of tapas and Sangria – and Cerveza!
Like we do in nearly every city we visit, we spent our five days in Seville out and about wandering the city and exploring the sites. In Seville though, we chose to stay just outside of the historic downtown core, too far to just step out the door and start walking.
Ready for Some Comfort
By the time we reached Seville – our second to last destination city on our grand European tour – we were hot and tired and road weary. We were in need of a super comfortable full-size hotel room with a king bed and really good air-conditioning so we cashed in our Hilton Hotel points. It was one of the best decisions ever, and the hotel’s free shuttle service took us to and from downtown. It was a win-win!
As I said, upon our arrival we actually knew very little about Seville but it was a definitely a city we both wanted to visit. Had we done our homework and known what to expect temperature wise we may have altered our plans, but I’m glad we didn’t because it all turned out for the best and we enjoyed the city. So much so we’d like to go back one day, but definitely in early spring or late fall. I remember our shuttle driver telling us that temperatures in Seville can soar up to 110+ in the heat of the summer months. Ugh!
Seville & Real Alcazar
The Real Alcazar was a wonderful discovery and our afternoon exploring the historic palace – which is still used by the royal family – was fascinating and a highlight of our visit to Seville. It was a definite step back in time.
While standing in line to buy our admission tickets we were approached by a local guide asking if we’d like to join another American couple for a private tour. It wasn’t something we would normally do, but at the same time we knew we’d have a much better experience if we went with a guide.
Being ever vigilant, we didn’t want to just hand over our cash to a complete stranger so Abi went with him to buy our tickets and the tickets for the other couple. We didn’t need to worry, he was terrific. If I remember right he was a teacher and gave tours as a side source of income. He was so knowledgeable and personable, we thoroughly enjoyed our tour. The architecture and the gardens of Real Alcazar were beyond beautiful and as we strolled through the gardens on our own, we embraced the peace and calm. What is it about gardens that soothe the soul?
Five Days in Seville
Our five days in Seville afforded us time to see the highlights of the city. We also had time to relax in the evenings and catch our breath a bit. As much as we wanted to experience all that Seville had to offer, we also wanted to take our time and just hang out so-to-speak; especially given the heat. It wasn’t a time to run around like crazed tourists on a count down clock. We just wanted to be in Seville. No hurries, no worries. After nearly three months of fast-paced travel we were winding down. And, we were looking forward to our upcoming ten days in Malaga, which would be followed by three months in Porto.
The Grand Mosque
We took a day trip – by train – to the nearby City of Cordoba where we visited the Grand Mosque. The Mosque was beyond incredible, and it almost can’t be put in to words. If you find yourself in Seville, please do not miss out on a day trip to Cordoba to visit the Mosque. I promise, you’ll be awed by the grandeur and the history.
Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana was another Seville highlight. The plaza – an architectural wonder – was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1929. The plaza is massive and the details of the architecture are well-worth a visit. We took our time and walked from one end to the other romanticizing about days gone by and what the plaza must have been like in another era. The day we visited it was very quiet on the plaza, maybe because of the heat, or maybe it was not a work day, but it was quite nice.
So Much to Love About Spain
There are so many things we enjoy whenever we spend time in Spain. The people are friendly. The culture is rich in history and tradition. And, of course the tapas and sangria are exceptional. We knew so little about the city when we stepped off the train. But, I’d say we did pretty well for our first to Seville.