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Places I’ve been, people I’ve seen…

The Real Alcazar

The Real Alcazar

I’ve been lucky enough while I’ve been in Spain, to travel around a bit and see some places a bit further afield.  Living in Seville was fantastic, it was small enough that I wasn’t feeling totally lost and shell-shocked, but big enough to provide lots of exploring opportunities. There’s a big student community in Seville, plenty of bars and cafes with student friendly prices and a crackin’ atmosphere. I landed on my feet doing my first internship there for a translation company. My housemates were always up for going out, meeting new people and trying everything that seville had to offer, which is good, because left to my own devices there’s a good chance I’d find a nice cafe with my equally nice book and forget about the world. I do that sometimes. So a handy kick up the arse was always on hand.If you’re thinking about visiting Sevilla, I would say go for it. It really is a stunning city and it’s one of the few places where you can drive yourself mental trying to understand particularly thick Andalusian accents. Which is always a plus.

Here are a few things to get you started on your site seeing tour of sevilla…
  • The Real Alcazar – you can’t visit Sevilla and miss this, if you do, you’ll kick yourself very hard and probably bruise. And you wouldn’t want that. The gardens are awesome, especially in summer when you can sit by one of the huge intricately carved fountains and chill out for a bit. And once you’ve had your fill of architecture, have a drink under an orange tree and pet one of the many strays that call the Alcazar home. Seriously, I witnessed a kitten sizing up a mallard, thought a fight might break out but that duck wasn’t taking any shit that day and a kitten rebellion was quickly quashed.
Funky fountain and mutant mega fish.

Funky fountain and mutant mega fish.

  • Plaza de España – one of the biggies to visit, fill up on culture and nice photos. There’s also a massive park surrounding the plaza that’s great for an impromptu picnic! Just watch out you don’t get run over by people biking around the place. The combination of Art Deco and ‘Mock Mudejar’ is something to behold. 
  • Seville cathedral – Again, very impressive. While you’re there, climb the tower at the back of the Cathedral and you get some pretty stunning views of the city. Be prepared for huffing and puffing. But if the huge sweaty beast of a sixty year old man with a camera that weighs more than your head can do it, so can you. Check out Columbus’s tomb while your poking around.
  • Andalusian tapas – I always find that food is the best part of going abroad..finding some brand new yummy thing to delight your tastebuds gives you a great feeling of success. Los Coloniales is always a good bet, but beware, it’s so popular that it’s usually packed with locals so try and go slightly before the Spaniards if you don’t want to wait for a table. Slightly more expensive than your standard tapas but it’s good quality stuff and there’s always plenty of it. Here’s a quick list of other places we tried and liked, feel free to branch out a bit!
     Levies Cafe – Bar – sooooo good. That is all.
    La Huerta 9, Las Columnas,  El Patio San Eloy, anywhere in Alfalfa and there are plenty of gorgeous little places. 
  • Plaza de la Encarnacion – called the ‘setas’ by all the locals, you can wander around underneath this crazy structure, there’s a market every sunday, a museum of the original city foundations inside, independant stalls and you can even go up it and walk along the top, great for seeing Sevilla in all its glory. Especially at night. This is also where one of the many christmas markets are held, get your turron on. 
The river – where all the joggers hang out and where you can occassionally see people jumping in in summer.  Take a boat ride and see the sites from the water. The Torre del oro is on the banks so why not stop off there too while you’re looking around!   The Cathedral at nightTake it all in. Explore. They have churches and monestaries coming out of their ears in Sevilla, nuns roam the streets looking very hot and bothered. Take advantage of the culture stuffed surroudnings, the Museo de Bellas Artes has a great colleciton and most of the museums and sites are free or very cheap for students and sometimes for EU citizens. Go over the river into Triana and see what you can find, the possibilities are endless! 
My grandma always tells me whenever I set off anywhere, make the most of it. You’re only young once, so see everything you can while you have the chance, don’t worry about making a tit out of yourself, just make sure you don’t come back regretting you didn’t do something. This year, I’ve really taken that advice to heart. I’m making it my mission to experience as much as I can while I’m travelling and also when I’m not..having chats in Spanish even when I’m slightly terrified I’ll sound like an imbecile, reading in Spanish, writing..the lot. 
Grabbing life by the cojones. 

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