Brimming with history, colour, and vibrancy, Seville is a beautiful city.
Plaza de Espana is an impressive semi-circular building, in a very picturesque setting. The sandstone colour of the building, the myriad tiled mosaics, the huge cool corridors and staircases, the beautifully carved statues, the green moat, the fragrant and colourful flowers, the pretty yellow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages, the refreshing fountain in the centre – will all delight your senses… with long, shady porticos to see off the heat of the summer. Watching the Spanish police efficiently deal with a pick-pocket, through some slick collaboration and strategic manoeuvring, was equally impressive. No running required – coordination by radio does the trick! (Also rather sad to see yet understandable as there is a lot of poverty in evidence in Spain).
On a positive, the whole city though is set up for leading a healthy, active lifestyle: numerous large parks are pretty to stroll round and also have exercise facilities including outdoor gym equipment; wide cycle paths and walking paths run parallel to the roads and along the rivers – the pulsing lungs of the city. It’s always impressive when young women feel comfortable to exercise alone: Seville is such a city (Vancouver has a similar atmosphere). The city is also green – with the efficient buses and trams, the easy to use cycle hire, along with the more touristy horse-drawn carriages.
You can walk for hours and soak up the atmosphere as you go – history and culture abound, as well as the modern café culture with restaurants spilling onto the pavements. It’s easy to wile away time just people-watching…
The hour long boat trip along the river Guadalquivir is an alternative fun way to see the city, as it gives another view of the city’s landmarks by day or night. Boats run half-hourly in the summer. The sights, both modern and old, are impressive and help to contextualise the city, as well as reinforce the image of the fit and healthy. Presumably the unhealthy are tucked away in the bodegas!
For a decent restaurant look out for those frequented by the locals, usually just one street away from the tourist centres or hotels: the food is authentic, delicious and very reasonable and the menu doesn’t look like a photo-album!
In a word we would describe Seville, the capital city of Andalusia, as beautiful. In a cityscape kind of beautiful – as you can still find the muck that accumulates wherever humans gather. However for a spacious, vibrant, shady city, then this is the one for you. The city fathers have taken pains to preserve and provide access to all the great palaces, and monuments, the abundance of gardens and open green spaces… and the roads are wide, bright yellow wheeled horse carriages clip-clop along unhindered and the space created for running, walking and cycling is superb. They do their best to keep the litter accumulation – a blight throughout southern Spain – to a minimum. Famous architect born in Seville: Aníbal González Álvarez-Ossorio…
Seville is the only river port in Spain, and as ever, a bit of water adds an extra dimension to a city. Once an exceptionally rich town – as evidenced by the beautiful buildings, monuments and architecture – Seville started to lose out to Cadiz as the river silted up. However, a very photogenic city, Seville is well preserved.