From the tower

I’m going to try something new with this post. Just my random ramblings with some photos and video from my short time (4 days) in Sevilla, Spain. While it was memorable, exciting & interesting (to say the least!), it hasn’t been my favorite place in Spain. Though I almost expected it to be.

Oh, and a quick aside: I wasn’t planning on writing about Sevilla this way but I feel I’ve been slacking with the blog a bit—simply putting up photos, though nice, is actually pretty easy. Photos require more access to reliable bandwidth (weefee is still my favorite pronunciation ever, by the way) but don’t require too much thought. Plus, I haven’t written anything in a while.

My Preconceptions

I’d heard great things about Sevilla before arriving here. I think it’s often the third most popular destination to visit in Spain behind Madrid & Barcelona (or Barcelona & Madrid depending upon your preference).

And that fact became immediately apparent just walking down the streets of Sevilla. I overheard more English here than anywhere else in Spain. It was almost shocking—until I realized how popular of a tourist destination Sevilla has become… and that it’s now officially tourist season in Europe. School’s out, yo.

On Nightlife, Street-Drinking & Plazas

My big night out in Sevilla is not a story ready for this blog (or maybe the blog isn’t ready for the story, I should say?). However, I will say this: Sevilla can easily be a lot of fun. The bars and clubs may not be as plentiful as Madrid (or probably Barcelona), nor stay open as long or as late, but it’s easy to see why this is a party town. The weather is warm; the people are young.

On my first night in Sevilla I ran outside to see what I could find. I happened across a rally for their local futbol team (or so I’m led to believe). I love how sports can affect cities & people. It’s truly amazing where peoples’ passions lie, and how that can bring people together.

I love the Spanish spirit. Plazas are a great meeting place and serve many purposes. I wish they were something that were carried over to America. Street-drinking (ordering a drink at a bar and then standing on the street outside of it) makes a lot of sense to me, too. I remember doing this a lot at the pubs in London, but not so much in other places.

On the Major Tourist Attractions

Sevilla Cathedral at night.
Sevilla Cathedral at night.

Sevilla has been an important city in Spain and it’s easy to see why. It’s on the border of so much history. The Cathedral is pretty nice. Especially at nighttime. And the city claims (allegedly proven with DNA testing) to house the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

I found the city most interesting for its fusion between Moorish and Christian influences, mixed in with some Judaism and ancient Roman stuff. The Alcazar (free entry with a student ID) is the most obvious representation of this melding of society—and also the most beautiful. It seems much of Spain has been conquered many times—whether by the fascists, Moors or Christians.

Alcazar in Sevilla
So many arches. The Alcazar.

It’s easy to get lost in Sevilla’s city center—but that’s not a bad thing at all. I loved wandering through the old Jewish quarter (Barrio Santa Cruz) which seemed very… old. When you’re lost, you stumble on ghost stories & Don Juan monuments. On ancient Roman columns. On graffiti down by the river.

Roman Column in Sevilla
Ancient Roman column—from a really, really long time ago. One of six you’ll find throughout the city.

Summertime Weather

It is HOT here. Luckily, ice cream is easy to come by. And my hostel has a swimming pool. Being here at just the beginning of summertime, I can see the importance & usefulness of the Spanish siesta. Who would want to be outside during the high heat of the day? It’s best to be inside.

Sevilla seems to fully embrace the siesta. Much of the city closes down and you’ll mostly find tourists around. It’s best to take a nap.

My Final Thoughts

Sevilla is nice. A sleepy city with some serious Mediterranean weather (without the beaches). The city was calm though the people moved faster than the Madrileños up north. But maybe those people cutting across the street & zipping through the alleys were just tourists like me trying to hide in the shade.

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  4. Lorraine B

    I'm here in Sevilla now, and I'm wondering if perhaps we're staying at the same hostel….? Hmm…

  5. Lorraine B

    I'm here in Sevilla now, and I'm wondering if perhaps we're staying at the same hostel….? Hmm…

  6. flexeble

    Yes. The city is a lot of fun; I loved it! Sevilla is alive and filled with happy people that enjoy life to the fullest. I am so happy you took this trip on, you make me proud (if I can say that as your friend) as it takes guts to take on such an adventure. I am happy that you are doing so well but then I had no doubt about that. Live strong and make lots of friends all over the world.

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  8. Adam

    Thanks Al! It is definitely way too hot there during the summer and I think you're right about the city having a lot of students there. I was at a bar (in a street) and we went to talk to a group of girls. It turned out they weren't even Spanish but Americans studying there. Made it difficult to meet locals, but still fun.

  9. Adam

    I wouldn't turn down the chance to live in Melbourne, nor Seville either, really. Living in a city is always different than touring it.

  10. Adam

    Thanks Federico. It seems the Melbourne analogy holds up for a few people. I actually enjoyed Melbourne but I was only there for 2 days and it was during the Commonwealth games. Probably a little less typical.

  11. Adam

    Spain is awesome!

  12. Adam

    Got my ticket to get to Gibraltar tomorrow! Really excited about it.

  13. Given I live in Melbourne and love it, it sounds like I should plan some time in Seville later this year on that basis!

    I think that Melbourne is one of those places that isn't necessarily as appealling to tourists as (say) Sydney, but is a far better place to live. I've lived in both, so feel somewhat qualified to make that statement. ;-)

  14. flexeble

    Contrary to your findings my friend most people in Sevilla re students and parents of students visiting them because of this it naturally seems like a tourist destination; the city certainly caters and thrives because of foreigners in many ways.

    I found Sevilla to be a vibrant and friendly city, full of life filled with life loving people eager to help a stranger. As I was told summer is not the place to be in Sevilla as it is infernally hot—during summer the city is vacated as its citizens vacations in places with moderate weather.

    The city is a mix of old and new and truly a place rich in culture and tradition. I’d visit Sevilla again in a heartbeat and in some ways feel that I left my heart beating there.

  15. Hey Adam

    Although fun and culturally entertaining, I also think Sevilla is somewhat overrated, like Melbourne in Australia. This said it is a pity you never made it to a flamenco show, but can sure see it in other places, even in Madrid! By the way, I think you are there now…don't miss bar la campana or restaurante la catedral near the plaza mayor for great eats (check my blog for more info on this). You will get food AND an eating experience!

  16. Kiera (sister)

    You should have tried to see a bull fight – although not pleasant it is an experience that you shouldn't miss! Also, in Sevilla as I recall there is some flamenco dance where restaurant/bars have this while you eat & drink. Sad you didn't LOVE it as much as I did!

  17. Sevilla looks wonderful, as does the whole of Spain. Beautiful photos too!

  18. Jonathan Cheney

    Hi, Adam,

    I'm glad to see that you're in Europe and that you're enjoying your trip!

    Jonathan

  19. Adam

    Oh there is lots more to come, Abby, don't you worry!

    I'm enjoying Spain much more than I was expecting to—and that's saying a lot!

  20. Adam

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jonathan!

    I absolutely love Europe. It'll be hard to leave.

  21. Adam

    I know I know!

    As far as the bullfight, that was a pretty conscious decision. But even if I'd wanted to, they're only doing them on Sundays right now and I wasn't around.

  22. “My big night out in Sevilla is not a story ready for this blog.”

    So go on, what was her name?

    ;-)

  23. Definitely do the Alhambra at night. The White Towns are great places to chill out.

    Gibraltar – have a gin and tonic and Indian curry for me… Otherwise it's an interesting change from Spain, and the views from the top are good if it's clear.

  24. beersNbananas

    I was just thinking about what a great word “soporific” is this morning. You and I are on the same page, even on different continents!

    PS. I need to hear this story about your big night out ASAP.

  25. Adam

    I got to Granada last night and am staying another two!

    I'm planning on getting to Gibraltar as well, but just quickly on my way to Morocco. Got any recommendations?

  26. Abby

    Aww, this really brought me back! I haven't been to the south of Spain in so many years. I love your ramblings! You're in a part of the world where I can't imagine what it's like to still have first impressions. More, please!

  27. Not sure what your itinerary looks like – are you going to Granada? Ronda or Arcos de la Frontera or one of the other White Towns? Gibraltar? All worthwhile.

  28. Adam

    Whoa… crazy how that happens!

    Story time will happen eventually for sure. Because it's an excellent story.

  29. adventurouskate

    Hi, Adam —

    I like this approach to your blogging. Believe me, as far as travel blogs go, it's far from rambling! It's nice to hear your perspective on different things about a city. Personal = unique.

  30. Adam

    Thanks for your feedback Kate! Blogging is still relatively new to me and I'm trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Feedback is important!

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