18 Sep Minimoon in Seville
So, after the festivities and the chaos of our wedding celebrations, Danielle and I were finally alone. We filled the car up with petrol in Mijas and started on our journey to Seville. We had always planned to go to Seville and, initially we had booked a rather swanky (read: expensive) hotel in the centre of the city. However, my decision to start my own business meant that we had to look at our budget again and so decided to cancel the hotel and look for accommodation on Air B&B.
We are so happy that we did! We had arranged to meet the owner of the apartment we were renting (Manolo) at a bar and he guided us to his apartment. When we arrived we were really pleased with the apartment. It was small, yes, but absolutely perfect for us and couldn’t have been situated any more centrally. We just needed a place to wash and sleep – and for a fraction of the cost of the hotel we would’ve stayed in.
Manolo stayed with us for an hour, he had brought with him some ice cold Sangria and he gave us dining and drinking recommendations. As a man, born and bred in Triana (west of the Guadalquivir River in Seville) he knew every little tapas bar and what their speciality was – he clearly loved Seville and was passionate about his city.
Before leaving us to it, he supplied us with maps and leaflets and wished us a good stay. By this point it was about 5pm and still well into the forties in terms of heat. We’d been travelling for a while and driving in Spain wipes me out. So we decided to go and have a quick walk around and grab a beer before heading back to have a late nap. That night we went out for some tapas at a couple of different places. We dined on Octopus salad, 5J Jamon Serrano, croquetas and olives before calling it a night relatively early in preparation for what would be a full on day of site seeing.
That first full day we decided to do as much as possible even though the heat was nothing short of searing! We got up early and went for breakfast opposite the cathedral. We had a simple breakfast of tomatoes and olive oil on bread with coffee and juice. It was so reasonable and tasty we ended up having breakfast there 3 days in a row.
Our first site to visit was the Real Alcazar de Sevilla and its gardens. As fans of Game of Thrones we had seen the gardens in the show where they were the setting for the Water Gardens of Dorne. The show obviously doesn’t do them justice. The gardens and the palace are beautifully maintained and cover some impressive acreage, considering they are located in a city centre. We spent a couple of hours strolling around before we went next door to the cathedral.
The Catedral De Sevilla is simply spectacular. It is a clear show of opulence and wealth with gold dripping from every wall. The cathedral also has some of the best views of the city from the top of the Giralda tower (as pictured).
We also visited the Plaza de Espana and Jardin Americano in the Parque de Maria Luisa. It’s all so stunning it took us all of the next day to walk around and just enjoy being in the moment. We had a great time.
All of this was great and Seville was beautiful but the thing that really left a mark with Danielle and I was the food. Now anyone that knows Danielle will know that she is almost entirely motivated by food. I know that if I want permission to buy something weird like a toy or upgrade my sound system, all I have to do is take her for dinner and ask.
I won’t go into too much detail about all the food we ate and all the places we went to, but some of the things we enjoyed included: octopus salad, jamon serrano croquets, snails, mussels, cuttlefish, deep-fried marinated anchovies, chorizo iberico, watermelon sorbet, squid, pork cheeks, 5J jamon, churros, olives stuffed with almonds and anchovies al vinagre to name but a few.
It was a really complete experience. Seville has everything, history, heat, food and culture. It has quickly become one of my favourite cities in Europe and I’ll definitely be returning.