What I did and saw:
Plaza de España-
Sitting in the Parque de Maria Luisa, Seville’s Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The semi-circle structure features shout outs to regions all around Spain. It is a beautiful place that has been featured in movies such as Star Wars: Episode II and Lawrence of Arabia.
Holy Week Processions-
I was in Seville during Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. Similar to other parts of Andalusia, during this week in Seville there are numerous processions, where people (penitents) parade through the city wearing what appear to be KKK outfits. It was quite a shock to see, and many of the penitents are also barefoot. Also, some penitents carry floats depicting religious scenes.
Sandemans Free Walking Tour-
As I have done in a variety of other cities, I went on a Sandemans Free Walking Tour while in Seville. It started in the beautiful Plaza del Salvador and ended in the picturesque Plaza España. It was a nice way to get a recommendations, context, background, and other interesting facts about the city.
Plaza del Triunfo-
Many of the most impressive landmarks in Seville surround the Plaza del Triunfo. The Seville Cathedral, known as the Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede, is a beautiful building. Across the plaza is the beautiful Alcazar, which has been featured in Game of Thrones. Due to its proximity to some of the main sites in Seville, the Plaza del Triunfo is a beautiful place that most visitors to Seville will likely pass through at some point.
Seville has what is said to be one of the largest wooden framed structures in the world. Resembling giant mushrooms, the “Setas de la Encarnación” structure is an interesting place to visit. Also, due to the relatively flat landscape of Seville, there are some nice views of the city from the top of the “Setas.”
While it has been exported to other parts of Iberia and throughout the world, Flamenco originated in the Seville area. Its origins are somewhat disputed, but it is believed to have been started by gypsies in the eighteenth century. Due to its Mediterranean location and proximity to Africa, the Andalusia area has allowed for an interesting mix of cultures that in part led to the Flamenco music and dance style. I had the opportunity to see a Flamenco show in the Triana neighborhood, and it is the best Flamenco show I have seen and worth checking out.
Where I ate and drank:
Torch Coffee Roasters-
Set next to the Canal de Alfonso XII, Torch Coffee Roasters is a great place to get a coffee. While I was there I had a high quality cold brew and club sandwich. They also offer other filter options such as V60s and a variety of espresso based options. There is a good amount of seating, and while I was there they also offered tasty alfajores (dulce de leche pastry).
Just around the corner from the hostel I was staying at in Seville was Cerveceria Internacional. They offer a nice variety of well priced tapas and montaditos, which are small, usually grilled, and often times open faced sandwiches. And as their name would suggest, they also have a very nice international beer selection in addition to some good wines including the Orange Wine made from local bitter oranges.
Located near the Metropol Parasol, Virgin Coffee is a take away coffee place with great coffee and service. They have limited seating, but there are places to sit in the area around the shop.
Just down the street from Virgin Coffee is La Jeronima. It is a place that sells books, craft beer, food, and espresso drinks. They have great food prices, good craft beer options, as well as paintings, mugs, and shirts for sale. It also has good wifi, which makes it a nice place to get some work done.
Hops & Dreams and Bier Kraft-
Both Hops & Dreams and Bier Kraft are great places to get craft beer, food, or just hang out. Hops & Dreams even had some legitimately spicy food, which is uncharacteristic for Spain, and Bier Kraft had some fun board games available to use.
Where I stayed:
Black Swan Hostel Seville-
Overall, Black Swan was a very good place to stay in Seville. There were no curtains on the hostel beds, but they were comfortable and there were outlets for every bed. They served a free dinner for hostel guests, and after the dinner they had a free Flamenco show. I was even able to get out of my comfort zone and join in on the show and try some of the dancing myself.
How I got around:
I arrived in Seville by bus from Granada (unfortunately there was not a great Granada-Seville train route). Once in Seville I walked to get around and see the city and its impressive architecture. When I left Seville I caught a bus to the airport (which was fairly convenient) and catch a plane.
My favorite thing:
I had some great food and drink while in Seville, and I was only able to sample a small part of the culinary offerings in the city. I also got to see some impressive architecture in the city. My favorite part of Seville is the unique mix of cultures that shows itself in theses ways.
My least favorite thing:
It would be nice if trains between major cities in southern Spain were more conveniently linked, but it is still significantly better than the train system in planes like North America.
For next time:
There are quite a few things I would like to do next time I am in Seville. While I was able to see the outside of the Alcazar and the Seville Cathedral, I would like to see them from the inside. Also, I would like to visit some of the food markets in Seville.
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