Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pacing ourselves in Sevilla

Puerta de la Macarena in Sevilla

Shortly before our recent trip to Sevilla, my friend Susan ("la canadienne") declares the city to be one of her favorites — no small proclamation as she is a seasoned traveler. Perhaps it's the incessant graffiti tagging on nearly every visible surface, the proliferation of beggars or, more likely, the exhaustion we are feeling at the end of the first week of our month-long trip to Spain and Portugal, but we merely "like a lot" — not "love" — Sevilla.

There's a lot of this in Sevilla, which gets annoying after a while
This is more like it: a sweet mural in Sevilla

Don't get me wrong: This is a gorgeous and vibrant city. And our AirBNB host provides a long list of sites to see and restaurants in which to stuff ourselves. We forego the long lines at two of the city's crown jewels, the cathedral and the Alcázar palace, and instead lazily meander through las calles, frequently stopping for refreshment and reflection. 

Classic fountain in Sevilla

Sculpture at Parlamento Andaiuz in Sevilla

Plaza Encarnacion in Sevilla

Capella de San Andres in Sevilla

Sevilla street scene

We fight our propensity for early retirement and check out Sevilla at night, most notably attending an exuberant flamenco performance at Casa de la Memoria. 

Flamenco at Casa de la Memoria in Sevilla

Flamenco at Casa de la Memoria in Sevilla

Flamenco dresses in a storefront on calle Cuna in Sevilla

An unexpected highlight comes with a visit to Plaza de España. Built for the Exposición iberoamericana de 1929, the plaza is a delightful mixture of architectural styles: Renaissance Revival, Néo Mudejar (Moorish Revival) and Art Deco. We spend several hours admiring the tiled alcoves representing Spanish provinces and watching boats on the surrounding moat. Although I avoid the overuse of Wikipedia, I find this tidbit worth repeating: Plaza de España has been used as a film location, including scenes 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), 'Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones' (2002) and 'The Dicator' (2012).

Alcoves of the Provinces at Plaza de España in Sevilla

Plaza de España in Sevilla

That's me on a bridge at Plaza de España in Sevilla

Two other standouts from our time here: a day trip to Cordoba and an exploration of the Triana district, both of which I write about in upcoming blog posts.

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