I promised you a separate post on our visit to Sevile, and that is simply because I believe it really deserves its own mention. It was located only 2 hours away from where we were staying on the Costa del Sol, so the hubs and I decided to rent a car and hop on over for a day.
Normally I would not venture to drive in a city I don't know, much less in a country where I can't speak the language (guess those Spanish courses never stuck). But we put our faith in our GPS and set off.
Let's just say that it took over 30 minutes to reach the highway that was only 2 km away. Why? Because street signs are almost inexistent and Jill (our GPS) was unable to pronounce the street names in an intelligible way, which resulted in us turning in circles for a while. So....there was some yelling, some swearing, some huffing and some pouting, but once on the highway we setteled in for the 157 km drive.
Arrived in Seville, we simply parked in the city centre and set off exploring on foot. I was surprised to see how many locals seemed to be out during the day. The streets we literally packed. Everyone was dressed up as if they were going to a wedding. It was really nice to experience the city life like that.
Map in hand, we set out to find the famous Seville Cathedral, the biggest of its kind in Europe. It is said that church authorities declared: "Let us create such a building that future generations will take us for lunatics." (according to my lonely planet guide). We made our way through tiny "calles" lined with the cutest boutiques, little cafe's and restaurants, we admired the attention that seems to be paid to the littlest details such as the underside of balconies being decorated with hand-painted tile. We caught glimpses of colorfully tiled entryways and tapestry-clad balconies.
We started noticing that the ground was covered in what looked like pine-needles, and there was a familiar smell in the air, that I could not identify for the life of me.
All this walking made us hungry, and what better place to rest and enjoy a local beer and traditional tapas then in the shade of Europe's biggest cathedral, admiring this view?
After this very enjoyable break, we headed to the cathedral entrance only to discover that...it was closed! Open pretty much 365 days a year, but not June 7th. It's a holiday, the Feast of Corpus Christi to be exact. This explained why the whole city seemed to be out for a walk. Needless to say we were disappointed.
Fortunately Seville has lots to offer. We spend the next 5 hours exploring Real Alcazar, and the barrios Santa Cruz and Parque Maria Luisa. The parks and gardens are incredible, little oasis' to escape to. And everywhere we went we were followed by this mysterious smell.
You may wonder why I claimed that Seville is a knitter's city. Let me explain. everywhere I looked I noticed this sign:
I got curious of course, and flipping through my guidebook I found this explanation: " It is traditionally said to stand for "No me ha dejado" meaning "She has not deserted me". These words were reputedly uttered by Alfonso the Wise, after the city remained loyal to him in the course of a dispute with his son, during the Reconquest. The double loop symbol in the middle represents a skein of wool, the Spanish word for which is madeja, thus no(madeja)do." How perfectly adorable is that?
There are so many more corners to Seville we did not get to explore, and I really hope that one day we get to go back. I will let you enjoy some more Seville shots.
Oh, and the smell? It took me hours to figure it out. It was rosemary. Seville smells like rosemary!