Seville is charming and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to experience its charms first hand. First impressions had me uncertain. After the relative peace of the countryside it seemed loud and bustling, with too much traffic and mobbed with tourists. Then as we began to explore, that all changes. Turn into a small winding alley or side street and you quickly find yourself in a quiet courtyard-like plazas, all alone except for a few pigeons. The beautiful stone buildings stand watch over these citrus tree shaded courtyards with elegant tiled benches where you can rest for awhile out of the sun and listen to the sound of water in the nearby fountain.
The city has an extensive network of bike paths all along the waterfront and throughout the city and parks. Unfortunately the nasty weather we had been experiencing had also blown through Seville and wreaked havoc on many of the older trees, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. As a result the all the parks were closed until they could be made safe. And so like children with their noses pressed against a sweet shop window, we could only glimpse their shady tranquility through the wrought iron fences.
Seville is over 2,200 years old and has had many occupiers over the years, the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors have all had a hand in shaping the architecture of this beautiful city. Buildings like the iconic Giralda once a minaret is now a bell tower for the Cathedral and the Royal Alcázar (Royal Palace) and the Archive of the Indies, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have be repurposed by each conquering and reconquering force which leaves an amazing architectural heritage.
Our few days here have been all too brief and if you are thinking of a destination for a long weekend get away, I would definitely recommend putting Seville on your bucket list. I know we will be coming back here again, to lose ourselves in more quiet courtyards and parks.