Que calor (un tinto de verano, por favor) !

Sevilla Travel Blog

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My mother (and my fathers hat) on the AVE train to Sevilla

We left Madrid early. At 7am we stood at the Atocha station, with our earlier collected AVE tickets. The Puerta de Atocha has a mini-jungle inside of it! With huge palm trees and some tropical birds. What a crazy idea, but definately something to look at as you wait for a train. We bought breakfast in one of the shops, and it tasted wonderful. We found ourselves a real baguette this time, with vegetables and cheese and all, instead of the greasy croissants that are sold in most of the breakfast bars. The view from out of the train was wonderful: the hills, the olive tree fields, the blue sky (again cloudless, like it was for the rest of our holiday),... lovely!
Two and a half hours later, and 534 kilometers southwards, we arrived in
Sevilla.

The Patio of Casa Pilatos
It was warm in Madrid, but hot in Seville. Temperatures rose to 38 degrees, but were bearable. We found our hotel without to much trouble. Only my parents huge trollybag caused some difficulties, but that's their mistake, better choose to travel light.

After checking in, we walked to Casa Pilatos for a visit. It was early noon but the sun burned already. We paid for the ground floor only, which was wonderful. Some sweet patio gardens, ancient roman statues, great architecture, large wooden doors,... A great start of our stay in Sevilla.

Later we found ourselves a "Mas" supermercado to buy a picnic. We got baguettes, cheese, serrano ham and those little tomatoes (don't know how they are called in English, we call them 'Cherry tomatoes', but that probably won't be the right translation), which we took to Plaza del Triunfo for lunch in the shade of a tree, close to the statue.
The little garden in Casa Pilatos
We had a nice view on the cathedral and the walls of the Real Alcazar, and spotted the first of the typical white doves that fly around Sevilla. They were a gift from the Filipino government as a thanks for a great exposition, and live nowhere else in Spain but in Seville.

In the afternoon we visited the
cathedral, a huge building, and one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It might be large, but it isn't that beautiful. There isn't any symmetry due to the constantly adding of parts, and there isn't much unity or atmosphere neither. Yet truly beautiful are the silver/diamond treasuries, the paintings, the ceilings and the grave of Columbus (recently declared to be the official one, after years of dispute and, finally, a DNA research).
The Giralda tower
Again, we followed other peoples guide, this time in Flemish! The explanations were really interesting, and so was the climb to the Giralda tower.

The
Giralda is the symbol of Sevilla and offers a great view over the city. Yet you don't climb it with stairs but just a steep floor that goes up and up and up. I found it actually much more comfortable! Sevilla from the sky isn't as harmonious as e.g. a view over Paris. You'll see many different colors and styles of buildings, where in Paris everything is white and ordered. Yet it was nice to be up there, and while we enjoyed the sight the bells above us started to ring. This completed the picture, but nearly made me get a heart attack too.

Before returning to the hotel we went to find the tourist information office to collect some data about Flamenco performances, and we walked past Plaza Nueva, the town hall and the Avenida de la Constitución.
View from upon the Giralda tower
Yet
after that the temperatures were so high we decided to return to the air co hotel for short siësta. Our newly collected map turned out to be very useful, because the Santa Cruz is one big maze of small streets, and our hotel was located in the middle of them. Finding the cathedral wasn't to hard, since it is so huge just walking in the right direction got us there. The hotel, on the other side, was a little more dificult to find.

We asked the receptionist of the hotel for a nice restaurant, and he recommended Torre de la Plata (between the river and the Avenida de la Constitución), a place owned by Antonio, a friend of his. At first I was afraid he just promoted the place because he knew the owner, but that turned out to be not the case. The first time we arrived here, el Torre was still closed. So we went to an Irish pub not so far of (by coincidence, it was the only terrace which had three free seats), to drink wonderful tinto de verano.
The tomb of Columbus
Then we got back to the restaurant, which was now opened. The interior was typical Andalucian and clean, it had a nice patio and a great, typical cuisine. There wasn't a menu in English, yet the waiter told us "I am the English menu, I translate for you". So we found it easy to choose and had a great time. A bottle of wine only cost 7,50 euros and the meal was cheap as well, great prices for great quality!

On our way home to the hotel we walked through the Santa Cruz again, and passed by many nice terraces and bars. Yet we wanted to get some sleep and walked on with discipline. Until we came to a little corner, where live Flamenco guitar music was played, and tinto de verano looked delicious... The discipline was gone soon, and before we realized it, we were sitting down enjoying the atmosphere and the tinto summer wine.

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My mother (and my fathers hat) on …
My mother (and my fathers hat) on…
The Patio of Casa Pilatos
The Patio of Casa Pilatos
The little garden in Casa Pilatos
The little garden in Casa Pilatos
The Giralda tower
The Giralda tower
View from upon the Giralda tower
View from upon the Giralda tower
The tomb of Columbus
The tomb of Columbus
The jungle in Atocha trainstation
The jungle in Atocha trainstation
Little garden in Casa Pilatos
Little garden in Casa Pilatos
Casa Pilatos: azulejos
Casa Pilatos: azulejos
picnic at Plaza del Triunfo
picnic at Plaza del Triunfo
Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
Giralda tower
Giralda tower
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
At Plaza del Triunfo
At Plaza del Triunfo
Sevilla Hotels & Accommodations review
We stayed in hotel Abanico for two nights. It is a nice hotel with clean rooms and a great location in the heart of the Santa Cruz, on walking distanc… read entire review
Sevilla Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
This is a small tavern in the old center of Sevilla, close to the cathedral and the Avenida de la Constitución. It has a typical Andalusian interior … read entire review
Sevilla Sights & Attractions review
Santa Cruz is the quarter north of the cathedral and the Alcazar. It is definitely worth a visit, because it is the most authentic and typical neighbo… read entire review
Sevilla Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Flaherty's is an official Guinness Irish pub in the center of Sevilla, next to the huge cathedral, in the Calle Alemanes. They have terraces outside, … read entire review
Sevilla Sights & Attractions review
Casa Pilatos is located in the Santa Cruz quarter, at Plaza Pilatos. It is a luxurious city palace dating from the 16th century. You'll see many wonde… read entire review
Sevilla Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
The Altamira is a restaurant in the Santa Cruz Barrio. It is a simple place, but they have some terraces outside and in the evenings music is played o… read entire review
Sevilla Sights & Attractions review
The Maria de la Sede cathedral must be one of the most famous buildings in Sevilla. It is the largest cathedral in Europe and one of the largest in th… read entire review
Sevilla
photo by: JP-NED