Sevilla Travel Blog› entry 25 of 49 › view all entries
October 31st, 2007 – by: bvanb
When I was 11 years old I went on a trip to Germany and we attended an art class at the high school where they actually taught the students to do graffiti with artistic quality and style. At the time they were beginning to face a lot of tagging throughout the cities. Additionally, the cities dedicated wall space to graffiti art to detour random acts of spraying. A US city that has a great program that is similar is Philadelphia, although have giant murals representing the community and history, although not generally in the graffiti art style. Nevertheless, the use persons who have been caught spray painting and put them to work on the murals, building civic pride and beautifying the city at the same time.
Anyways, back to Sevilla. Beyond the historic center is the more modern part of the city, but still historic.
A little further down and across the river is Triana, a town the used to be outside the city of the city, but over time has been swallowed by its expansion. The people there have a distinct accent and if you ask them where they are from they would say Triana, not Sevilla. The area is very charming and well know for its religious icons and a church, which apparently has a three-year waiting list for wedding ceremonies. Diego and I walk through there one day and also went to a club there late, probably around 3 or 4am one night after hanging out by the river with some Sevillianos, a family of four their significant others and friends. I previously met one of the brothers, Javier, and his girlfriend, Laura, from the party Diego took me to in the weeks before. One the way to the club, we stopped by the churro stand (not like the Mexican ones we know, but related) at the start of the bridge to get purros and chocolate, a typical late night/early morning snack and breakfast food, full of grease and lacking flavor.
Also across, but up the river from Triana, are the buildings and features of modernity constructed for the 1992 Worldâ€™s Fair. The constructions offer a striking contrast with the old parts of the city and even the newer constructions, which are typical and generally plain.
Most of the other nights we enjoyed ourselves at an Irish bar called Merchants, eating and drinking, including Halloween. While we did not dress up, plenty of people did and they were quite entertaining. Diego and I stayed out pretty late this night too, moving onto a club called â€¦.Hercules, named after the Alameda (poplar grove) de Hercules, it bordered. This center was a happening place, with hip cafes, clubs, and public art.
Diegoâ€™s sister lived in the historic center of the city within walking distance to everything I mentioned thus far.
The most notable part of old town is the Santa Cruz neighborhood, developed organically before the grid was established. The neighborhood is full of short streets, even narrower streets-prohibiting vehicle traffic other than motorbikes, and features some of the finest restaurants and most expensive real estate. At lunch, 2-4 pm, the cervecerias/restaurants and packed with people overflowing into the plazas and streets.
At one end of the neighborhood is a small park with amazingly large trees. The first time Diego and I entered there was a mini flamenco exhibition for coins (which go as high as 2 Euros), which was also my first time witnessing the famous dance in person.
At another end of the neighborhood is the famous Cathedral of Sevilla, the elaborate mosque, now Christian of course, with the Giralda bell tower, which attract tourists from all over the world. And on the other side of the mosque are more modern buildings that are utilized by large, typical commercial enterprises. At night this area of full of people enjoying the sights, food and drink, and the many side shows, including more flamenco. The principal group was from a school that teaches the guitar, singing, and dancing of flamenco. I do not think many of them were Spanish, and interestingly in recent years many Japanese women have come to the South of Spain to learn the dance.
Sevilla seems to have a lot going for it. The only draw backs I noticed are the lack of water and the public transportation for people who do not live, work, and play in the center.
Diego and I left Sevilla on Saturday to avoid Sunday traffic back into Madrid. On our back northeast we stopped in Cordoba for lunch.
The Mesquita was an amazing sight that I nearly missed seeing because it was nearly closing time by the time lunch was over (lunch usually starts around three and everything takes a leisurely pace). But the courtyard of oranges and building were amazing and while I did not get to go inside, one of the doors was opened so that I could sneak a peak and a picture through the gated entrance.
The AndaLuz style is ever present in these cities. Entry ways of nice homes and businesses often open into courtyards and atriums, mostly like another feature that helps to keep the buildings cool. Also, large open areas like these and popular pedestrian streets have retractable canopies that are extended during the summer to further keep the heat out. And just in case one wants the summer sun, whether for tanning or drying clothes most residents have access to a minimum of a small balcony, or terraces and finished roof tops, which are also great for cook-outs and parties once the sun goes down. Another bonus ins southern cities, in particular these two that I know of are the orange tree lined streets.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!