Trip to Sevilla
(Snippets pulled from TravelPod post March 2011)
We went to escape to Seville for three days, it is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. There is a medley of medieval, Roman and Arabesque architecture and each building is painted a different color than the rest. The old city has the most narrow streets we have ever walked through. A few of them were so narrow that only 2 people were able to pass through at a time; a small car had trouble fitting through. Every road and walkway is aligned by orange trees. They are edible, though it was told to us that they taste very sour and bitter. The houses don’t have many windows on the outer parts, but lush courtyards on the inside. You’re able to look into some of them.
Before we arrived to Spain, we were told that the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca is the most beautiful plaza in all of Spain, hands down. We believed it right up until we laid eyes on the Plaza de España. It is an open plaza that’s less than 100 years old, with the main building in the East and two towers on the North and South corners. It faces West, the significance being that Spain is apologizing for the oppressive rule over its western colonies with the towers representing open arms ready to hug it out.
We have never stayed at a hostel before, so we decide to try the highest rated one on the internet, The Garden Backpacker. It was surprisingly nice and clean, it may ruin our future hostel experiences. First of all, it was cheap. A 3 night stay only costed 80€ for both of us, the same cost for just one night stay in a hotel room at the Paris airport. It came with a lot of free activities and free Sangria every night. We took part in their free walking tour which was better than any tour that we’ve ever paid for. The guide was an Italian guy that lived off of tips. He didn’t make us feel obligated to pay him but he was very knowledgeable and funny. It would have been impossible to navigate Seville without the guide – the maps and streets are confusing. Confusing is an understatement to how easy it is to get lost here.
If you do get lost, just look for the Giralda. The Moores finished building the Giralda in 1198, the Christians added a cathedral to the tower after the city was reclaimed during the Reconquista. in It’s the tallest building in the city, pretty hard to miss. It looks a bit like San Francisco’s Ferry Building or Chicago’s Wrigley Building but taller. You’re able to go to the top of the tower, it costs about €10 and there’s no elevator. Keep that in mind, the tower is 343 feet straight up.
It was told to us that we could never really experience Spain unless we attended a Flamenco show
All in all, our trip to Sevilla was very fun. It is a very romantic city. We learned that Spaniards praise Christopher Columbus, among other things. When we returned home to Salamanca, our landlord must have been tired of taking so much heat about being so cheap. We walked into a clean apartment with a new shower and kitchen faucet.