A Taste of Spanish Culture in Seville

Trip Start May 30, 2012
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Trip End Nov 07, 2012


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Flag of Spain  , Andalucía,
Friday, October 12, 2012

It was inevitable. Only a matter of time. We had managed to steer clear of any night trains or buses until now. But unfortunately the easiest way for us to get from Portugal to southern Spain was on a seven hour night bus. So with heavy hearts we got on the bus at 21:30 and tried our best to get comfortable. There really is no good way to sleep on a bus. Especially when the driver is a bit crazy. So, when we arrived into Seville at around 5:20am (Spain is one hour ahead) we had little to no sleep. Now, we had the task to find our hostel. Fortunately, the hostel staff were kind enough to arrange for us to be let in at such an unGodly hour and they provided us with pretty decent directions. We had to get on a city bus and then walk a few blocks into the centre. Once we found our hostel, the staff were once again life savers and let us crash in an empty dorm room to get some much needed sleep! We slept till about 11:30am and actually felt fairly refreshed. So, all in all, it was a pretty decent first time night transport experience! After our sleep, we were eager to explore our first Spanish city. Seville is known for a few key monuments: the massive cathedral, a Spanish palace, and the birth place of Flamenco! Since it was now the afternoon of our first day, we did not have that much time to explore, so we decided to walk to the cathedral and palace. Seville has marvellous narrow, twisted streets that date back to ancient history. The Phoenicians, Moors, and Romans have all walked along these stones. You can see these different stages of architecture as well, especially with the cathedral and palace. We walked up to the cathedral, impressed by the sheer size of it, and then walked all the way around it, taking note of the different sides and gargoyles and statues. We decided not to go in, just because we have had the wonderful opportunity to have already gone in many cathedrals in our trip. We could not, however, miss the chance to walk around an old Moorish palace. Especially when we found out it was only €2 for students to get in! The palace was unbelievable. Room after room of beautiful tiles and terraces and doors. Once you walk through the actual building you are then on the steps of a tropical garden with gazebos and fountains and many different pathways. It was breathtaking. We spent the entire afternoon and early evening exploring this wonder of Seville. The next day we set out in search of the free walking tour that we were told about back in Porto. It was the same company so we knew it would be good. We were not disappointed. Our tour guide was a nice girl who was originally from Scotland who decided to move away from the dreariness of the U.K. and moved to Spain in search of infinite sunshine. Honestly, free walking tours are really the best way to see a city because you learn so much extra that you wouldn't read in your everyday guidebook. She guided us for 4km past historic buildings and told old stories and spilled the latest Spanish gossip. We learned that across the river in Seville lies a district called Triana, and this is where Flamenco was born. It is a cultural mix of Spanish, Moorish (Islamic), and Gypsy descent. Many world famous Flamenco dancers and musicians have come from Triana and they are renown for still having unbelievable performances. Unfortunately for us, tickets to these shows are very high in price. But our wonderful tour guide told us of a more affordable show in Seville that she has been to many times and said that it was very good. Ryan and I had not planned on going to a Flamenco show so early into our Spain trip, but we figured that with this being where it all started, it was only fitting. I am very glad that we did. The show was riveting. You can really see and feel the passion and raw talent from these performers. The music and dancing was moving and unforgettable. Trust me when I say this, that if you ever find yourself in Seville or even just Spain, you must go see the Flamenco. It is a cultural experience you will carry with you for a very long time.

Jess
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Comments

Auntie Karen on

Okay when are you two planning on coming home. I cannot believe you are still travelling. We have a nice cold blanket of white here waiting for you. The pictures today were lovely.
Stay safe see you two soon.

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