Like the contrast between Murcia and Granada, the contrast between Granada and Seville (or Sevilla) is pretty stark. It’s like jumping from Moorish times to Victorian and then stumbling on some time rip and falling a bit further. Seville is big, grand and wide, with clean and bright streets and absolutely stunning monuments.
Cracked tracks and strange roads
The trip to Seville was a bit… Unconventional. As the main train station was under reconstruction to accomodate a new high speed rail my wonderful companion and I had to board a bus to an out of the way, Styx-agacent town where we could catch the high speed train. Though it was tough and a little odd, our trip ended up being ridiculously fun as we scrounged for any breakfast we could (eventually settling for vending machine goodies and a really creative almond, fruit tart and banana, gluten-free sandwhich).
But, of course (because the Universe is kind most of the time), things work out and we arrived in style, if not a little bedraggled, to our absolutely amazing and modern private hostel room. I make no exaggeration when I say this quiet and clean double room at the Nomad Hostel has been my favourite sleepy-hole of my whole European adventure. In fact, it was a real shame to leave it, as we both began to think of it more as our upscale apartment than a hostel.
Though the call of bed was very strong, to say the least, I did get my eyes outside and lookin’.
Through Seville’s tight and tourist packed central and past the grand boulevards around it’s “castles”, we found ourselves in one of Europe’s grandest cathedrals. Seville’s cathedral was built atop a mosque after the reconquest of Spain, and the effort the Catholic rulers went to to overshadow the original design is almost ridiculous. While the exterior is grand and ponderous, squatting across the landscape like a spiked giant, the inside is even greater. With vaults and pillars that seem to reach heaven and collections of treasures that are worthy of kings, this monument to Spain’s religious past and present is truly something amazing to behold.
Not far from the Cathedral is another mind-blowing and awe-inspirig monument, Plaza de España. This monument, ringed by a glistening moat and decorated in beautiful and honest murals representing major Spanish cities, seems almost decadent in its patriotism. Here we see Spain as a world power, an empire of many different states. Of course, we had to find Murcia’s panel to snap a quick selfie.
We spent time reflecting on horror and fascism in the Museum of the Inquisition, realising the depths of human intolerance and evil. Then we spent time making gooey eyes and feeling the love of the city along it’s river banks and colourful streets. Just to get a bit of balance, you know? A bit of Yin and Yang.
The final major site we visited was Seville’s answer to the Alhambra, the Alcazar (probably more well known now as the “Water Gardens of Dorn” from Game of Thrones). The Alcazar is sprawling and labyrinthian. I mean, it’s even got a maze within it’s maze, for cryin’ out loud. Every door you pass through here leads to a new room of wonders and splendour, either Muslim or Catholic. The gardens, full of beautiful fountains and trees, are calming. The buildings, full of art and decoration, are amazing.
The Time of Guiris
I love Seville, even more so for the fact I got to visit it with a knowledgeable Spaniard who, even though she knows her stuff, still found things she’d never seen before. Seville’s night-life, which we were led through by another friend but had to abandon ’cause my body decided to curl up and revolt in sickness, seems vibrant and interesting without devolving too much into the typical, dirty party scene.
But two days there wasn’t enough. I mean, twelve days in Spain isn’t enough, but I definitely think Seville deserves more love and attention. Oh well, leaving early gives me time to explore Spain’s (arguably) most important city before my time here runs out.
So I guess that’s another incredible, memory filled chapter wrapped up for now. There’s always chance to come back and write some more in my mental pages in the future, but for now…