I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to go to Spain, @benton8tor had always wanted to go but I resisted. ‘Why go to Spain when you can go to France?’ I thought. We eventually compromised and decided to visit both Spain and France (totally great compromise by the way) We picked Seville based on its proximity to Sherry production and sun and hot temperatures.Not knowing much else as the bulk of my time was spent preparing for Provence, We were ready to find out jut how much Seville had to offer.
Way, way way more than I believed possible. Located in the heart of Andalusia in Southern Spain, to call Seville a jewel would be vastly underestimating its amazingness. Seville is quite truly a stunning city, much of the beauty with its history steeped in the Moorish architecture that dominates Seville’s architectural highlights.
We drove into Seville. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have nerves of steel and a tiny vehicle. Streets in central Seville are very narrow and wind around the cathedral turning in one ways when you least expect it.
Once there get ready to enjoy yourself.We booked a wine and tapas tour our first night to get acquainted with Sevillian food, wine and landmarks.Our guide met us in front of the cathedral and
took us through the old town and Jewish quarter for a traditional tapas experience. Our first stop, we were given an aperitif of traditional wine flavoured with Seville oranges. I wast sure what to expect and still find it hard to describe the flavour. It was refreshing and good but also and acquired taste.
Next stop was a typical tapas bar, favoured by the after work crowd for a drink and tapas. We tried delicious wine from the Rioja region paired with cured meas and cheeses and flamenquin a breaded deep fried cheese and pork dish. Down the winding streets to my favourite stop of the night, more wine, this time white paired with an medieval dish, goats cheese and tomato marmalade and a sardine tapa.
Above left to right Salmoreja, medival taps on left top and bottom left rebujito with braised pork
It was delicious and my foray into Spanish whites proved to be light and crisp. We also enjoyed Salmoreja , a cold soup similar to gazpacho but richer includes ham and bread but is still silky smooth. We finished off the tastings at another restaurant a bit more off the beaten path, where Ben had his favourite dish ever, oxtail lasagna, we also had braised pork and potatoes. All of this was complimented by a very refreshing Sherry cocktail called rebujito. Truly stuffed we walked back towards the centre, with our guide Chel a flamenco dancer explaining the finer details of Moorish architecture, including how they kept their buildings cool. Very much needed in Seville where temperatures often reach 40 degrees, but many of the streets mist you as you walk by, keeping you cool. We finished at a rooftop patio with a Spanish doughnut and a Cava. Enjoying the view of the city sipping on a cava is truly one of my favourite travel moments.
As I mentioned, Seville can get hot. Many of the hotels have pools and if you are lucky a rooftop terrace and or pool. We were lucky, our hotel had just that. After a day seeing the sights, sherry tasting, hot air balloon riding or simply shopping, it is heavenly to come back to the hotel, sit by the pool on the rooftop and enjoy a dip in the pool or simply a glass of wine or Sherry Cocktail while you enjoy the breathtaking views of Seville and the catherdral.http://www.fontecruzhoteles.com/hotel-fontecruz-sevilla-seises/ It also helps that you can enjoy breakfast on the patio underneath lemon and Seville orange trees.
Seville is famous for the Alcazar ( The Royal Palace developed by Moorish Kings) and the Place De Espana a beautiful plaza. The Alcazar was simply amazing, full of hand painted
tiles, intricate woodwork and beautifully manicured gardens, there is simply nothing else like it. You could send hours there and you should.http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/ @benton8tor lost his mind and any shred of coolness he had when came upon the sunken garden where scenes for the water gardens of Dorn were filmed for Game of Thrones. Channeling my inner Leslie Knope, I totally mocked him for his obsession while be remaining somewhat supportive. Place De Espana is equally stunning and time should be sent there as well.
Finally don’t miss a walk along the river and over to Triana. We had the best patas bravas of our tip in Triana along gazpacho finally. Gazpacho is lighter than salmorejo and if often served in a glass. All paired with a Spanish red wine that managed to be rich and refreshing. We said goodbye to Seville with a Spanish brandy for @benton8tor and a cava for me, sad to leave.
Seville was so much more than I could have imagined and I was glad I was open minded enough to expand those travel horizons. Seville I’ll be back.