After a short bus ride from, we finally made it to the ‘real’ Spain. Barcelona (our home city at that time) is an amazing city, but as many Catalans love to tell you, it is not Spain. Sevilla (Seville), however, is southern Spain’s capital of culture, flamenco, and tapas. I was ready to experience this southern city with my group of travel buddies, and luckily we were all very chill, easy going folk. So, we started off our first day in the city by touring some of the famous monuments on foot. Our unremarkable hostel, except for the very strong cocktail the bartender made later that evening, acted as a good rallying point in the middle of the city and we were able to see most things by walking.
Plaza España felt as saturated in history as I am sure the architect intended, with details of Spain’s history covering every wall and bench. The grandeur of the space was hardly diminished by fellow tourists with flashing cameras, so we enjoyed soaking up sun, while we resting our feet in the space.
Next on the wandering tour was the Parque de Maria Luisa which provide more sun bathing opportunities and conversations about school, culture and of course, food. A tree was climbed and strolls underneath shady branches took place as naturally as if they were planned.
Other architectural wonders of the city quickly made Sevilla one of my favorite walking towns, especially when one stumbles across something so foreign looking as the Torre del Oro (the Gold Tower). The watch tower seemed to come out of no where as we followed the river back into the center of town.
While imagining the battles that could have taken place in that tower over years past, we swung by the Catedral de Sevilla to pay respects to my great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle twice removed, Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) as he lay entombed in the world’s largest Gothic church. My imagination just kept coming up with more and more reasons to stay in southern Spain, but I tried to keep centered on the historical significance of space.
Maybe it was the hunger that made me so scatter brained, but I was excited to grab a bite to eat before we went to a flamenco show. Usually, I find flamenco to be cheezy, over dramatic and just silly. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to the performance because I felt like there was so much else to be tried, but going with the flow is necessary when traveling in a group, so I went along.
The show was surprisingly free of goofy antics and over acted emotions, and filled with amazing music and classy dancing that the art form truly deserves in this contemporary era. The dancers and musicians created an event that was a pleasure to share with the other audience members without delving into the world traditional stereotypes.
Tapas afterward and a good glass of wine made sleeping in the noisy hostel a breeze, but as always, I was starting to miss Barcelona. It was time to say good by to the ‘real’ Spain and head back to the land of the Catalans. But I cannot wait to go back to take another walk in Sevilla.