I never thought I would celebrate cloudy weather in one of my travel blogs. I woke up and went onto my balcony to see clouds covering the sun and feel a refreshing morning coolness on my fur. Today it would be possible to explore the city on foot, without roasting!
I decided to see some of Seville’s less popular attractions to the north of the historic centre. First I explored my local area, the Triana, which is famous for its many ceramics shops.
Next I strolled along the banks of the Guadalquivir River,
……..before crossing over one of its bridges to reach the area called Alameda de Hercules. The streets were narrow, and I enjoyed the sounds of a city waking up – friends chatting noisily in neighbourhood cafes, someone practicing guitar on an upstairs balcony……It was a charming insight into the real everyday life of the Sevillanos, with not another tourist in sight. There were pretty churches and tempting cafes everywhere.
Despite the large number of cafes, I found it hard to find a place to sit down for coffee. Every time I saw a nice place outside, it was either full, or someone would beat me to the very last free place. I finally found a good table near the remnants of the old Moorish city wall.
I then carried on my walk, stopping to photograph yet more churches. I popped into most of them, and found that in the majority, a mass was being celebrated. Religious life is still very active in Seville.
I then made a surprise discovery, stumbling across the Palacio de las Duenas, a beautiful villa built over the 15th and 16th Centuries, and home to the Alba family, one of Spain’s oldest aristocratic families, for several centuries. The Alba family married a Scottish noble family in the 20th Century, and the current Duke of Alba, the wonderfully named Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martínez de Irujo, opened the palace to the public in 2016. He still lives in private upstairs rooms that are closed to tourists. The villa was not in my guidebook, and there were very few other visitors. Often I would find I had an entire garden, courtyard or room to myself. I spent a happy couple of hours enjoying the atmosphere and taking lots of photos.
When I had finally finished my visit of the Palacio de las Duenas, I walked back through the busy city centre, finding yet more pretty churches…………
………before reaching my flat at around 2 o’clock. I sensed the sun was about to break through the clouds, meaning that the temperature would soon shoot up, so I spent the afternoon in my flat writing my blog and enjoying being lazy.
That evening I headed out for a typical Seville evening – dinner in three different places. First, I had tapas at a restaurant on the Guadalquivir River, with views over to the cathedral and bullring in the historic centre……….
Next, I tried a trendy bar with upmarket tapas in an old mansion………….
………before finding a simple street bar located in front of a huge, imposing church for a last beer.
In Seville, it would be very tempting to skip sight-seeing altogether and just wander from one beautiful bar to another.