About 6 years ago when we took a family vacation to Spain, we stopped for a day in Sevilla. My mom definitely remembered more about that than I did, but we were both excited to explore the city. When we got off of the train, we took a taxi to the apartment I booked on airbnb.com with a guy named Tarsi. It turns out that it was his mom´s apartment, but his mom spoke only Spanish, so Tarsi met us there to give us all the info. His mom was super sweet as well, but my mom couldn´t understand her rapid Spanish ramblings quite so well. After Tarsi showed me the filming of Star Wars in Sevilla and gave us a map, we walked from the apartment to Sevilla´s main public park, which was beautifully decorated with all kinds of trees and flowers. Then we made our way to the city center, where we found the Cathedral had already closed for the day so we went to visited the Alcazar.
The Alcazar of Sevilla is absolutely gorgeous, with many Mudejar features. We got an audio guide and listened about the history of the palace and the uses for its many rooms. Then we wandered around in the expansive gardens. It was interesting that the central courtyard of the Alcazar very closely resembled the Alcazar in Zaragoza. We spent a couple of hours exploring the palace and then tried some of Sevilla’s famous orange wine. I thought it was pretty good, but my mom did not enjoy it too much. It is definitely a take it or leave it type of taste. After orange wine, we got some fresh shrimp and a salad at a local place which Tarsi and his mom had recommended. It was good and it was healthy – not too common in Europe! A short walk from the restaurant, we encountered the Parasol, which is a building constructed over where they found some old Roman ruins. On the bottom floor, you can take a look at the ruins, then you can take an elevator up about four floors for an impressive viewpoint over the city. The Parasol is very new in Sevilla, just 3 years old, and it looks very modern, like a giant mushroom! It was a nice surprise with a beautiful view, especially as the sun was going down. Then we walked back through the Jewish Quarter and caught a taxi back to the apartment. Tarsi’s mom invited me to watch a Spanish flamenco show that is just like American Idol, except with flamenco dancing and singing. All of the girls costumes were really pretty and it was a fun show to watch.
The next morning, Tarsi’s mom made us home-made donuts for breakfast! They were amazing! She also gave us toast and ham and cheese and juice. After breakfast, we had to stop for my mom’s coffee and then we went to Sevilla’s fine art museum. The museum was just the right size to see most of everything in about an hour and there was a good variety of subjects and artists displayed. Every Sunday, right outside the museum, they have an art sale, so we got to see some art by local artists. Next, we headed back towards the cathedral hoping to get inside. Unfortunately that day was part of some national Catholic holiday, so we weren’t able to see the inside. Instead, we got lunch – fried fish & paella outdoors at a cafe near to the cathedral. We went back to the same gelato place we had tried the day before and got some more creamy gelato before heading to the bus stop for the 6 hour trip back to Madrid.
I enjoyed the landscaping all around Sevilla, although my allergies didn’t. I was coughing and sneezing the whole time, but I’m glad to have gotten a small taste of what Sevilla has to offer. I’d love to go back one day to see the inside of that cathedral, along with a lot of other things we missed. Also, this was my first actual airbnb.com experience, and I loved it! Staying with a Spanish lady was a great way to practice my Spanish and she gave us lots of good insider tips on where to go and what to try. Not to mention, she was so sweet. My mom and I had a great weekend seeing Cordoba & Sevilla quickly, but we saw the highlights and enjoyed good food and wine along the way.