When I first received the news that I would be spending nine months in Zafra, my immediate thought (after some frantic google searching) was ‘Ooh it’s only an hour from Seville!’. While I now appreciate Zafra as a great place to live in it’s own right; with it’s beautiful scenery and small-town friendliness, I’m still very happy to be within reach of a big city. Last weekend my flatmates and I sandwiched a trip to Portugal (more on that later) with two days exploring sunny Seville. It was wonderful.
Plaza de España (above) has got to be the ‘must-see’ spot in the city. It is vast and breathtaking, with a fountain in the middle, horse and carts trotting around, mosaic bridges and ornate towers. We happened to be there on a Spanish national Holiday so a funky red and yellow hot air ballon added to the visual spectacle.Around the Plaza de España is a beautiful park (below). There were runners and roller-bladers everywhere, a pond full of swans, palm trees, lily pads and a some impressively ornate museums too. You can easily walk around, lose yourself in the wilderness and completely forget that you’re in the middle of such a busy city.The Streets in Seville are the very definition of picturesque. The buildings are colourful and quirky, the roads are wide, impeccably clean and there’s a tram that runs down the middle (I love trams!).
The Metropol Parasol or Las Setas de la Encarnación (below) is a really interesting mushroom-like structure located at the Plaza de Encarnación, in the old quarter of the city. Architecturally it’s amazing, at 26 meters tall it’s apparently the largest wooden structure in the world. The view from the top was spectacular and the three-euro entrance price buys you a free drink in the cafe, scoring bonus points with thirsty but thrifty tourists like me.
From the viewing platform at the top of the mushroom you can see right across the city; from the Cathedral to the Alcázar palace and everything in between.Just like the rest of the city, the river is stunning. I leave you with a picture taken on the bridge overlooking the historic neighbourhood of Triana, which lies just across the water from the main hustle and bustle. It’s meant to the most authentic side of town, with fewer tourists but a greater number of colourful houses, narrow streets, food markets and traditional tapas. It’s also considered to be the ‘spiritual heart’ of flamenco and I can’t wait to discover more when I next visit!