This was our second full day in Sevilla and we had a wonderful jam-packed day with lots of great sightseeing.
Plaza de España
I had this place on my list to visit, but wasn’t sure if we’d make it there. We ended up meandering through the María Luisa Park and passed through Plaza de España the night before on our carriage ride. It looked so beautiful, that I knew I wanted to come back and spend more time. So, it was stop number one for us. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. (Also, interesting note, this is what’s used for Aladeen’s palace in the movie The Dictator. They CGI’ed some things in, but this is it!)
We walked around and marveled at the architecture and gorgeous ceramic balustrades. We loved the little moat that goes around the building and saw that you could rent row boats and couldn’t wait to do it. It felt little Spanish Venice with the arched bridges.
Erick, obviously, was the one that rowed the boat. I joked to him that I felt like royalty being rowed around. Haha! No, actually, I looked like an idiot because I used my umbrella the whole time to keep shaded from the sun. It’s always fun to be in the midst of tons of people and be the only one using an umbrella. Whatever. I didn’t get burnt.
Lunch & Flamenco
We had lunch at a little tapas place in Santa Cruz called Doña Lina. I got the albondigas (meatballs) here and they were one of my favorite tapas. The sauce is very different from how we would do meatballs at home and I can’t quite tell you what it tasted like, except delicious. I loved the interior because it had the beautiful tiles that you see all over Andalucía.
When you order a beer here, all you need to say is, “una caña, por favor” which means “a beer, please.” Yes, they say caña, but you can say cerveza too. If you did that at home, the waiter, would reply, “Sure. What kind?” Not here. Most of the places only had one kind of Spanish beer, either Cruzcampo, Alhambra, Mahou or San Miguel. So, it’s makes it easy to order. I especially enjoyed ordering a beer because we were doing so much walking and it was so hot, so the beer was refreshing and light.
After lunch, we noticed that everyone seemed to be having a grand time at the next door bar, so I thought we should check it out. It was very small and clearly only inhabited by locals. I almost felt like we were intruding on a private party, except that everyone was friendly. We ordered a drink and sat there for about five minutes and then suddenly someone whips out a guitar and starts playing. Then, someone starts singing and then two people get up and dance. I thought it was the coolest thing ever — a spontaneous outburst of flamenco. I was overjoyed that I decided to duck in here. I was blown away at how this just seredipitously occured and at how talented these bar patrons were. What is this? The Spanish version of a flash mob? Here’s the video, see for yourself:
River and Bullring
We walked down to the Guadalquivir River. The name comes from the Arabic al-wādi al-kabīr (الوادي الكبير), ‘The Great River’ and it is the only major navigable river in Spain. It was pretty, but it was hot and so we didn’t linger.
Luckily, we were able to get in on the final bullring tour of the evening. The name of the bullring is Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla and it’s the oldest bullring in Spain, with construction having started in 1749. I’m glad we got to visit it, because I had absolutely no intention of going to an actual bullfight. I am way to tenderhearted and probably would have protested instead of watched.
I had researched places to go beforehand and decided on Casa de la Memoria. Luckily, we happened by the place our first day, so we bought tickets in advance. After having experienced the show in the bar earlier, I was really excited to see the professionals. We arrived on time, which evidently was late. It’s located in an interior courtyard with with vines running down behind the stage and tiles adorning the walls. It was a really neat place and it was…surprise!…hot. I bought a fan (you know, a Spanish fan) earlier in the day, and it got put to good use here. (It ended up being quite a useful purchase!)
I just am transported away with the sound of that guitar. Even though I am not a flamenco expert, I could just tell that these performers were top-notch. It was intense. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it.
We just picked a random place to have dinner and this place looked good. One really cool thing that all of the places in Sevilla (and other cities) had was cold mist at their outdoor tables. You can see it on on the right below. What a brilliant idea!
At the end of the night, we went up to the rooftop terrace at our apartment building and got to see this spectacular view of the cathedral lit up at night.