I was in Seville for not much more than 24 hours. Just enough to complete my mission in meeting Sue, with a little time to spare. On my second day I planned to see as much of the city as I could, intending to join a free walking tour. That way I wouldn’t get lost in the maze of streets, and would make it back to the bus station in Plaza de Armas for my return coach home.
Of course, I had to get to the meeting point first. The day dawned bright and clear and I set off across the city towards Plaza de Espana. Cafés were coming to life in the sparkling sun as I headed through the leafy greenery of the Murillo gardens, and skirted the beautiful Real Alcazar.
Sometimes things go to plan. Sometimes they don’t. I arrived at Plaza de Espana to find barricades and a squad of security guards. Apparently Green Day were playing a concert in these fabulous surrounds the following day, so access was forbidden. The Plaza is the undisputed jewel of the Maria Luisa Park, built for the Ibero-American Expo of 1929. I am lucky enough to have seen it in all its glory on a previous occasion, and was looking forward to a return visit. Our guide explained a little of the history to the tour group, and then set off in the direction from which I had come. We were to cross the city and end at the Metropol Parasol, a route I had already traversed that day. I made a snap decision and excused myself. Time was too precious to waste and I knew that I was close to the river. It was the perfect day for a cruise.
And across the road beckoned another historic monument that I had hoped to see, the Torre del Oro. The 36 metre high tower was constructed in 1220, part of the wall defending the Alcazar and formerly linked to the Torre de la Plata. Unfortunately the tower was closed as it was All Saint’s Day, a public holiday, but I was more than happy to hop on board a boat.
Nor was I alone. The water was busy with all manner of craft, young and old enjoying the holiday. Cruceros Torre del Oro provide an hour long, panoramic cruise on Río Guadalquivir, Sevilla flaunting her charms on all sides. Comely, traditional Triana gives way to the futuristic Expo ’92 site and, in the distance, the fairground rides of Isla Magica. As the boat gently turned midstream, I gazed deep into the heart of the city, towards the cathedral, guarded by her exquisite tower. All too soon I was stepping ashore.
Denied access to the tower, I set off along the quay, the serenity of the river forgotten as traffic whizzed past me, from one set of traffic lights to the next. Impatient for a green light, I crossed over to admire the Plaza de Toros. Although I would never set foot inside to witness the tormenting of a bull, the building itself does command respect.
On the far shore, the flutter of umbrellas at a pavement café danced an invitation. Crossing Puente de Triana, I admired the sweep of the river. Would a table here be affordable, I wondered? I cast my eyes over a menu or two. Not too bad, and the view would be worth it.
I squeezed into a space, facing the river, with an hour just to contemplate the beautiful city before me, and all I’d seen and done.
I ate Flamenquins- ham and gooey, melted cheese in crispy breadcrumbs- no room for dessert. Trailing a backward glance or two, I recrossed the river and followed it along the shore, towards my waiting coach. It had been a delightful re-acquaintance with Seville.
If you missed my previous walk in Sunny Seville, you missed a treat. No, not just the cakes, though they were good. I met lovely Sue!
Many thanks to all my wonderful contributors. Walking is so much better with your company. Join me any time, here on Jo’s Monday walk. Newcomers and old friends, I always try to make you welcome.
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